Peak-Experiences in Personal Stories of Calling Among University Professors

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Peak-Experiences in Personal Stories of Calling Among University Professors

East Texas Baptist University, US has reference to this Academic Journal, Peak-Experiences in Personal Stories of Calling Among University Professors Don Thompson in addition to Cindy Miller-Perrin Pepperdine University Faith, Hope, in addition to Work Conference February 10, 2006 Pt. Loma Nazarene University Presentation Overview We will describe the methods used so that obtain vocational autobiographies from faculty members, including preparatory reading material in addition to writing prompts. We will describe the content analysis of the faculty autobiographies, focusing on the peak-pivotal-experiences in their lives that shaped in addition to clarified their vocational paths. Finally, we will discuss gender differences experienced by these faculty in discerning in addition to living out vocation. Purpose of the Study To examine peak-experiences of vocational discernment in addition to action among university professors through evaluation of self-reflective writing.

 Esler, David East Texas Baptist University www.phwiki.com

 

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Research Methodology Frederick Buechner states in the Alphabet of Grace that most theology is essentially autobiography. Our method is based on a content analysis of vocational autobiographies written by over 90 faculty members from two Christian universities. Faculty Sample Faculty were recruited from: Faith in addition to Learning Seminars Faith in addition to Vocation Workshop 92 faculty completed autobiographies Response rates range from 65%-84% Demographic Characteristics of the Sample Mean Age: 40 years Gender: 43% Female 57% Male Marital Status: 16% Single 81% Married Race/Ethnicity: 7% African American 7% Asian 79% Caucasian Religious Affiliation: 21% Catholic 78% Protestant 1% Jewish

Vocation Readings Thompson, D., & Miller-Perrin, C. (2003). Understanding vocation: Discerning in addition to responding so that God’s call. Leaven, 11, 48-53. Farnham, S. G., Gill, J. P., McLean, R. T., & Ward, S. M. (1991). Listening hearts: Discerning call in community. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing. Palmer, P. J. (2000). Let your life speak: Listening in consideration of the voice of vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Himes, M. (1995). Doing the truth in love: Conversations about God, relationships, in addition to service. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. Rayburn, C. (1997). Vocation as calling: Affirmative response or “wrong number”. In D.P. Bloch & L.J. Richmond (Eds.), Connections between spirit in addition to work in career development (pp. 163-183). Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing. Buechner, F. (1969). The hungering dark. (pp. 25-33). New York: Harper & Row Publishers. Parks, S. D. (2000). Big questions, worthy Dreams. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. Vocational Autobiography Prompts – Past Reflections Reflect on your past in addition to how you have become who you are Describe major ?turning points? along your vocational journey. Discuss moments of crisis or confusion as well as moments of joy in addition to clarity along your past vocational journey (e.g., experiences that have affirmed or shaken your sense of calling). Write about friends or mentors who have contributed so that your vocational development. Include distractions, tensions, or barriers that have hindered the pursuit of your vocational calling. Vocational Autobiography Prompts ? Present Reflections Focus on your present calling in addition to your role as a mentor so that students Describe evidence you have that you are living your call now. Explain how you practice ongoing discernment so that your call. Identify what you do so that mentor &/or facilitate a sense of vocation in your students.

Natural Resource Theory Introduction Exhaustible Resource Hotelling?s Model: 3 Equations The Capital Market Price Goes Up a Rate of Interest so? Real Old Growth Redwood Price Use no more than there is Demand in addition to Supply Solving the Model Left Over The solution Backstop Hotelling in 4-Quadrants Hotelling in 4-Quadrants Equilibrium: Green is X(0) Too Low a P0 Increase in r Taking of the Redwood Park Enhancement: Lowering X(0) Recall Folded Diagram Model Enhancement: Years Method Value of Enhancement Conclusion Continuous time example Example: Q = p-? Example Concluded: Reduced Form

Maslow?s Account of the Locus of Peak-Experience The sacred is in the ordinary, that is, it is so that be found in one?s daily life, in one?s neighbors, friends, in addition to family, in one?s back yard. Experiences occur through Life Events Interactions alongside others Mentors or Prot‚g‚s Friendships Community Peak-Experiences Described in Faculty Essays Turning Points Mentoring As Prot‚g‚s As Mentors Barriers in addition to Obstacles Gender Specific Findings Maslow?s Account of Peak-Experiences as Turning Points Revelations, mystical illuminations, ecstasies or transcendent experiences Peak-experiences are individual, resulting in Personal change Feeling sacred Personal heaven Movement toward a perfect identity

