28 March 2012

spirituality and education

I am taking another graduate class this spring, for a variety of reasons.  I seem to have spent so much of my life in a classroom that it's more comfortable to me than lots of other places.  I have this last degree still hanging out there and although I have plenty of coursework completed, I haven't quite finished the required "book report", so I'm keeping my grad status active with this course.

The class is spirituality and education. (I'll explain the photos a little later on, enjoy them as I ramble).  I chose this class partly because I've taken just about everything else offered in the program and partly because I could use a little spiritual intervention to break up my work days right about now.  My job has been transitioning, due to changes in need at work and changes in society behaviors.  OK, admittedly that's vague, but trust me when I say you'll sleep better not having the details.  I used to get to help people directly, but now my role is more removed, analytical and on-demand.

So I signed up for this 3 hour break in my week.  I had a pretty good idea about the instructor without ever meeting him.  Again, lots of time in the classroom, so when he ordered a book that was old enough to not come in e-format and there was no syllabus in my e-mail the week before the session started, I knew we were going to be flee flowing a little more than past coursework.  I was right.  He was the quintessential theology/education professor from his plaid button-down shirt and khakis all the way to his sandals.  With enough enthusiasm to last more than the 3 hour time block allowed.

Guest Heart Thursday photo
The professor emphasized that this was a class about spirituality, learning and our stories.  Which is what made the absence of the introduction exercise so interesting to me.  Usually we go around the room, give a little background about ourselves, explain why we chose to be there, etc.  Nope, none of that this time.  We did spend a little time in small groups (uugghh) talking about a couple personal history points, but nothing too detailed.  I'm even more curious now at how "our stories" are going to evolve.

Say hello to my little friend!
So this brings us to the floral display.  About 2 hours in, the professor decided that because it was the perfect spring day in the midwest, and that we could never count on when the next one would be coming, we should appreciate it for what it is.  That is, be in the moment as it presents itself today.  So, the class hopped a bus and headed to the other side of campus to visit the gardens.  The only instructions were to be alone (not chat with each other, which was harder for some) and be in the moment.  I'm pretty sure the earlier lecture about not using your phone during class was supposed to apply here as well.  However, for me, focusing on the new blooms, fresh baby leaves and little critters to be found with my camera IS the way I am in the moment.  So I just went with it and took these shots as I wondered through the garden that is about 1 block in length.

I am optimistic that I will find some new meaning and lessons through this adventure.  I'll probably be sharing more along the way. Maybe we'll even get more opportunities to enjoy spring's gifts!



TexWisGirl said...

i certainly like this instructor's thinking - to be by yourself, in nature, soaking in the beauty. but i'd be curious how it'll develop, too. :)

Linda said...

Absolutely gorgeous blooms - talk about making the best of the moment! It will be interesting to find out how the class progresses. And, that 2nd bloom looks a lot like the Spicebush...I love that flower - both the look and smell of it! Great job!

Inger-M said...

The flowers are so beautiful, and I love the leaf heart! Your class sounds very interesting, how wonderful to start with practicing mindfulness :-)

mountain mama said...

Sounds like the perfect break in the week!

Laura said...

your class sounds interesting! What degree are you going for? I hope you share more about the class and your story and what you're learning :).

Clytie said...

What beautiful blossoms ... and the leaf heart is perfectly precious!

Your class does indeed sound interesting - a lot of work that you actually enjoy doing ... hmmmmm that sounds like my kind of class!

Brianne said...

Gorgeous photos, especially the one that's heart-shaped! Your class sounds so interesting. I'd love to take a class like that!