We should always be yearning to learn. This idea is simple yet often lost in our minds. Corita Kent, an American Roman Catholic nun, explored this idea in a way that should be easily understood by all people. Kent served her community through art, design and education. She touched on themes such as Christianity and social justice in her work throughout the 50s and 60s, greatly inspired by Andy Warhol and popular culture. Within her fantastic works, Kent created a comprehensive list titled, “Some Rules for Students and Teachers.” It consists of 10 rules, plus one hint, to assist and guide us through the world of academia and life as a whole.
This list considers the process of creation and the subsequent mindset that encourages many students and teachers to capitalize on their college experience. Each rule touches on its own valued position. Through this list, Kent impresses on our minds the idea of thoughtfulness. Even more so, to be intentional by putting our all into academia, knowledge and skill. The world of academia is here to grow minds and allow for the fortification of knowledge and spirit. Yet, too often our drive is trampled by fear, insecurity and sleep deprivation.
This list calls us to trust and expect the most from those who teach us and to do the same for ourselves. Like rule six states, nothing is a mistake. Yet self-doubt is often the factor that leads directly to fault and creates an unwillingness to even try.
Rule seven presents us with a direct challenge: work. Many people wish to get by with minimal effort. However, Kent claims that we ought to strive not only to make it through, but to thrive. Be everywhere and do everything as much as possible!
College is our lives. We should be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments. We should strive to work better and smarter, not necessarily harder. Kent understood how we hold ourselves back in our collegiate life, both as students and professors.
It is a time to enjoy the balance of work and play in a healthy environment that fosters growth. Nothing is holding us back except for our own unwillingness to strive for greatness. From a biblical view, to live thoughtfully and vivaciously should be a blessing.
We need to take a breath. In through the nostrils, one…two…three, and out through the mouth, one…two…three. With that breath, let’s take a step toward intentionally exploring this fantastic life that God has given us. This list is simply a guide to help train our minds. To push for our best is to treat ourselves and others with the utmost respect. To be passive and sedentary would be our greatest fault. Our success depends on our choices and our willingness to let our innate love of learning guide us. Success is already within us, and it’s easier to attain than presumed. As Kent said, “Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.”
So let us live well with our hearts and minds open.
Written by: Saria Smith