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HAPPIER ENDINGS – Sharing Wisdom About Moving On in Our Lives



How Have We, How Do We, and How Should We

Handle the Endings in All Our Lives?

Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross

Gottesman Library, Teachers College, Columbia University

525 West 120th St.

(bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. North side of 120th Street.)

(#1 train to 116th St.)

Please bring a photo ID required for entry to the building.

RSVP required (limited seating)

Thursday, April 25, 3:45 – 5:15 pm

There will be a display of relevant books.

Light refreshments will be available.

Coffee and other beverages available downstairs as you enter the building.

We’ll gather to share what we’ve experienced, and what we’ve learned, from the inevitable goodbyes that occur in all our lives.

We’ll consider finales big and small, ordinary and extraordinary, sudden and protracted, painful and liberating -- based on the book EXIT: The Endings That Set Us Free, by Harvard professor Sara Lawrence Lightfoot,

We’ll draw from our personal lives, but we’ll also ponder the social and economic conditions which make Exiting a pervasive part of American lives today, as so many of us experience such radical changes as divorce, migration or immigration, and the need or desire to change jobs or careers.

“Our exits are often ignored or invisible,” writes Lightfoot. At this session, we’ll focus on how we might turn them into endings that set us free.

Inspired by Socrates' famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socrates ended his life with one of the most notable Goodbye’s in history: his famed Apology to his fellow citizens at his trial for treason.

Our Socratic Conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries, and are conducted by Ron Gross, author of Socrates Way ( and co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education at Columbia (

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Conversations are mainly for members of the Columbia University community, please downplay coming via any other connection.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting conversation. Very worthwhile.

    April 26, 2013

  • Ronald G.

    THANKS, Marcia! Your contributions will be warmly welcomed.

    April 20, 2013

  • Marcia

    sounds like a very important topic to explore with others. Looking forward to participating.

    April 1, 2013

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