Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 61, Summit Semester

Bauman returned! We gave him a standing O as he entered class tonight. Williams and Moreland were great, but it’s so much fun to have Bauman back. In typical Bauman fashion, he trashed both Williams and Moreland, both good friends of his, implying if not outright stating we shouldn’t trust what we learned while he was gone. Seriously, where else in the world do you get the quality of profs we get in three months? It’s amazing!

Bauman told the story of a scientist who wanted to be an entomologist – someone who studies insects. His prof gave him a specimen to study – a fish. For his first week, his only assignment was to stare at the fish – learn and observe everything he could about it using only his eyes, hands, and pencil and paper. He thought he knew everything there was to know about the fish within the first hour, but as the prof kept coming back and asking him what else he learned, he realized he wasn’t really seeing the fish. So over the course of that week, thinking about it in the lab and at night, and being quizzed by the prof, he learned how to really see and observe.

Bauman’s point? Keep staring at the fish! “I won’t always be here to answer your questions – that’s not real learning anyway. Stare at the fish! Think about it, figure it out yourself! Learn. And keep staring at the fish from every possible angle.”

If there’s one thing we’re learning at Semester, it’s that learning is a lifetime process. Our questions can’t be answered in a Semester, we can only realize how deep the questions really go and how little we actually know – about ourselves, the world, God, knowledge. There is infinitely more to learn, and while we’ll never get to the point where we know it all, learning and thinking well should be a part of every day for the rest of our lives.

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