Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 23 - I wonder...

In graduate school I had a wonderful professor, Russ Rodgers, who often had me thinking of the world entirely differently than I had previously.  I am sure that he taught me tons about Higher Education Administration, but what I remember most is what he taught me about life!

One day, at the beginning of class, Professor Rodgers, asked us to clear off our desks.  He then wrote on the black board "I wonder..." and asked us to finish the sentence.

At first there was an awkward silence. 

Thoughts were running through our heads...
This isn't how class is suppose to go. 
Aren't we suppose to be discussing Chickering's Student Development Theory?
Isn't he going to lecture?
What is he doing?
What is the catch?
What am I suppose to say?

Finally, a brave soul cut through the silence and said "I wonder what you want us to say."

He smiled.  And said nothing.

Someone else said, "I wonder why we are doing this."

Another small smile.

Someone else dared "I wonder who put this gum underneath my desk."

Our professor grinned broadly and replied to the entire class, "Yes, and what else do you wonder?"

Slowly, we started to add our wonders...

"I wonder what I will be doing in ten years."
"I wonder what that noise is."
"I wonder how old these desks are."
"I wonder who is on the plane that just flew by."
"I wonder where they are going."
"I wonder how I will do on my test tomorrow."
"I wonder why the blackboard is green."

In that moment, our perspectives changed and we saw our worlds differently.  It was amazing how our brains shifted, from wanting to be taught and told the answers, to being curious and wondering.

And, in that moment, I am not sure I grasped the lesson that our professor was trying to teach us.  But the experience stuck with me, and I often wondered about it.

Then one day I came upon this quote by Socrates,
"Wisdom begins with Wonder." 

And I immediately knew, that was Professor Rodgers lesson that day!

What do you wonder?


  1. Oh I like this Kim! Great lesson!!

    By the way, I have to tell you that I love your illustrations!! They add such an individual characteristic to each post!

    1. Thanks Jen! I thought it was a great lesson too...he was one of the best professors I have ever had!

      And thanks for your kind words about the illustrations. I love drawing - and this is something so new for me - so your kind feedback is encouraging me to keep on drawing! :)