Friday, September 25, 2009

Booked Solid

Well I'm a bit late in getting this blog out. Why? because after fifteen years of research and two years of writing (in spurts) I'm finally finished my book on feminine images of God used by saints of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The book is pretty hefty because its so comprehensive canvassing writers from the first century through the twentieth. The texts were originally written in Syriac, Greek, Armenian, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. It took me quite awhile to translate them all. I just sent the prospectus out to the publisher yesterday and now begins the wait to see if my top pick publisher is interested.

Part of being a professor at Rockhurst University is doing scholarship. Our main focus is on teaching: communicating knowledge and fostering practical learning. Our second focus is on scholarship: advancing knowledge and fostering academic learning. Our third focus is on service: applying knowledge and fostering experiential learning. The whole enterprise is about the transformative and life-creating power of knowledge and wisdom. All three feed into one another and sustain one another. This Liberal Arts approach empowers a person to become a well-rounded and well-balanced person.

Well the buzzer went off this morning and woke me up. In the dream I was having at the moment, I was looking at myself laying in bed, DREAMING about getting more sleep. I think my body and psyche is telling me something! I'm looking forward to a nice long sleep in this Saturday morning, that's if our six year old daughter doesn't wake me/us up early.

Check out our Liberal Arts program at the Rock.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Test, Testing, Tested, but not Teased

My students probably don't realize this, but I get nervous about the first test as well. Why? because I want them to do well and I wonder if I did a good enough job when prepping them for it. I try to make things as clear and up front as possible. They even have all six essay questions right up front. Don't panic, I only pick two essays out of the six, but they never know which two I'll pick. Then there's multiple choice; I try not to have any trick or misleading questions. I even try to throw in funny and ridiculous answers to help break their tension, all the time holding them to high standards.

But tests can be stressful for some people. That's why I break down all the semester's information into four tests, all bearing equal weight with no comprehensive final. In case, somebody doesn't do well on one test, they have three other opportunities. (Today and tomorrow all four of my classes have their first test.)

Rockhurst also has a Learning Center with great staff: students and hired professionals, who can help you improve your study habits and prep for tests. We also have a Counseling Center for stress management and that has ways to diagnose if you have some challenges that require a doctor's help whether with appropriate medication for anxiety or hyperactivity, or the need for extended test time in a quiet environment.

Bottom line, at Rockhurst University we're all here to help you do the best that you can do. We set high, yet attainable, goals and "push you" to achieve those goals, to learn new skills, and hone ones you already have.

Basically all of life is a test. How will you respond in this situation? How will you solve this problem? How will you innovate and improve on that?

Check us out, as well as our Learning and Counseling Centers.