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Students walking in front of Student Union

Personal Perspective - March 2005

Earl Madary

"Nature provides us with brilliant and profoundly challenged students. We who teach are given a sacred privilege. We are paid to invite students into an encounter with subjects, ideas, and disciplines that we ourselves love. The gift of our work is not that every student comes ready to learn or to "know" but that we are part of their journey into the world of ideas. Through scholarship, discipline, creativity, and critical thinking, we engage in ideas and practices that call forth and bring about a transformation of this world into a place filled with mercy, healing, beauty, and goodness. The existential truths are not bricks in the ivory tower but the foundations of the human community. We work for a world where idealism is not naive but the standard to which we aspire. Our students invite us into a covenant if you will. They will come, work, struggle, fail, and transcend all expectations. We are challenged to do the same with them, always."

"I believe students that I teach and learn with far exceed my expectations. Sometimes in the discipline I teach, the subject matter will open something deep, long buried, and even forgotten within individual. Miraculously, some choose to love when they have every reason to hate, they choose to forgive, when holding anger would seem appropriate; they choose even to hope when their lives might lead them to despair. The depth, rigor, and the synthesis of spirit, theory, scholarship, and praxis that many of the students display continue to humble and inspire me."

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