master’s classes

I'm reading for my master's class starting on Tuesday (it's all about the college student in America, and is in a lot of ways a Student Learning primer), and I read a particular section that I found profound, and I wanted to share it with you:

…learning is seldom without struggle.  In the same way that the exploration of unchartered territory may include surmounting obstacles or even dangers, the learning process may be characterized by strife.  Frustration, confusion, and conflict are inevitable in the learning process… when viewed as a process, learning necessarily involves wrestling and discomfort… On a more positive note, Giroux (1988, p. 128) suggests that this struggle, though difficult at times, is worth enduring because it may result in lives that consider "despair unconvincing and hope practical"…

Later, Guthrie (the author of the chapter, and one of my Higher Ed professors), affirms that learning does not stop at commencement, but continues on throughout life, so in essense the struggle continues as well.  I especially love that last line, thinking that even though the struggle occurs, it enables us as humans, as collegiates, and as youth to look beyond and see (and believe) in the good, the right, and the True.  As a Christian, it needs to be said that this struggle can lead to a perfection of our faith, building one thing upon another.

I have found that I've made it point this year to try to learn things I didn't know much about, and to basically immerse myself in it.  In a lot of ways, it was centered around what could be called more "liberal" politics and philosophies, especially concerning social justice and green issues, and then obviously, not to mention the typical moving through life and making the best of it.  In some ways I've struggled in my discernment of all of these things, but now, as I have time, I see the, indeed, practical hope that I and everyone else needs to have.  It's really, really easy to get bogged down in the muck.  Hope is what keeps us all afloat.

I've also found that the rules of life I have (Gregg and I have worked on them) create a foundation that allows life to just happen (and I can hear him saying those words right now… and I finally get them… haha).  By saying "okay, I'll be sure to pray and read my Bible, and serve other people", everything else just happens.  I control what I know I can, and let everything else be in the realm of God.

I leave you with a CS Lewis poem.  Enjoy.

As the Ruin Falls

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you
I've never had a selfless thought since I was born
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through
I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn

Peace, reassurance, pleasure are the goals I seek
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin
I talk of love, a scholar's parrot may talk greek
but, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin

Only that now you have taught me,
but how late my lack, I see the chasm
and everything you are was making my heart
into a bridge, by which I might get back from
exile and grow man…
and now the bridge is breaking

For this I bless you as the ruin falls
the pains you give me are more precious than
all other gains.


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