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Teaching to the Eyes

May 5, 2018

A powerful reflection!

Jake Owensby

“I teach to their eyes,” my friend Tom once told me.

Middle aged with thinning, slicked back hair, Tom wore grey Hush Puppies and favored polyester pants. The black, rimless frames of his eyeglasses were vintage 1950’s.

His syllabus assigned a burdensome reading load. His exam questions required detailed, comprehensive answers.

And students thronged to his philosophy classes.

Tom’s lectures combined clarity, warmth, and wit. Undergraduates sensed that he liked them and cared about them as human beings. I suppose his approachability is one reason why so many of them lingered to talk with him after class. But I believe that they were drawn to him by something deeper.

Tom is a philosopher. He is more than an expert in that particular academic discipline. He inhabits a philosophical soul. The Greek words at the root of “philosophy” mean love of wisdom. Tom seeks a deeper encounter with the holy, with…

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