Tag Archives: socratic method

Do It Now Ephesians 5:16

In my first semester as an undergrad, I had a professor similar to Professor Kingsfield in the TV series Paperchase. You had to be prepared, you had to have your wits about you, and you had to be confident in your answers. If you blew it due to a minor mistake… he’d go off on a rant about his class being idiots, and would then give everyone more homework, or would decide it was quiz time right then and there. If you weren’t prepared, he’d chew you out, and then ask you to leave and only come back when you were caught up and prepared to learn.

He seemed to have a belief that the entire class should bare some level of responsibility for the errors and actions of its individual members. Part of that comes out of the socratic method… ie if a given student is not prepared to engage, the whole class suffers from their lack of participation. Another part of it was real life, as in the business world, a bad employee can required 3-5 more employees fix the problems created by the bad employee, do said employees work, plus do their own as well.

Granted, his class had pretty high attrition rates as a fair number of students couldn’t handle the stress levels. In today’s world, such an approach would be considered highly abusive. You’d have helicopter parents hovering all over the place, he’d have complaints, on ratemyprofessor.com, and he likely would have never gotten tenure. Then again, he was part of the greatest generation, he fought in WWII and had risen from Private to the rank of Major, he’d taught for decades, he knew a lot not only about the subject material, he knew a lot about life.

The amazing thing is, that despite the pressure cooker aspects of that class, the life skill taught have long exceeded the usefulness of the course content itself.

One of those skills was time management which often came across as:

DO IT NOW if you don’t do it now, its probably not going to get done…

The big quesion with this of course is do what now? And in the case of the professors class, it was pounding through the hard to understand material, he was very clear as to what he was referring to with his DO IT NOWs.

And just as he was clear, I think Paul was pretty clear too wrt to DO IT NOW in his letter to the Ephesians.

Eph 5:15-17
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.