Some of you already saw this picture on Facebook. I posted it with the caption below.
Owen, age 5 and 3/4, as he likes to say, has lost two baby teeth already and has three wiggly incisors getting ready for the tooth fairy.
He’s in kindergarten, where, these days, children learn the connection between letters and sounds.
So, he can sound out lots of words and recognizes many more from sight.
No one is coaxing him. He just enjoys the thrill of discovery.
Like millions of other children over the last century, Owen (and Julia too, at age 4) enjoys “reading” the colorful comic pages.
They are learning with the help of teachers and parents.
They have four grandparents, and all of us are providing lap learning.
As a lifelong learner and teacher, I am fascinated by the connection between youth and age.
I first wrote about this when serving as Owen’s “granny nanny.”
On Sunday, Stuart and I said good-bye to Owen and Julia after a delightful 5-day sleepover at our house.
Next week, I will be teaching a class at Eastern Mennonite University, my alma mater, located one mile away.
The comic pages from last Sunday and the draft syllabus for next week are co-mingling in front of me.
The topic for the class?
Honrs 401A Honors Worldview Seminar
This class is a capstone class required of students in the honors program. It is the “bookend” course that most students take in their senior year and picks up on the question they first encountered in their first year:
“Why do you believe what you believe?”
In the class I teach, the focus will be on vocation.
“What is your calling and how will you take it into a rapidly changing world?”
If you’ve been following the theme of Jubilación here, you know that I’m excited about the idea that vocation is seeded at birth and continues past jobs and careers into the elder stages of life.
I’m hoping that my bright, accomplished honors students will be or become as excited about this idea as I am.
I am holding them prayerfully in my thoughts as I design the syllabus, carefully placing structure around our time but also leaving space for students to bring their most important questions into the class.
The threshold they are about to cross out of college into the larger world comes during a turbulent time.
All the more reason to feel confident about a purpose larger than self.
Beyond this class, I look forward to again becoming a “grannynanny” starting next fall.
This time Stuart and I will live in Pittsburgh, close to Kate and Nik and a little one expected in June.
I feel very blessed to continue following my vocation to teach and to learn. And to continue to do both at the same time all my life!
I learned from 4- and 5-year-olds last week.
Next week I’ll be meeting my 22-year-old teachers and I’ll be sharing the books, blogs, talks, films, etc. that I’ve been reading in the last two years on the subject of vocation. What could be better?
What are you learning and loving and looking forward to in this new year?