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I sometimes fantasize about going back to school. Then I remember the long, stressful nights, the agonizing hours of writing and writing and writing, the feelings of inadequacy when my grades weren't fantastic. Really, all I want is the information without having to pay for it, and I want to feel like I'm in a learning environment without all the formalities. My highly reasonable demands are more than satisfied by the University Lecture Series, at the University of South Florida.

Philosophy professor Dr. Kwasi Wiredu speaks about "Philosophy and Culture," beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. Dr. Wiredu points out the connections between the two through a semi-autobiographical account on how two cultures have helped to shape his philosophical outlook: the African culture from which he was born and raised, and the Western culture in which he was institutionally educated.

At 7 p.m. that evening, Dr. Cornel West, a Princeton professor, theologian, activist, author and all-around important intellectual, introduces the topic "Democracy Matters," in the Special Events Center. Dr. West's style weaves together the American traditions of the Baptist Church, transcendentalism, socialism and pragmatism, which may sound less-than scintillating, but I've heard he's a helluva talker, so give him a chance.

Both centers are located on the USF-Tampa campus, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., 813-974-7595.

-Leilani Polk

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