Of squirrels and scholars

Squirrel1This little guy (or girl) is a bandit who steals from the birds. Or, you could consider him a user, who only comes to visit when he needs something. You could think of him as an opportunist, who keeps his eyes open for things that can be turned to his advantage.

Squirrel21On the other hand, he could be called an analyst who loves to solve puzzles, or an athlete who excels in obstacle courses.

The bottom line, of course, is that he’s hungry, and he’ll go to any lengths to find food.

I wonder how many of the students who file into classrooms this week are as hungry for knowledge? Most students see school as a requirement, I suspect, something that has to be endured. Others see it as an adventure, hoping to have fun while picking up some learning along the way. Some see it as a conquest or contest, with the goal being to get as many A’s as possible. Teachers learn to appreciate and work with all of these students and seek to impart the skills needed for analyzing and utilizing whatever information they gain.

When my son moved into his new dorm room, the first order of business was unpacking the computer.

When my son moved into his new dorm room, the first order of business was unpacking the computer.

And then there are the teacher’s delights: the students who love to learn, who are hungry for learning, and who will go to any lengths — including hours in the library and deep conversations after class — to expand their minds. They may want to know how the universe works, what makes the body tick, or how childhood scripts play out in our emotional health. They may want to understand ancient history, Renaissance art, or French literature. They may get excited about computer coding, bio-engineering, or environmentally friendly architecture.

Potential fields of study are as broad as the world itself — and beyond this world. As another semester cranks up, may all of our scholars discover their hunger for learning and growing and finding ways to make this world a better place.

Lord knows we could use a big dose of that.

 

Tony Cartledge

About Tony Cartledge

Tony W. Cartledge is contributing editor of Baptists Today, in addition to teaching Old Testament studies and various ministry courses at Campbell University Divinity School. He formerly served as editor of the Biblical Recorder, newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and as a pastor for 26 years. Tony is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southeastern Seminary and Duke University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is the author of several books including the Smyth & Helwys commentary on First and Second Samuel and Telling Stories: Tall Tales and Deep Truths.

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