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He always brought joy and laughter to the people around him and his fun-loving witty personality will truly be missed by all. Besides his family, Bob leaves behind many close relatives and friends who touched his life. The list is too long to name each one, but you know who you are. A memorial service will be conducted at 4 p. Saturday, June 28, at Mt.
Mike Stone will officiate. Full military honors will be accorded by members of DAV Chapter The family will receive friends p. Condolences may be e-mailed to the Sigmon Family at www. Adams Funeral Home is serving the Sigmon Family. Memorial Service. Directions Text Details Email Details. Catapulted from his rural community into an elite private college at age 18, Eric suffered severe culture shock—and never overcame it. He learned to speak and act like an intellectual, but he always felt fraudulent among people who were, in his eyes, to the manor born.
Instead, he bullied his way into professional life on the theory that the best defense is a good offense. He listened for weaknesses rather than strengths in what other people said. He argued with anyone about anything—and responded with veiled contempt to whatever was said in return. But when Eric went home to his workbench and lost himself in craft, he found himself as well. He became warm and welcoming, at home in the world and glad to extend hospitality to others. Reconnected with his roots, centered in his true self, he was able to reclaim a quiet and confident core—which he quickly lost as soon as he returned to campus.
His leap from countryside to campus did not induce culture shock, in part because he attended a land-grant university where many students had backgrounds much like his own. He was not driven to hide his gift, but was able to honor and transform it by turning it toward things academic: he brought to his study, and later to his teaching and research, the same sense of craft that his ancestors had brought to their work with metal and wood.
Watching Alan teach, you felt that you were watching a craftsman at work—and if you knew his history, you understood that this feeling was more than metaphor. In his lectures, every move Alan made was informed by attention to detail and respect for the materials at hand; he connected ideas with the precision of dovetail joinery and finished the job with a polished summary.
His students knew that Alan would extend himself with great generosity to any of them who wanted to become an apprentice in his field, just as the elders in his own family had extended themselves to help young Alan grow in his original craft. Alan taught from an undivided self—the integral state of being that is central to good teaching. But Eric failed to weave the central strand of his identity into his academic vocation.
He projected that inner warfare onto the outer world, and his teaching devolved into combat instead of craft. The divided self will always distance itself from others, and may even try to destroy them, to defend its fragile identity. If Eric had not been alienated as an undergraduate—or if his alienation had led to self-reflection instead of self-defense—it is possible that he, like Alan, could have found integrity in his academic vocation, could have woven the major strands of his identity into his work.
But part of the mystery of selfhood is the fact that one size does not fit all: what is integral to one person lacks integrity for another. Throughout his life, there were persistent clues that academia was not a life-giving choice for Eric, not a context in which his true self could emerge healthy and whole, not a vocation integral to his unique nature. The self is not infinitely elastic—it has potentials and it has limits.
If the work we do lacks integrity for us, then we, the work, and the people we do it with will suffer. As good teachers weave the fabric that joins them with students and subjects, the heart is the loom on which the threads are tied: the tension is held, the shuttle flies, and the fabric is stretched tight. Small wonder, then, that teaching tugs at the heart, opens the heart, even breaks the heart—and the more one loves teaching, the more heartbreaking it can be. We became teachers for reasons of the heart, animated by a passion for some subject and for helping people to learn.
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But many of us lose heart as the years of teaching go by. How can we take heart in teaching once more, so we can do what good teachers always do—give heart to our students? There are no techniques for reclaiming our hearts, for keeping our hearts open. When we lose heart, we need an understanding of our condition that will liberate us from that condition, a diagnosis that will lead us toward new ways of being in the classroom simply by telling the truth about who, and how, we are. Truth, not technique, is what heals and empowers the heart.
We lose heart, in part, because teaching is a daily exercise in vulnerability. I need not reveal personal secrets to feel naked in front of a class. I need only parse a sentence or work a proof on the board while my students doze off or pass notes. No matter how technical or abstract my subject may be, the things I teach are things I care about—and what I care about helps define my selfhood.
Unlike many professions, teaching is always done at the dangerous intersection of personal and public life. As we try to connect ourselves and our subjects with our students, we make ourselves, as well as our subjects, vulnerable to indifference, judgment, ridicule. To reduce our vulnerability, we disconnect from students, from subjects, and even from ourselves.
We distance ourselves from students and subject to minimize the danger—forgetting that distance makes life more dangerous still by isolating the self. This self-protective split of personhood from practice is encouraged by an academic culture that distrusts personal truth.
In this culture, the self is not a source to be tapped but a danger to be suppressed, not a potential to be fulfilled but an obstacle to be overcome. In this culture, the pathology of speech disconnected from self is regarded, and rewarded, as a virtue. If my sketch of the academic bias against selfhood seems overdone, here is a story from my own teaching experience.
I assigned my students a series of brief analytical essays involving themes in the texts we were going to be reading. Then I assigned a parallel series of autobiographical sketches, related to those themes, so my students could see connections between the textbook concepts and their own lives. I did not know whether to laugh or cry—but I knew that my response would have considerable impact on a young man who had just opened himself to ridicule.
