ClassCast Podcast Episode 048 features host Ryan Tibbens sharing insights and advice on reserving judgment (and passing it), building patience, and keeping an open mind. As a teacher, he has developed a deeper appreciation for patience, optimism, and open-mindedness than most people (and certainly more than he had earlier in life); this quick solo episode includes ideas to help teachers maintain strong relationships with students and coworkers as well as advice to help families and friends overcome personal, political, and moral differences as we head into the holiday season. Tibbens uses a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby to anchor these insights: "Reserving
judgments is a matter of infinite hope." (To read the full opening passage referenced in this episode, look at the bottom of this page.) Before you give up on a student, "unfriend" an old friend, or uninvite someone from a holiday celebration, think long and hard about hope, possibility, and patience.
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from the opening of The Great Gatsby:
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
He didn't say any more but we've always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit.
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