Right after I had read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead I signed up for a Philosophy class. I think I required one as an elective for one of my majors; I was a double major at the time International Business and French. That semester, there were only two classes available to choose: Critical Thinking and Logic.
Both classes appealed to me so I decided to meet the professors to help me determine which class was best suited for me. I remember meeting with the professsor who taught Logic. When I brought up my interest in Ayn Rand he spent the better part of our meeting attacking her. Not her philosophy, mind you, but her. Then I met the instructor, Dr. Fair, who taught the Critical Thinking class. I immediately liked him. He didn't embrace her philosophy but he was honest about his position.
I did very well in his class. My mind was open and eager to learn so I went head on into every challenge he threw my way.
We had to write a lot of essays in his class and I remember a notation he made on one of my essays. I don't remember the subject of my essay but I do remember that I was very much inspired by and enamoured with Ayn Rand at the time. It would suffice to say that I probably very much was an Ayn Rand wannabe. So in red ink, I believe it was red, he wrote the question on my esssay "are these your thoughts or Ayn Rand's?". Obviously they were my words but the question really made me think about my own process for critical thinking.
David Kelley is one of the first people that Leonard Piekoff chased out of the ARI. Last night, I came across an article that I believe is one written by him where he discusses the cult following of people who believe that in order to be a true Objectivist they have to see objectivism just it is seen by Ayn Rand; such person, I believe, Kelley termed as a Randite. I think that is interesting because I never wanted to embrace Objectivism that way. I wanted Objectivisim to be a tool for me. So then later in this article, Kelley goes on to say that Objectivism is a tool one uses to get through one's life.
I'm coming across a lot of good people who left the ARI in order to openly speak and teach this Philosophy. I applaud their bravery and dedication.
Most importantly, on a very personal note, I am eternally grateful to Dr. Fair for catching my error in reason and calling me on it. That event is something on which I often reflect and for which have grown thankful over the years.