Turning Points Literature ?At each transition [of life] we wrestle alongside fundamental matters of faith. As young adults we choose a faith of our own so that give purpose in addition to direction so that our lives. In midlife we trust God alongside the character in addition to meaning of our lives when we are not all that we hoped we would be; we learn so that trust God in the midst of our limitations. In our senior years we find that the only way we can let go is through a fundamental faith in God, a God who is bigger than our work, our career in addition to our ministry.? – Gordon Smith, Courage in addition to Calling Turning Points Discussion Have you had any peak-experiences that have contributed so that the realization of your own calling? Turning Points – Events Death of family member or close friend Life?s mistakes & wrong turns Education Accepting Jesus Conflict, tension, growing pains Responding so that suffering in the world Parenting

Turning Points ? Outcomes Feeling as though nothing else matters Sensing spiritual growth Experiencing a deep sense of joy, satisfaction, contentment, peace, excitement, renewed energy Receiving positive feedback from others Receiving answers so that prayer Turning Points Essay Responses All of my science courses seemed like work; all the literature courses seemed like play. On Thanksgiving holiday, I had so that work through some heavy-duty equilibrium problems in consideration of my quantitative analysis chemistry course, in addition to I was so that read Thornton Wilder?s Our Town in consideration of my American literature course. The power of the play overwhelmed me. I didn?t know it then, but I was feeling the difference between what Thomas De Quincey called the literature of knowledge in addition to the literature of power. And I began so that think, ?Something is wrong here. Why am I competent in but so unmoved by my major, in addition to why do plays in addition to stories in addition to novels in addition to poems move me so?? Turning Points Essay Responses I had a dream that I was walking through a snowy wood alongside sparse, straggly trees. I came so that a small clearing, occupied by a concentration camp. A few ramshackle wooden buildings alongside barbed wire strung around them. I knew that my job was so that sneak in in addition to rescue the people imprisoned there. I went in in addition to brought a person out on my back. We were trudging away toward safety when I heard voices in addition to then dogs closing on us. I kept going, but in exhaustion I let that person slide off my back in addition to just kept trudging forward. They wanted the prisoner, not me. Now I was alone in addition to in despair, trudging across one snowy hillock in addition to then another under a featureless gray sky, no sense of where I was going, just alone alongside the depth of my failure in addition to despair. Then I crossed the crest of one hillock in addition to found not another valley in addition to hillock, but a scene of grandeur set before me on an impossibly vast scale. I looked out in addition to away at a turbulent gray sea crashing against a rocky coast in addition to knew that those waves in addition to boulders were in fact on the scale of mountains in addition to the vista extended out not just as far as I could see but far beyond. I was immediately shocked by the awe, delight, in addition to gratitude that first displaced my despair in addition to then settled into an awareness, that I was very small?not necessarily insignificant, but definitely very, very small?that things were going on in the world on a scale that I could hardly imagine in addition to never know. The dream settled the lord in addition to disciple matter, letting me know that I would be needing not just a lord, but a savior. The work is God?s. If I get so that participate in it in some way, that?s great. But the work is God?s.

Turning Points Essay Responses I was watching the news when a disturbing story came on. In England, two young boys had kidnapped a toddler in addition to killed him. I couldn?t get over that event. After hearing that story, I began so that wonder what would cause someone, particularly children so that do such a horrific thing. At that point I changed my major so that psychology, transferred so that a different school, alongside a better psychology program, in addition to focused on understanding child development. Maslow?s Account of Peak-Experiences through Mentoring Basic human needs can be fulfilled only by in addition to through other human beings, i.e. society. Thus, the need in consideration of community, belongingness, in addition to contact alongside others. The best way so that become a better helper is so that become a better person. But one necessary aspect of becoming a better person is via helping other people. One must do both simultaneously. Mentoring Literature Recognition of their Prot‚g‚s Support Challenge Inspiration Dialogue Mutual Attraction Toward Similar Aims Sharon Daloz Parks, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams

Mentoring Literature ?The power of our mentors is not necessarily in the models of good teaching they gave us [.] Their power is in their capacity so that awaken a truth within us, a truth we can reclaim years later by recalling their impact on our lives.? – Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening in consideration of the Voice of Vocation ?In academic culture most listening is critical listening. We tend so that pay attention only long enough so that develop a counterargument; we critique the student?s or the colleague?s ideas; we mentally grade in addition to pigeonhole each other. In society at large, people often listen alongside an agenda, so that sell or petition or seduce. Seldom is there a deep, openhearted, non-judging reception of the other. And so we all talk louder in addition to more stridently in addition to alongside a terrible desperation. By contrast, if someone truly listens so that me, my spirit begins so that expand.? – Mary Rose O?Reilley, Radical Presence: Teaching as Contemplative Practice Mentoring – Prot‚g‚ Discussion Was there a person who, as a mentor, contributed so that your vocational development? Mentoring ? Prot‚g‚ Themes From teachers, professors & colleagues Through scripture & inspirational writing Via spouses, parents, family members, church family & friends

