Tree of Knowledge–Spirit of Wisdom

Tree of Knowledge–Spirit of Wisdom

I have always been curious. I love going to museums, libraries, and historical sites. Hours spent in conversation, sharing ideas, testing concepts, and delighting in growing just a bit more in the company of a friend – these are treasures in my life.
As I move through the years, I find that my interests in one topic lead me to others. It is like watching a tree grow. The roots and branches spread out as the initial seed of curiosity grows deeper and higher.

When I was younger, I used to fear that I was unfocused; that my curiosity drove me forward to grow my base of knowledge with cancerous design. Was my curiosity disordered and a waste of time and energy? Was I merely following after phantoms that would prove to have no substance? Did my mind lack discipline – chasing after leaves like a child at play? When was I too old to run hither and thither?  Continue reading

In-Class Discussions and Those Who Are Not Quick to Speak

In-Class Discussions and Those Who Are Not Quick to Speak

He sat there and never added a word to the conversation. From semester to semester his professors asked him, encouraged him, and even begged him to participate. He was a graduate student. Seminars were about sharing ideas with each other.

He, in turn, was frustrated. He was taking things in, thinking, forming his own thoughts, having insights. But, by the time he was ready to say something, the conversation was already on another subject. Often, two or more subjects had come and gone. His thoughts were ‘old news.’

It didn’t help that he was also shy; almost to the point of feeling mortified by the prospect of jumping into a ‘real-time’ discussion of ideas. Some of the students were confident and did not worry about venturing ideas before even they knew what they meant. Some people, he realized, think out loud (and sometimes not even very well!).

That ‘he,’ of course was me as a student. Continue reading