Learning to Struggle
Frank Shushok, Jr.
“The old adage ‘where you stumble and fall, there you will find pure gold’ seems true to me these days. If you’re like me, you have some rough patches. I wish it had not taken me decades to understand that our pain, our struggles, our mistakes, and our insecurities are mine shafts where pure gold resides. This priceless, raw material—available nowhere else in life—is the material of one’s real potential and the source of dazzling hope that others desperately need to see...”
Parker Palmer & Frank Shushok, Jr.
In The Courage to Teach, Parker J. Palmer encourages educators to show up as who we really are. He is an apt role model for doing so in this inspiring interview. In the process of reviewing his extensive career, Palmer discusses his experiences with clinical depression—the darkness and the gifts that emerged from that darkness. He suggests we redeﬁne what it means to be effective in judging ourselves on our faithfulness to using our gifts to serve the world’s needs. And in order to support our students in doing the same, he recommends including the human element in our classes, especially when it seems most distant. Palmer describes his own path as something he “couldn’t not do,” and suggests that we all ﬁnd and encourage our students to ﬁnd what they “can’t not do.”
Challenging Students to Become Reasonable Adventurers
Michael J. Stebleton
Stebleton analyzes student learn-ing and the “reasonable adven-turer” concept through a recent cross-disciplinary student abroad program he led in Denmark and Norway. He intentionally built in experiences that would challenge his students out of their comfort zones.
Dana M. Malone
When Dana M. Malone had her first child, she knew she wanted to be his primary caregiver. She did not know how challenging the transition from full-time academic professional to part-time, work-from-home parent would be. Malone uses her personal experience of trading work suits for yoga pants as a starting point forexploring the reality of choosing an alternate professional path in today’s institutions of higher ed.
Views from Campus
Zachary Hoopes, a Finance and Management undergraduate at Virginia Tech, spent last summer in the silence of an Italian monastery working alongside the monks and deciding whether to join them in a life of commitment.Though he decided not to stay permanently, the experience changed him deeply.