Wednesday Quotes
Grateful to be a Teacher
December 10, 2014
15

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“It’s no easy task—indeed it’s very difficult—to realize that in every soul there is an instrument that is purified and rekindled by such subjects [liberal studies] when it has been blinded and destroyed by other ways of life, an instrument that is more important to preserve than ten thousand eyes, since only with it can the truth be seen.”
Socrates, in Plato’s Republic VII

Yesterday I finished teaching yet another semester of Philosophy. If the power of reason outweighs ten thousand eyes, then how do I measure the worth of forming that instrument, by teaching the subjects to which Socrates refers?

Never easy, often discouraging, always seeming to require more than I can give. Priceless.

To ask myself how I have deserved to be in such a position misses the point; I do not deserve it. Gratitude must be the fundamental response. What can compare with the moments I’ve shared together with my students? Maybe no one will ever know, but us.

And perhaps the central truth that we have come to see together, is the transcendent importance of seeking the truth, together. It is a treasure beyond measure.

Plato (427-347 B.C.), a student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle, is considered one of the greatest philosophers of all time. The Republic is one of the most widely read and influential of all books.

Image: the library at Christendom College

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15 comments

  1. Thank you, Dr. Cuddeback, for your dedication to bringing your students to the Truth. I have seen profound changes in my children as a result of the education they have received in your classes and in those of some of the other excellent professors at Christendom. As their wisdom and knowledge has increased, their faith has correspondingly deepened and expanded. You clearly recognize the importance of your vocation, but I don’t know if you can begin to imagine how fruitful your work has been in the lives of so many that you have instructed. Thank you again, and God bless you.

    1. MK, and Rick, Your words mean very much to me. What an honor it has been to work closely with your children. Thank you very much.

  2. Yes John, “Truth trumps”!! I echo the sentiments of MK above. Thank you for helping my 4 Christendom grads seek the truth. God Bless.

    RM

  3. Professor Cuddeback thank you for teaching us. Bridget

  4. As one of your on-line students at ICC last year, I to am grateful. Often, in my reading, I run across little tidbits that I remember from the Philosophy Symposium . You are still on my prayer list 🙂
    God Bless you and your family
    Fern L. Deschenes

    1. Great texts have a way of coming back to us again and again. Thank you very much.

  5. I too had the pleasure of listening to some of your ICC lectures. Hopefully wherever truth is being proclaimed, minds are being changed. You have a gift and you are using it wisely.

    1. Thank you for your kind words.

  6. Thank you so much for your expertise and dedication, Dr. Cuddeback! I was just discussing with Kristen, on our way to our current Sophia Symposium class, some philosophical insights I’ve had. When I read the Socrates quote, I realized how absolutely right he is — that learning a wide variety of interconnected subjects invariably leads us more fully to the truth than any isolated experiences of our eyes.
    Merry Christmas!
    Emily

  7. Ah, you have seen his point! What a joy. Very best wishes to you both.

  8. “To ask myself how I have deserved to be in such a position misses the point; I do not deserve it. Gratitude must be the fundamental response. What can compare with the moments I’ve shared together with my students? Maybe no one will ever know, but us.”
    I was reading the Chronicler this evening and reflecting on Rachael Hoover’s core knowledge post, ended up on the Christendom website itself, and was drawn to your post on “Grateful to be a Teacher.” I taught many years ago in an inner city Catholic school, then home schooled my children. There is a sense of awe that a teacher experiences when stepping back and reflecting on the lives of those one has touched. My daughter Anne was in your class this semester and I am very grateful to you for the truth you helped to impart to her soul. “Seeking that truth together…is a treasure beyond measure.” So often today the soul is bombarded with that which harms it, blinds it and yet in your class you did the opposite and fed the truth to those hungry souls who were ready to listen to that truth. Thank you, Dr. Cuddeback, for the eternal ways that you brought the truth to my daughters’ soul and for your dedication to the students at Christendom. Gratitude is my fundamental response as well. Have a Blessed and Holy Christmas as well as a much deserved rest!
    Becky Wysoski

    1. Mrs. Wysoski, I deeply appreciate your generous words. A blessed Christmas to you and yours too.

  9. And how grateful I am that you are a teacher, Dr. Cuddeback! Maybe your students in your classes at Christendom did not have as many “aha” moments as I did in your ICC Philosophy 101 class (along with many of my fellow adult students) this last winter/spring, but I am certain that you have embedded mustard seeds of knowledge and wisdom in each of them that will some day germinate and grow into lots of “aha” moments and opportunities to “wonder” for them as well! May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit continue to bless you and your family with His wisdom, love and the peace of the season. Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you at ICC in 2015!
    Henry Gonzalez

  10. Henry, What a joy to think back on that Phil 101 class. Thank you for your kind words, and I look forward to continuing along the same path together.