A night in West Walden

A night in West Walden

Paul Goodnature’s mailbox with the ‘Walden West’ sign sits by his wooded home near Geneva. The club meets on Sunday nights at this location. “Everybody respects on another very well,” Goodnature said regarding the club.

Albert Lea High School has seen an increase in unique clubs over the last couple years, including but not limited to robotics and chess club.

One of the latest clubs is Philosophy Club.

Philosophy club has been around for 10 years but was on a hiatus for about four years. It was newly revived by former ALHS English teacher Paul Goodnature and senior Andy Ehrhardt after the suggestion from current English teacher Jeremy Corey-Greunes.

“After about six years students lost interest in the club,” Goodnature said of the previous club.

Philosophy Club takes place on Sunday evenings at Paul Goodnature’s cabin home, which goes by the philosophical name of West Walden (Walden is where philosopher Henry David Thoreau spent his solitude.)

A typical Philosophy Club gathering begins with jokes from many of the members about current happenings or inside jokes within the club.

“It can turn into comedy club rather than philosophy club sometimes,” said senior John Buringa.

The club gets assigned topics about various philosophers to read individually and explain to the other members the next week during their main discussion.

During each person’s lecture, the other members of the group tentatively listen and voice their opinions to what the lesson contains.

“Everybody respects one another very well,” Goodnature said.

For the most part, all of the members of this club know each other well and have hung out outside of school. Though one face could seem more new to some of the club, sophomore Isabel Ehrhardt.

Isabel is the youngest student in philosophy club, and is also the only girl in the group.

“It seemed like a fun thing to be a part of and Andy is my cousin,” Isabel said.

After the discussion takes place the club decides what they will research for next week and discusses more activities to grow their club, such as the short presentation a few members gave at the Martin Luther King Day breakfast.

When the philosophy talks and the witty jokes start to fade, the group makes the decision to leave West Walden and make their way back into their day-to-day lives.

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