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edu180atl: thad persons 2.28.2012

While I was interviewing a candidate for a new librarian position, she spoke about a research project that she had worked on with some college students in British Columbia.The topic was “First Nations”–and at that point, I had to admit that I simply had no idea what “First Nations” referred to.

So there I was—looking across the table at a woman who was very interested in being hired to teach at our school—and learning about Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the “native Americans of Canada” as this woman put it. And as she spoke about how she helped students navigate through some of the politically-charged language they would encounter while looking at historical documents, it struck me once again how small my world is, how American-centric the lens is through which I often view the world. Just a moment, a reminder, that will stick with me, about the many commonalities we share as human beings, and about how often I overlook such connections—and how lovely it is when I find them…or, in this case, when they find me.

Thad Persons is jack of lots of trades; master of some. Dean of Faculty, English teacher, proud hubby/daddy, avid waterskier, eager learner.

Photo from wikipedia commons.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Maryellen Berry #

    Thad, I love this post. The older I get, the more connections I see. The differences I once saw fade as the similarities grow. Life experiences deepen, and we all understand the power of birth, death, marriage, joy, and sorrow. The surface no longer holds the power it once did.

    February 29, 2012
  2. Great post, Thad. For such a short piece, this is packed with such insight. I took three key points from this: 1) the importance of language – we too often take for granted the words we use without realizing the impact and deeper meaning they can have and how this meaning will be unique for different cultures and in different times. 2) How we view our worlds through our individual lenses that have been shaped by our families, our cultures, our language, our experiences, and the environments we grow up in, and how important it is for us to realize that others have different lenses than we do. 3) The interconnectedness of the world and our lives within it, a theme that we find in areas as diverse as the physics of quantum mechanics, the biology of ecosystems, global economics, and religious systems from Buddhism to process theology in Christianity.

    February 29, 2012
  3. Thanks, Thad–especially for founding your post on an acknowledgment of not knowing something. The more we can do this, the more we can help students move from there to such lovely moments as you describe.

    March 1, 2012

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