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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  “Lost Time is Never Found”
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Tuesday, June 5,2012

“Lost Time is Never Found”

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  
“Lost Time is Never Found”
~Ben Franklin

I have been toying with the idea of going back to school for a doctorate. I called a Philosophy Professor friend of mine and asked him to meet me for coffee so I could pick his brain and try to establish some sort of direction. I have to say, Existential philosophers make great Life Coaches.


Before we got into planning my future, we chatted about our current curricula and the courses we dream of teaching one day; if only we could run the world and teach for the pure delight of enlightening and inspiring young minds and not so much to compete in a global marketplace. Our shared idealism inspired me to be true to my passion. Of course the goal of higher education is to create global citizens who will strive to lead full and productive lives. But there is definitely a place for infusing the Humanities into any any academic program, from the physical sciences down to the arts. I couldn’t feel stronger that people who study history become more well-rounded as they become informed. Possessing an understanding of who we are and where we came from in context with who “everyone else” is and where they came from is, in my opinion, a pre-requisite for competing in a global marketplace. But I digress. Suffice to say that, short of an action plan, I am at least positive of my direction. By the end of our chat, I realized that I might literally lose my marbles if I don’t follow my heart!

Jamie shared an activity with me that he does with his students on the first day of his class. He asks them to calculate approximately how many more Mondays are left in their lives, assuming they live to the ripe old age of 80. The number comes out to roughly 3200. He then pulls out a jar that is half-filled with marbles and tells them that this is how many Mondays he has left. He explains that when they put their marbles in the jar it will be full, symbolizing a life full of possibilities. But, he cautions them, the unexamined life is not worth living (Socrates, 399 BC).

When he was nineteen years old, he really did put 3200 marbles in a jar. Every Monday since then, he has taken one out and reflected about whether the choices he made that week served his intention to live fully, and bring joy to himself and those around him. Now, with a half-empty jar operating as a visible manifestation of the reality that we do not get any of those Mondays back, the intention of this ritual has become ever more urgent. I like to think I still have all of my marbles, but as I approach mid-life I am keenly aware of how one day quickly turns into the next. The first thing on my Bucket List is to actually sit down and write a Bucket List! And my list needs to contain items that will inspire me to live a life of purpose. I still do not know which doctorate to pursue, or where exactly I want it to lead. But I do know that I am very happy with the direction I’m heading. Thank you, Jamie, for teaching me to live my life to the fullest before I lose my marbles!


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