In a single stroke, we delude our students into believing that bad prose turns opinions into facts and we alienate them from their own inner lives. They are merely the questions they have been taught to ask, not only by tuition-paying parents who want their children to be employable, but by an academic culture that distrusts and devalues inner reality.
Of course our students are cynical about the inner outcomes of education: we teach them that the subjective self is irrelevant and even unreal. Mesmerized by a technology that seems to do just that, we dismiss the inward world. We turn every question we face into an objective problem to be solved-and we believe that for every objective problem there is some sort of technical fix. That is why our students are cynical about the efficacy of an education that transforms the inner landscape of their lives: when academic culture dismisses inner truth and pays homage only to the objective world, students as well as teachers lose heart.
The Courage to Teach builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teachers are authentically present in the classroom and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves. Recovering the heart to teach requires us to reclaim our relationship with the teacher within. This teacher is one whom we knew when we were children but lost touch with as we grew into adulthood, a teacher who continually invites me to honor my true self—not my ego or expectations or image or role, but the self I am when all the externals are stripped away.
In fact, conscience, as it is commonly understood, can get us into deep vocational trouble. When I follow only the oughts, I may find myself doing work that is ethically laudable but that is not mine to do. A vocation that is not mine, no matter how externally valued, does violence to the self—in the precise sense that it violates my identity and integrity on behalf of some abstract norm. When I violate myself, I invariably end up violating the people I work with. How many teachers inflict their own pain on their students—the pain that comes from doing a work that never was, or no longer is, their true work?
The teacher within is not the voice of conscience but of identity and integrity. It speaks not of what ought to be, but of what is real for us, of what is true. The voice of the inward teacher reminds me of my potentials and limits as I negotiate the force field of my life. If there is no such reality in our lives, centuries of Western discourse about the aims of education become so much lip-flapping.
The inward teacher is the living core of our lives that is addressed and evoked by any education worthy of the name. Perhaps the idea is unpopular because it compels us to look at two of the most difficult truths about teaching. We can, and do, make education an exclusively outward enterprise, forcing students to memorize and repeat facts without ever appealing to their inner truth—and we get predictable results: many students never want to read a challenging book or think a creative thought once they get out of school.
The student who said that her bad teachers spoke like cartoon characters was describing teachers who have grown deaf to their Inner guide, who have so thoroughly separated inner truth from outer actions that they have lost touch with a sense of self. How does one attend to the voice of the teacher within?
I have no particular methods to suggest, other than the familiar ones: solitude and silence, meditative reading and walking in the woods, keeping a journal, finding a friend who will simply listen. But people who learn to talk to themselves may soon delight in the discovery that the teacher within is the sanest conversation partner they have ever had.
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We need to find every possible way to listen to that voice and take its counsel seriously, not only for the sake of our work, but for the sake of our own health. If someone in the outer world is trying to tell us something important and we ignore his or her presence, that person either gives up and stops speaking or becomes more and more violent in attempting to get our attention. Similarly, if we do not respond to the voice of the inward teacher, it will either stop speaking or become violent: I am convinced that some forms of depression, of which I have personal experience, are induced by a long-ignored inner teacher trying desperately to get us to listen by threatening to destroy us.
When we honor that voice with simple attention, it responds by speaking more gently and engaging us in a life-giving conversation of the soul. Measuring the value of inner dialogue by its practical outcomes is like measuring the value of a friendship by the number of problems that are solved when friends get together. Conversation among friends has its own rewards: in the presence of our friends we have the simple joy of feeling at ease, at home, trusted and able to trust. We attend to the inner teacher not to get fixed but to befriend the deeper self, to cultivate a sense of identity and integrity that allows us to feel at home wherever we are.
Listening to the inner teacher also offers an answer to one of the most basic questions teachers face: how can I develop the authority to teach, the capacity to stand my ground in the midst of the complex forces of both the classroom and my own life? In a culture of objectification and technique we often confuse authority with power, but the two are not the same. Power works from the outside in, but authority works from the inside out. This view of teaching turns the teacher into the cop on the comer, trying to keep things moving amicably and by consent, but always having recourse to the coercive power of the law.
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When teachers depend on the coercive powers of law or technique, they have no authority at all. I am painfully aware of the times in my own teaching when I lose touch with my inner teacher, and therefore with my own authority. In those times I try to gain power by barricading myself behind the podium and my status while wielding the threat of grades. But when my teaching is authorized by the teacher within me, I need neither weapons nor armor to teach.
Authority comes as I reclaim my identity and integrity, remembering my selfhood and my sense of vocation. Then teaching can come from the depths of my own truth—and the truth that is within my students has a chance to respond in kind. I have worked with countless teachers, and many of them have confirmed my own experience: as important as methods may be, the most practical thing we can achieve in any kind of work is insight into what is happening inside us as we do it.
