When I heard last March that we would be teaching online for at least a few weeks, like many teachers, I worried about how I would translate in-person learning to online. I was relieved to remember my years facilitating online courses in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s STEP program and everything I had learned from the program’s leaders and other facilitators about how to welcome students, communicate online, and see the meaning we find together even without in-person connection.
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In the 21st century, learning has become a lifestyle. Certainly this has a lot to do with the availability of a seemingly infinite variety of educational resources, all accessible with a quick click or tap on our devices. Without leaving home, a person can learn about any topic, in any depth, and from many different types of media. At no other time in human history have so many intellectual treasures been as readily available to the average person. Yet access to such educational resources does not guarantee that a person will benefit from them. True learning, because it is a process that involves deep, internal and personal change, is not achieved with ease—it requires an investment. A sacrifice of time, energy, money, pride, or some combination of these is required before the benefits of learning can be reaped. It was in recognition of this fact that Benjamin Franklin wrote, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Soy Náhuatl o Mexica. Pertenezco al grupo indígena más grande de México y estoy en la Universidad de Notre Dame gracias a una generosa beca. Sin embargo, no me habría sido posible emigrar para estudiar un posgrado sin el apoyo de mi familia. Mi familia me enseñó que, para ser protagonistas en la sociedad de hoy, necesitamos educación. Tengo la bendición de apoyar nuestra iglesia gracias a esa educación.
I am Náhuatl o Mexica; mine is one of the largest indigenous groups in Mexico. I am now at the University of Notre Dame, thanks to a generous fellowship, however, I would not have migrated to pursue a graduate degree without the support of my family. My family taught me that to be a protagonist in today’s society you need education. I have the blessing of supporting the Church thanks to this education.