Addressing an overflowing grand ballroom, Orson Scott Card, author of “Ender’s Game” and other popular science fiction novels, spoke to students Wed. Sept. 19 about the necessity of being autodidactic, or self-educated. Card spoke as part of UVUSA’s speaker series this semester.
With bits of humor and jokes about his obsession with pens and cargo pants, Card asked students, “Why are you here?” He used Winston Churchill as an example of someone who overcame the odds and attacked learning with vigor. Card spoke at length about Churchill as “the greatest person of the twentieth century” and admonished students to follow his example of being widely and deeply educated in spite of their circumstances.
“You don’t become educated until you ask the questions,” Card said. “Figure out how to think. Report what you know.”
Card talked about the importance of seeking the truth for oneself and not merely relying on dogmas and authority. “If you come for an education and work for it, you can get it,” he said.
Student were able to purchase Card’s books, including the new “Formic Wars” series, in the commons area in front of the grand ballroom and have them signed by Card later that afternoon. At the conclusion of his speech, students gave Card a standing ovation and more than 100 people stood in line to have copies of his books signed.
Rodayne Esmay, from the department of digital media, spearheaded the effort to bring Card to UVU. He said that while talking with his students last semester and asking who could come to give workshops, they responded, “Well, there’s no one bigger than Orson Scott Card.” Esmay contacted Susan Thackeray, director of career and technical education, and they coordinated efforts to get funding to bring Card to campus.
Thackeray said one of the reasons they wanted Card to come was training for faculty and students from the CTE and digital media departments. Card held workshops with professors Thur. Sept. 20 and with students Fri Sept. 21.