The more familiar we are with our inner terrain, the more sure-footed our teaching—and living—becomes. Technique is what teachers use until the real teacher arrives, and we need to find as many ways as possible to help that teacher show up. But if we want to develop the identity and integrity that good teaching requires, we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives—risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.
On the other side were the student-centered folks, insisting that the lives of students must always come first even if it means that the subject gets short-changed. The more vigorously these camps promoted their polarized ideas, the more antagonistic they became—and the less they learned about pedagogy or about themselves. The gap between these views seems unbridgeable—until we understand what creates it. At bottom, these professors were not debating teaching techniques.
But telling the truth about ourselves with colleagues in the workplace is an enterprise fraught with danger, against which we have erected formidable taboos. So we keep the workplace conversation objective and external, finding it safer to talk about technique than about selfhood. Taking the conversation of colleagues into the deep places where, we might grow in self-knowledge for the sake of our professional practice will not be an easy, or popular, task. To educate is to guide students on an inner journey toward more truthful ways of seeing and being in the world.
How can schools perform their mission without encouraging the guides to scout out that inner terrain? As this century of objectification and manipulation by technique draws to a close, we are experiencing an exhaustion of institutional resourcefulness at the very time when the problems that our institutions must address grow deeper and more demanding.
How this might be done is a subject I have explored in earlier essays in Change, so I will not repeat myself here. Our task is to create enough safe spaces and trusting relationships within the academic workplace—hedged about by appropriate structural protections—that more of us will be able to tell the truth about our own struggles and joys as teachers in ways that befriend the soul and give it room to grow.
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Not all spaces can be safe, not all relationships trustworthy, but we can surely develop more of them than we now have so that an increase of honesty and healing can happen within us and among us—for our own sake, the sake of our teaching, and the sake of our students. Honesty and healing sometimes happen quite simply, thanks to the alchemical powers of the human soul.
Instead, we meet as fellow travelers and offer encouragement to each other in this demanding but deeply rewarding journey across the inner landscape of education—calling each other back to the identity and integrity that animate all good work, not least the work called teaching. He has reached millions worldwide through his nine books, including. CTE prepares you for a leadership role in secondary and postsecondary education.
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Thomas, among others. It was the biggest record of that year. He was special.
All the studio guys are special, but Reggie was a cut above. Young, who remained in the Nashville area, was a frequent presence in Memphis, participating in numerous Elvis-related programs with the Memphis Boys in recent years. Plans for funeral services have not been announced. I want to share with everyone that Jesse called me this afternoon and we had a good phone visit. He is doing well. He said that he is feeling good for his age. We are both growing tired of winter and cold weather.
We always look forward to spring. I love watching them just to see that beautiful logo on their helmets. Because of some problems with my vision, I may not be able to be quite as active on my site for a while. I will continue to do my best to keep the site active on a daily basis but must explain that there may be times when I am unable to work on the computer.
I thank everyone, in advance, for your understanding and patience. Published on Jan 25, I have been intending to post this article since before my eye problem became a hindrance. My vision is no better, but I have decided to work through it to post this new article. This is something I am very happy to share. You may recall that Jesse sent the little Lone Ranger book from his childhood to Tom and me a few years ago. He wanted us to read it to see if we saw what he saw. Tom enjoys watching old westerns on TV very much and during one of my recent phone conversations with Jesse this came up in conversation.
Jesse said that he enjoys that also. Of course, this immediately grabbed our attention. So, I did some research into the origin of the Lone Ranger and found that he did fake his death and left behind an empty grave so that it would be believed that he had died. He vowed to wear the mask to hide his identity so that no one would ever know that he was still alive and to devote his life to his work in the old west of helping and protecting others. But, I believe this is what he wanted us to learn about the Lone Ranger and the significance of his giving this book to us.
The correlation between Elvis and the Lone Ranger is easy to recognize now that I know the background of the Lone Ranger. The faked death, the empty grave, even the mask of the Lone Ranger and the mask of Orion the singer. Jesse confirmed to me that I am correct that some of the Orion songs are really sung by him. Below are the photos of the book which Jesse gave to us:. Of course, he was apx. We cannot thank Jesse enough for trusting us with this precious gift from his child hood.
We treasure it just as we do everything he has ever given us. Below is a small excerpt in which the origin of the Lone Ranger is given:. John Reid was a Texas Ranger when he and five other men rode into a canyon in search of a nefarious bandit gang. However, they were betrayed and ambushed, and Reid was the only survivor, having been rescued from near-death by the Native American Tonto. Menu Home. Elvis as Orion? Joe Esposito on Geraldo.
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Do NOT forget to vote for these two categories also!!! Wink Martindale. Banet March 2, Elvis Presley performs what would be his last Memphis concert July 5, , before a crowd of 12, at the Mid-South Coliseum. CT Jan. Here, at the start of , we thought it worth looking back over the last 50 years, at some stories, records and moments that are worth remembering and celebrating. He never thought of himself as better than his fellowman, never thought that he had done anything extraordinary with the life that God had given to him.