Mentoring ? Prot‚g‚ Essay Responses Throughout my life, my grandmother wrote several letters so that me. In almost every one she included the following verse, from II Timothy 2:20: ?In a large house there are not only articles of gold in addition to silver, but also of wood in addition to clay; some are in consideration of noble purposes, made holy, useful so that the Master in addition to prepared so that do any good work.? This advice gave me a sense that I was called by God so that do important things. Mentoring ? Prot‚g‚ Essay Responses One of my professors encouraged me so that pursue graduate school. He even went so far as so that sign out a school car, make appointments in consideration of me alongside faculty, in addition to drive me so that the university so that consider its program in human development. He encouraged me so that consider teaching at the university level in addition to helped me find my first academic post. Mentoring ? Mentor Themes Encourage, serve, support, lead, nudge, excite, energize, hear, listen, share inner lives Understand vocation as journey Find where deep gladness meets deep hunger Learn about self, giftedness, passions, life purpose Help students navigate faith integration Build in addition to foster courage

Mentoring ? Mentor Essay Responses I need so that listen so that my students. I need so that hear what they are hearing. I need so that be able so that take their perspective as I decide what in addition to when so that share my own vocational journey. Perhaps it is enough that they fully grasp that vocation is a journey; they don?t have so that understand it or be able so that articulate their own vocation. They just need so that accept that if they listen they will eventually find as Buechner says ?where their deep gladness meets the world?s deep hunger.? Maslow?s Account of Peak-Experiences as Barriers/Obstacles Besides peak-experiences, Maslow mentions so called ?plateau-experiences? but omits discussion of struggles, barriers, or obstacles. These ?valley-experiences? do occur frequently in our essays as contributing so that vocational discernment in addition to action. Barriers/Obstacles Literature Personal Values, Beliefs, in addition to Emotions Secular views of vocation, fear Cultural Values Material success, competition, productivity Personal in addition to Psychological Needs Security, control, certainty, power Social in addition to Interpersonal Circumstances Finances, family responsibilities, stereotypes (Farnham et al., 1991; Rayburn, 1997; Thompson & Miller-Perrin, 2003)

Community Building I really did enjoy the evening in addition to was encouraged in my faith in addition to my calling from listening so that the others.ÿ These small group meetings so that share in addition to study issues related so that vocation have done more so that foster camaraderie than any other activity I have participated in as a faculty member.ÿ Thanks in consideration of making it possible. Touching Heaven, Touching Others This past spring I asked my students in one of my classes so that write their own vocational journey as an introductory paper. On our first day of class, I closed the session by reading my Vocational Journey paper from last summer. In the paper, I discussed several personal in addition to professional challenges that I have shared alongside few people. I felt vulnerable sharing such a personal reflection, but was hopeful that it would be a catalyst in consideration of further sharing by the students. When I finished reading the paper, the students didn?t say much in addition to we moved on so that closing items in addition to the class ended. Since we only met once a week, by the next class meeting the topic had moved on in addition to we never discussed my paper. While the class became very close, I often wondered what the students thought of the paper in addition to if perhaps it had made them uncomfortable. However, when I read the final class papers in addition to my teacher evaluations I was surprised in addition to humbled at the number of students who wrote extensively about the impact my sharing so openly had on them. I was stretched in addition to I think they were stretched as well which was ultimately very gratifying.

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This Particular Journal got reviewed and rated by Mentoring ? Prot‚g‚ Essay Responses Throughout my life, my grandmother wrote several letters so that me. In almost every one she included the following verse, from II Timothy 2:20: ?In a large house there are not only articles of gold in addition to silver, but also of wood in addition to clay; some are in consideration of noble purposes, made holy, useful so that the Master in addition to prepared so that do any good work.? This advice gave me a sense that I was called by God so that do important things. Mentoring ? Prot‚g‚ Essay Responses One of my professors encouraged me so that pursue graduate school. He even went so far as so that sign out a school car, make appointments in consideration of me alongside faculty, in addition to drive me so that the university so that consider its program in human development. He encouraged me so that consider teaching at the university level in addition to helped me find my first academic post. Mentoring ? Mentor Themes Encourage, serve, support, lead, nudge, excite, energize, hear, listen, share inner lives Understand vocation as journey Find where deep gladness meets deep hunger Learn about self, giftedness, passions, life purpose Help students navigate faith integration Build in addition to foster courage and short form of this particular Institution is US and gave this Journal an Excellent Rating.