of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Comfy chair. Feet up. $5 pizza

“Comfy chair.  Feet up.  $5 pizza.”  What a great way to spend my birthday.

Today was the second day of the semester and I met three classes for the first time.  It was a good day, but I knew that I would leave campus exhausted. I never sleep well the day before classes begin and even though I have been teaching for a while, I am always nervous the first day of class.

My neighbor thought it was sad that I would “have” to spend my birthday alone.  But when I told a colleague( who also met students for the first time today) of my plans, she thought it was a delightful idea.

In one of my classes yesterday, we discussed how we might model our conduct on this semester around Dr. Martin Luther King’s world view.  One student asked how I would answer the question.

I told him that were I in a seminar that I could discuss my teaching in terms of Dr. King.  However, the real answer is that I do not use Dr. King’s legacy as a foundation principle for my approach to teaching.  Instead, I would discuss my approach in terms of the Brahma Viharas:  compassion, sympathetic joy, loving kindness, and equanimity.

While my approach is consistent with Dr. King’s message, I am not trying to be a mini-Dr. King.  Nor and I advocating that students should become mini-Kings.  But, we can learn from Dr. King and can use his words and examples to clarify our own thinking.


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