I teach, therefore I make people suffer.
This sad reality troubles me, from time to time, because, really — shouldn’t learning be FUN?!
No. Not necessarily. Herein lies the problem, I suppose. Learning MIGHT be fun. But it should always be good. Alas! ‘Good’ sometimes brings discomfort. After all, challenge genrally presupposes a bit of failure along the way. Figuring out the mis-steps, correcting the errors, struggling through the process, clarifying the confusion. And that’s just in kindergarten.
The thing that baffles me is this: Each of us has experienced profound joy in learning. The incessant ‘why?’ of our early childhoods, and the love of story-telling, and the exclamations of amazement over discovered bits in the backyard mud puddles, in the multiplication tables and in the starry skies.
What is it that sounds the death knell to joy in learning? What makes us whine, “I have to read a chapter in my history book for school!” as though it were akin to pulling our fingernails out with a pliers?
While some learning demands a drill and repeat approach, other learning deserves inquisitive minds and ever more ‘why’s. What are the implications of radical ideas? Which word best conveys the meaning I intend? Why do we hope for ‘happily ever after’? Why does each language have a unique (though sometimes similar) grammatical structure? Who invented language? What significance, the Word, making dwelling among us?
I learn, therefore I suffer. And rejoice. And learn, by grace, to love learning.
I teach therefore.