Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've learned many wonderful things from my students' blogs these past semesters and especially in the classes where I fused blogs with my physical classes ...the blogs allowed me to really get to know my students in ways that I would have never been able to through class discussion or through short face-to-face confrontations.

As a professor lecturing, I would catch a glimpse of the student and all of a sudden a particular experience that student had, or a profound thought, or a personal image that student shared would emerge and I started to realize that I was no longer seeing just a face with a name but faces and names that were connected to lifestories and creative ruminations that intrigued and inspired me. Particularly fascinating it was when I had students whose outer composition never revealed how incredibly profound, perceptive and interesting they were inside...How great would it be if in our everyday encounters we didn't just access/judge/see people through their outer compositions but instead saw in each face individuals with lifestories...

I flew in to Chicago from SFO yesterday. What started out as a 4 hr flight became a 9 hr flight with my 2 1/2 year old (who actually did remarkably) ...but since my husband didn't travel with me I had to cart around a car seat , a cart with 2 luggages and a stroller. Looking completely inadequate, this student leader asked me if I needed help and had his "student ambassadors" help me. Apparently, after talking with them, I found out that this was a program instituted by Eisenhower to send highschool students to different countries all over the world to get to know each other and other countries ...His belief was that ordinary citizens of different nations, if able to communicate with one another, would put their differences aside and live in peace. And he believed that the important step was to see the other as another human being with the similar needs, similar emotions, similar fears, and similar desires. But to do that meant really getting to know them...faces with lifestories...

My conversation with them was enlightening and the blogs I have seen online have also been enlightening. Both experiences reassured me that if these students (my students and the student ambassadors) are any representation of our future , we'll really be okay.

And as a mom with a 2 1/2 year old, I need to know that.

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