Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2012

just teaching

This afternoon, I attended a Q & A session for graduates interested or involved in teaching university courses.  It featured a panel of 5 award-winning professors who taught everything from mechanical engineering to marketing.  Aside from a few questions from the floor which sounded more like lectures than queries (grad students can get long-winded and off topic...who knew?), it was an informative session.  The professors had a lot of common sense to offer as well as valuable experiences and numerous examples.  Near the end, I finally asserted myself and asked a question about special situations that arise with students:  when should one be firm and when is it right to show leniency? You know, the old mercy versus justice issue.

As I get to know my students, I recognize potential and abilities in all of them.  I want them all to do well.  But some of them neglect to hand in assignments, miss important classes, or have excuses for late or shoddy work.  I want to give them another …

shhhhhh

Dean is away on a business trip. This time, I am feeling his absence more than usual.  Perhaps because I am not slammed with work like I was last year - I actually have some time to re-create.  The only problem is that there is no one to party with, except the cat.  Last night, I finished my reading by 8 pm and turned on the television.  American Idol was on.  Not having followed it ever, really, I decided to give it a watch.  Hmmm.  Having spent the day reading about the incredible, multi-dimensional, surprising, invitational drama in which God lavishes his love on creation, it seemed trite and inconsequential.  The popcorn was good, though.

Another reason that I feel the solitude weighing on me this week is because I have neglected to nurture it lately.  I recently watched The Big Silence, a BBC series about a Dominican father who asks 5 people to embrace silence in their lives and see what effect it has.  One of the challenges these busy, 21st century multi-taskers have to face is…

oh good

Last week, I was reading some lectures given by Bernard Lonergan in 1959 and quite enjoying them. It was like taking a nice, leisurely walk.  One of the reasons it reminded me of a pleasant saunter in the forest on a spring day was because it gave me a break from reading Ricoeur.  Monsieur Ricoeur's brilliant philosophical mind likes to dive into craterous valleys and leap atop spiky mountains while balancing plates on his head.  At least that's what it feels like to simple, old me.

Anyway, I was enjoying my walk in the park with Lonergan as he discussed the subject of human good when I came upon the following paragraphs.  Abruptly, the walk in the park ended as a huge crevice opened up before me regarding the concept of "good."  Here is the quote:

"...the good is not apart from evil in this life.  In his Enchiridion (Handbook), St Augustine made perhaps one of the most profound remarks in all his writings, and for that matter in the whole of theology, when he …

humility (oh yeah)

In the process of teaching a course on Christian Spirituality, I came across some writings on humility from Jeremy Taylor, 17th century writer and cleric in the Church of England.  This happened to be in the Social Justice section of the textbook and it made me ask: what does humility have to do with social justice?  Turns out that the two have quite a lot to say to each other.

First, let me offer a few definitions of humility.  A contemporary dictionary provides us with these helpful descriptions:  not proud or arrogant, modest, having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.; low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly, courteously respectful; low in height or level, small in size.  The Old Testament word for humility contains these ideas:  to be depressed in mind or circumstance, afflicted, humble, needy, poor, looking down, to prostrate, to submit, sink, abase, be low, to bend the knee.  In case you weren't feeling quite enough lowliness, here is…

enforced holy-days

We went on a holiday at the end of February, spending a week in Indian Wells, California.  It was a warm, welcome break for both of us, but especially for me.  For the first time in awhile, I really unplugged from my responsibilities at church and school (and blogging).  Part of this unplugging was possible because I worked ahead and completed all my reading, assignments, and tasks.  The other reason that I was able to let go much of what I usually try to stay on top of was because I was sick for the first 3 days.  Yep.  Not throwing-up-everything-I-eat sick (thank goodness), but fever-and-cough-and-sinus-infection-no-energy sick.  I learned that sitting upright on a plane to LA can be a bit of a stretch for a feverish person, so I flopped down sideways on the empty seat beside me instead of reading a book like I had planned.  The fresh air and sun revived me a bit when we landed, and the 2 hour drive into the desert was bright and beautiful, filled with many amazing sights.  But whe…