Sunday, January 03, 2010

Odds & Ends

  • Gray skies, but it's stopped raining and the temperature has warmed up to 53-degrees. (That's an answer to prayer for all the students driving back to Walla Walla today!)
  • It never fails that, each and every Sunday morning, I feel like quitting the ministry and getting a job bagging groceries at Safeway. Fortunately, the feeling passes . . . which is just another reason why I try not to make any big decisions on a weekend.
  •  There's good news and bad news in Barbara Stauch's article in The New York Times on "How to Train the Aging Brain." On the one hand, we're not as good as we used to be when it comes to remembering details. Then again, we get better at detecting the Big Picture.
  • And I'll close with this quote from Stauch's article -- one that strikes me as offering some very good advice to preachers:
Jack Mezirow, a professor emeritus at Columbia Teachers College, has proposed that adults learn best if presented with what he calls a “disorienting dilemma,” or something that “helps you critically reflect on the assumptions you’ve acquired.”

Dr. Mezirow developed this concept 30 years ago after he studied women who had gone back to school. The women took this bold step only after having many conversations that helped them “challenge their own ingrained perceptions of that time when women could not do what men could do.”

Such new discovery, Dr. Mezirow says, is the “essential thing in adult learning.”

“As adults we have all those brain pathways built up, and we need to look at our insights critically,” he says. “This is the best way for adults to learn. And if we do it, we can remain sharp.”
Preaching as a "disorienting dilemma" -- I like that!

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