As a scholar of 19th-century women’s literature, Dr. Cheri Larsen Hoeckley knows that marriage plays a central role in many classic novels. But the pressure to get married that can be found in those books also lives on in modern movies and culture, the Westmont College professor says. Novels of the 19th century “are in many ways the origin of a notion that we still live with,” Larsen Hoeckley said March 31 at Bluffton University’s annual Women’s Studies Forum. “And that notion is the assumption that no matter who you are, or what you’re doing right now in your late teens, you’re going to be married at some point.”
Larry Starr was in his 60s when he decided to pursue a doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. The coursework for the degree was done in two years, the former Cincinnati Reds trainer said March 25 at Bluffton University, but the required dissertation became – as it does for many doctoral candidates – a stumbling block. But his wife provided a push, and he also remembered the work ethic and dedication of successful athletes he had worked with during a 30-year career in Major League Baseball. Prodded to finish the program, Starr received his doctorate from the University of Fort Lauderdale in 2013 – 42 years after he had earned his master’s degree from Ohio University
The “contact zone,” as defined by Kate Spike, will never be confused with the comfort zone where many people like to spend their time. The first zone is where humans “brush up against each other,” whether in language, literacy or culture, as well as geographically, she said in Bluffton University’s annual Civic Engagement Forum on March 24. “It’s not a comfortable place,” the assistant professor of English added, comparing it to “burlap underwear” – something that most people would like to avoid. But it should be embraced instead, Spike asserted, explaining that amid the discomfort, learning occurs.
Although he’s “still not very good at it,” Justin McRoberts says, learning to practice the Sabbath-keeping commandment “has been quite literally life-saving.” Believers are commanded to remember the Sabbath as a reminder of the goodness of their lives and God-given gifts, McRoberts, a San Francisco Bay Area pastor and musician, told a Bluffton University audience March 17.