I went to a Mechanical Engineering Class last Thursday on the topic of Surface Tension. Let me assure you that quite a few tensions surfaced in this experience!
It was teaching day at my university, and professors were given the opportunity to sit in on mini-lectures from a variety of disciplines. Since my two eldest daughters are in Mechanical Engineering programs, I thought it would be interesting to find out what they find out in their day to day existence. I quickly learned that they inhabit a different world than I – which was part of my purpose in attending this lecture.
It is good to be a student again, especially a student far afield from areas of ease. It is good to be uncomfortable: to have that feeling of your feet coming out from underneath as you are carpet bombed with facts, with ideas, with a way of thinking that is not yet habitual. It is good to be intrigued by a world of possibilities that you have not yet imagined. It is good to learn, complete with all of the joy, worry, and sense of possibility that learning entails.
It all made me think about my own teaching: what do students experience in my class? Are they afraid? Intrigued? Bored? Excited? I suspect they are all of the above at different times. But I am mindful that I don’t only address learners in my classroom, but in my writing too. I wonder: How do readers hear me from the lectern of my letters? I hope to make people hungry with my writing. I want to feed them with a famishment for more because the world we write is a wonder. This is what my favourite authors have furnished for me. All who write and teach do so in an effort to echo what we have experienced in those who inspire us.
Who has inspired and so invited you into the marvel of the novel, the essay, the short story, the poem, the homily, the hymn?