I have a midterm test coming up this week. Just one. However, we just received the study guide for the test, and I found myself protesting some of the material much like some of my own students in the past. Sigh, among the list of terms and ideas, there were a fair few that were not discussed in class. Thank goodness, I took outline notes of chapters as I read through them the first time...geeky, yes I know, but have I ever denied it? Ideas discussed during side-bars or inspired by random student questions, but in no way associate to the reading, were also included in the study guide.
My response, I'm not proud of it, was more than a wee bit whiney. I've read the texts and tried to understand the theology language behind the writing. And I admit, when I saw topics not part of the syllabus on the midterm study guide, I felt a bit cheated. This doesn't reflect a good side of me, so I'm trying to meditate a bit on how I might learn from those side-bar discussions and see the bigger picture.
Learning comes from what I anticipated and what I did not expect. I should listen to the wisdom that comes from those off the topic discussions in class, the students questions and answers can show me new ideas and points of view. So...I should not let this disturb me; in the long run, it is my choice whether to learn or be grumpy.
A Prayer from Teresa of Avila
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
For all things pass save God who does not change.
Be patient, and at the last you will find all fulfillment.
Hold God, and nothing will fail you.
For God alone is all.