An Open Letter Of Thanks To My Colleague

Last night I had the honor of attending the lecture of Mary Catherine Bateson, a lovely event orchestrated by Dr. Jenny Sasser. Students, alumni, community guests, faculty, and staff filled Flavia Salon to hear Bateson speak about her experiences and perspectives, her books, and her ideas about the importance of engaging and supporting elders in our society.  Oh – and an organization she founded,

Bateson’s ideas truly resonated with Marylhurst’s mission of providing access to learning for adults (as she herself pointed out – in fact, she had studied us!). Though I hate to just provide sound-bites and take such lovely ideas out of the significant contexts in which they were presented, she did say some really neat things, including:

  • “Experience is the best teacher – but only if you do your homework.”
  • “We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn.”
  • “I’m still me. I’m the person I’ve been becoming my whole life.”

I was reminded once again about the very special work we get to do each day here, together, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you, thank you, Jenny, for your work in bringing her here – I am grateful for the gift, and I hope she can come back soon!

PS, Readers: For a good sense of Bateson’s work and what we experienced last night with her, check out some posts from her blog, such as Learning to teach, Teaching to learn


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