New club walks through Cleveland

The Case Peripatetic Group (CPG) took its inaugural walk on Saturday, March 24 with a mission to get members to observe and learn about their surrounding areas. The club is based on the idea of learning while moving, and hopes to inspire students to go outside the confines of University Circle.

“[The CPG] is an intriguing idea; it’s something that you don’t think that you don’t do,” second-year Kareem Agag said. “We walk a lot as college students, but when I’m walking, I’m always like, [looking at my phone].”

CPG’s walks are spontaneous affairs, according to CPG Director second-year Kevin Lü. The group embarks on their walks with a basic idea of where they will explore, but the details are not fleshed out.

“Peripatetic, by definition, means working while traveling from place to place,” Lü said. “It came from Aristotle’s school of philosophy.”

Their first walk featured Weatherhead School of Management professor James Gilmore, who led the group. Gilmore, the author of LOOK, a book about improving one’s observational skills, led the group down a relatively straightforward route. CPG walked down Euclid Avenue past the Cleveland Clinic, then Cedar Avenue, through the Fairfax neighborhood and then back to campus.

On the walk, Gilmore seemed disappointed by the “blandness” of the modern Cleveland Clinic buildings he saw along the walk. Gilmore commented that the modern glass buildings, which he referred to as “vanilla nothingness,” lacked character compared to older stone buildings.

“What people value is a reflection of self,” Gilmore said. “When consumers buy something, they say ‘I like that, I am like that.’ I think the buildings we build and the things we buy are a reflection of who we are. It says a lot about us that we want vanilla nothingness.”

Gilmore’s outgoing nature contributed to the most memorable moments of the walk. He led the group into the large PNC Fairfax Connection, a community resource center that provides free early childhood education, computer skills and recording classes.

Another memorable moment featured Gilmore leading the group inside the historic Antioch Baptist Church. The church was established as an institution in 1890, famous for its social outreach programs.

The church was closed that Saturday, so Gilmore asked a security guard if the group could enter the space. The guard allowed CPG to explore the empty church. Directly overhead, pristine historic woodwork lined the roof while beautiful stained glass illuminated the room with natural light.

“I always forget what you can learn just by asking,” CPG Director of Publicity Kirsten Taylor said after walking through the church.

Several students said they would not have done the walk by themselves, but felt comfortable exploring in a group setting. Others appreciated the simple break from the stress of schoolwork.

“It feels like I’m reclaiming my fascination with things outside of law school,” second-year law student Nick Klein said.

CPG will feature between three and four guest walkers a semester, according to Lü. The guests will either be professors, such as Gilmore, or leaders from the community. CPG is planning other activities such as themed walks, random excursions and volunteer activities with local charities.

Lü said, “At the end of the day, we want to provide a platform for students to achieve their intellectual pursuits in a manner that’s more spontaneous and open-minded.”