Friday, January 12, 2007
"Turn over your syllabus. I want you to write down three words that describe how you feel at this very second."
We read the course objectives, a twelve point list of what the student will learn throughout the semester. Point one was followed up in more detail. More big words, adjectives, and syllables were spit out then the word of the day toilet paper company has printed. After about forty five seconds of described theories and polish scientist name dropping I wasn't quite sure what point we were on. As my hand slowly made its way up the teacher looked up from his notes and declared, "And that's just number one." He then moved on, adding unpronounceable words to the end of every point. When he finished he took a breath and said, "Now I want you to write three more feeling words that describe your current state of existence at this very second."
After reading a few of them out loud he joked about how the moods had changed and then he implored us to "pay very close attention to these next ten minutes because they are the most important ten minutes of the entire year."
"How much you know has very little to do with how much people learn from you."
"It is easy to impress people, but it is hard to help them grow."
"It's not what we know it's how we convey what we know."
He then apologized for our previous education and how it has failed us. After his ten minute lecture we jumped back into the syllabus to discuss homework and assignments. He then told us how we are to take notes. We will make a t-chart on our paper. On one side of the t we will write down what we are talking about. On the other side we will write down what he does. How he teaches. Because he is intentional he wants us to pay close attention to his methods.
And then he hit the caution light.
"This is a dangerous class. This is a dangerous class by intention. I do not want you to attend this class, I want you to experience it. My intention is to change you. My intention is to raise more questions then answers. My intention is to keep you up late at night squirming in your bed. My intention is to fuel more self examination then you are comfortable with. If I have done that then I have not failed you."
He then asked how many of us wanted to go into positions of leadership within a ministry setting. Most hands went up. He smiled and said, "Good. Just remember, most people want to improve, few people want to change."