Harry Dresden is a fictional character appearing in books within the "Dresden Files," written by Jim Butcher. Dresden, the recipient of a GED, is labeled the "only wizard in the Chicago phone book" in the novels. And, yes, he is a wizard -- and something of a wise ass. The books are somewhere in that grey zone between swashbuckling sword and sorcery and murder mysteries. And, they are set right in Chicago at locations such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum as well as fictional places that really really ought to exist.
No, Harry has not (yet) gone to college. (Unless one counts the many ways that he learns about his wizarding capacities). But he should. And he should go to Shimer.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Harry had a messy time in high school and is not a huge fan of school. But, he is obviously and entirely smart -- both well read (there is evidence in the books that he has read some of the works we read at Shimer) and thoughtful in many senses of that word.
2. He is not "traditional age" for college. Like many Shimerians, he is not somewhere between 18 and 23. In his case, he is older. He would thus contribute to the wonderful intergenerational learning that is Shimer
3. Harry is curious and wants to learn more and more. This is clear in the ways he engages in various experiments in his sub-sub basement. He also believes in dialogue (with a variety of sorts of entities) and knows that dialogue may require action. And, he values collaboration.
5. Harry is interested in teaching as well as learning, having taken on an apprentice. His teaching methods are a worth reflection, given they are right there at the cusp of kind, inclusive and wildly rigorous.
6. Harry has a sense of humor and has moments of being very very kind. (He shovels his neighbors walks, for example.)
7. Harry gets Windy City weather. And, he lives in a basement apartment given his economic situation. So: he really gets Chicago weather. And, he sprinkles various Chicago insider humor across his worlds.
So: Harry should go to Shimer, where wizards are welcome. Right?
(Post script: Jim Butcher will be signing books at the Barnes and Noble in Skokie on October 1. Click here for information. And yes, Butcher went to the University of Oklahoma.)