Category Archives: mentors

I’m a Happy Guy

Today’s district-wide orientation, although tedious, wasn’t an unmitigated disaster. While the speakers droned on and on and on, I managed to write 53 new haiku in a steno book that I brought along just for that purpose. Like a mentor I had when I was in graduate school, I refuse to be bored at meetings that are anything but interesting.

My mentor’s name was James D. Glasse, and he was the president of Lancaster Theological Seminary. During the September seminar my first year at LTS, Jim decided to take us new seminarians to the local court house, where a forum on aging was in progress. I sat next to Jim as the speakers droned on and on and on.

Jim seemed to be keenly interested in the proceedings, because he was filling page after page of a yellow legal pad with notes. My curiosity was piqued. Maybe I was a poor listener. I decided to try to refocus my attention on what the speakers were saying, but thirty seconds later I was fidgeting in my seat.

Jim, however, was still scribbling furiously, so I decided to take a peek at his notes. That’s when I discovered that he was writing letters to friends. He looked up just before I could look away, and flashed me a huge grin. He leaned close and said, “I made up my mind years ago never to be bored at boring meetings. That’s why I carry this legal pad.”

I’ve followed Jim’s example ever since. I find legal pads too cumbersome and too conspicuous, so I prefer a steno pad instead, but I never go to a meeting without one. Two in-services, one on Thursday, the other on Friday, will be perfect opportunities for me to write more poetry.

Any day I can write, I’m a happy guy.