Friday, August 28, 2009

The Human Condition - Part Three

Humans fear growing old.

We see the theme again and again in history, the search for the fountain of youth. It's in movies and books, extreme sports and theme parks. Perhaps we fear death or uselessness, the unknown or the inevitable. Whatever it is, there is a major pull in the human condition to seek that elusive Tree of Life. Is there really a way to stay young forever? I believe there is. But not necessarily physically.

Paul and I were talking the other day about how fearless we are as children. I climbed trees, rode my bike down Suicide Hill, probably ran on the ice. What happened? Suddenly we are painfully aware of the risks of such behavior, and instead of facing risks with boldness, we simply stop. I wonder, is age relative? There are some 80 year olds that seem to embrace life with ease and 30 year olds that are already weighed down with bitterness. It seems that much of our age and ability are in our heads. In how we perceive life itself.

The Lord said we should have the faith of a child. Children can be bluntly honest and kind at the same time, they have few responsibilities but to obey, and they are accepting. With the faith of a child, suddenly eternal life is within our grasp, and though we cannot shirk our adult responsibilities, if we remain pure of heart and motivation, loving, accepting, and believing "as a child," we remain "young at heart" as the song goes, loving every age and stage of life, and "smiling at the future."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

to teach or not to teach

I was thinking today about teaching, a profession I am considering and currently working towards. I have met a man in one of my classes that is going to make a phenomenal teacher. He just knows how to re-word and explain really well. I have realized that I do math too quickly to make a really good teacher and I have trouble thinking of new ways to explain and demonstrate (could it be I have no experience???) So there are times I question my current pursuit. But then I remember 2 things:

The best way to teach is to care about what you teach and care about those whom you teach. I love math. There. I said it. I'm getting more and more excited about it as I go on. I want to share that excitement with others (even if they do think I'm nuts), and I want them to know that their success matters to me. Each and every person I come into contact with is valuable. And everyone needs to be reminded of that, even if only by a crazy math-loving teacher who always seems to act like she's had too much coffee...