Hi, and welcome! I'm Howie Howard, and I recently accepted an invitation to blog here. I'm a member of St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Kansas City, Missouri, veteran of the CrossWalk America blog, musician, cook, Student Advisor for a two-year college, and I continue to be surprised to find myself on a journey of faith, perhaps like many of you.
That's probably enough background; my hope is that we'll get to know each other better through the mini- study-and-reflection process I plan to bring to the blog. I have more questions than points to make, so generally I'll post a link with some quotes, and prompt you with a series of questions that you might use to comment on, for your own journaling elsewhere, or for something else entirely. Away we go!http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions_of_a_community_college_dean/to_the_girl
"A few years from now, you'll be mortified to be seen with us in public. But yesterday you gave us both big hugs without hesitation, and even consented to having your picture taken in your new back-to-school outfit.
"We've worked hard to give you a world that makes sense. You're going to start to see that some of the world doesn't make sense. Some kids will be mean just to be mean. Sometimes you'll have to do things that don't make sense, just because someone else thinks they do. Sometimes bad things happen, even when you're being good. It's a hard lesson, but you're a strong girl. You'll get through it. We'll help as we can. And maybe, if we're really lucky, you'll never stop being a little bit shocked at some of the meanness you'll see. You'll carry with you the emotional memory of living in a world that makes sense, and use your incredible strength to recreate that for others."
I read InsideHigherEd.com almost daily for industry knowledge and fun, and the Dean's "Confessions..." blog is a regular highlight on both fronts. The second paragraph quoted above, from the larger post, stood out to me at a whole new level. For conversation and reflection:
- The Dean implies the world may not make sense, unless we receive a gift of sense-making. How do you see the world in terms of sense? What gifts have you received that helped you understand our world? What gifts have you lacked?
- What does the phrase "makes sense" mean for you?
- How has your family (or friends, or community) shaped your view of the world in terms of sense? What parts of their worldview have you internalized subconsciously? Affirmed consciously? Rejected?
- Do you know anyone who has never stopped "being a little bit shocked at some of the meanness" in the world? How does it feel to be with them? Why do you think they're that way?
- I love the idea of carrying "the emotional memory of living in a world that makes sense." Do you carry a similar memory? If you've taken care of children, is this an experience you think is important to provide? How do you think the experience of living in a world that makes sense in early childhood would affect the person as s/he grows up?
- What are the implications of your responses for the life of a local church?