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The Learning Table

Response and how every featured story uniquely approached the “At the Table” theme on the cover. It was difficult to pick a favorite article from so many thought-provoking pieces, but as a professional in higher education (and graduate of SPU’s School of Education program) I was especially drawn to the “Smart Tables” article that showcased the use of active learning classrooms on the SPU campus.

With an ever-increasing diversity among student populations and greater accessibility to higher education than ever before, the “traditional college student” label is becoming more difficult to define. Accordingly, traditional teaching methods that were originally implemented with the needs of a specific, exclusive student population must also evolve to reflect the modern pupil.

I felt both a sense of joy and pride when I read that my alma mater was choosing to challenge the norms of the standard lecture style that is typical in higher education.

Linnea Post Todd ’09
Ellensberg, Washington

In Search of Unity

Thank you for the article “A Quest for Common Ground” [Spring 2013]. I really enjoyed reading it. The name of the Moroccan student who hosted SPU students in the article, “Meryeme,” means “Mary” in Arabic. Muslims give Mary’s and Jesus’ names to their daughters and sons. As specified in the article, there is more common ground than differences. These kinds of articles increase my hope for a better future for all of us.

Aziz Kurt MS’06
Redmond, Washington

I just had to respond to the article titled “Take This Rice Cracker” [Spring 2013]. My teenage son and I eat a gluten-, corn-, dairy-, and sugar-free diet, and we can’t take communion. Then we changed churches, and yeah! They have two baskets; one has regular crackers and the other is labeled gluten-free. The baskets are next to each other, so nobody knows who eats gluten-free. This has been a huge blessing — to be able to have communion with everyone else. Communion should bring us together, not divide us.

Sharon Hasegawa
Agoura Hills, California

Experiencing “Ekko”

On a recent trip to Scotland, I saw the installation known as “Ekko,” [back cover, Spring 2013]. It really is a profound experience to walk around, touch, lean against, and sit inside “Ekko.” And the sheer volume of history held in that one structure is stunning, not to mention the God-honoring craftsmanship by Roger Feldman. I was touched, and privileged to be able to see it, and feel the power and beauty of his art in that place.

Carolyn “Pixie” Paris Rowe ’78
North Devon, UK

“Shut Up and Walk Away”

Everything in the article “I Love You; Let’s Fight” [Spring 2013] runs counter to what we know of a happy marriage. …

In 52 years of marriage my wife and I have never had a fight or a quarrel. This is not to say there have never been hurt feelings, but we have avoided conflict by following one simple rule: Shut up and walk away.

This is not to suggest giving your spouse the cold shoulder for hours or days at a time. God did not create us as mechanical steam boilers, whereby we must vent or explode. If a person will walk away from potential conflict, in a short time his blood pressure and pulse will return to normal, and he will be appalled by the hurtful things he was thinking of saying, and thanking God he did not say them.

We have not maintained peace by being a couple of pushovers. Having raised 11 children, we know about conflict resolution, but we have happily proved to ourselves that conflict need never be a part of the sweet friendship we share.

David Baker

Halfway, Oregon

Family Dinner Memories

I was delighted to see George and Claire Scranton’s “family dinners” mentioned in the article on cultivating community around food [“Creating a Moveable Feast,” Spring 2013]. Some of my fondest memories as a student at SPU were made at their table. George and Claire embody the essence of the SPU community. They welcome guests with open arms to meals that nourish the body and soul. Many students over the years have graced their table and been blessed by their hospitality. The photo brought back many memories of good food and good fellowship with my dear mentor, professor, and friend.

Kendra Thompson-Dyck ’06
Tuscon, Arizona

Don Kerlee

I noted the memorial article about Don in the latest Response. As a physics and math major at SPC back in 1960 to 1964, before SPC became SPU, I recall my first physics class in Don’s engineering-physics. I still remember a few other students from that class who continued on as physics majors and took other classes from Don. I even roomed with one of them in Moyer Hall. At that time, considering the size of the school, SPC was a good physics school.

I recall the great moments and the “dumb” moments during my four years. Who but a couple of physics majors one night would borrow the big parabolic mirror and a very bright light from the physics lab, then place the light at the mirror’s focus and shine this “lethal search-light” on Marston Hall windows from a not-so-discrete room in Moyer Hall? Or, who would brighten the path of a very surprised walker with this search light as they passed by the Student Union building. Then the next day, which physics professor would correctly identify, in front of our physics class, who did these unthinkable deeds? Or, what upperclassman physics lab assistant would set up lab experiments according to the professor’s instructions, but would drill the holes in the tables at the wrong place preventing the execution of the experiment during the professor’s lab class? And, what professor would correctly note how dumb this was?

Fortunately, the great moments outweighed the dumb, and I have unforgettable memories of SPC and Don Kerlee.

Ken Caproni ’64

Tucson, Arizona

Correction: In the Spring 2013 issue of Response, Rob Arnold ’74 was incorrectly identified as a member of the class of ’47. Sorry, Rob!

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