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On the Pedagogy of Suffering

Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations


Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey

This text articulates how and why suffering can be pedagogical in character and how it is often key to authentic and meaningful acts of teaching and learning. This is an ancient idea from the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus (c. 525 BCE) – pathei mathos or «learning through suffering». In our understandable rush to ameliorate suffering at every turn and to consider every instance of it as an error to be avoided at all costs, we explore how the pedagogy that can come from suffering becomes obscured and something vital to a rich and vibrant pedagogy can be lost. This collection threads through education, nursing, psychiatry, ecology, and medicine, through scholarship and intimate breaths, and blends together affinities between hermeneutic conceptions of the cultivation of character and Buddhist meditations on suffering and its locale in our lives. This book will be useful for graduate courses on hermeneutic research in education, educational psychology, counseling, and nursing/medicine.


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Chapter Nine: My Treasured Relation (Jodi Latremouille)


C h a p T e r n i n e My Treasured Relation jodi latremouille I have always wanted to write about my cousin Shelby, but whenever I try, the words just don’t seem to do justice to my cousin who never grew up. I want to make him live again in this story. But mostly, I would just really like to not cry today. Shelby was born to my aunt, with too much life ahead of her, and so he was raised by my silent-stoic, gentle grandfather, Dave, and Leona, the asthmatic, arthritic heart-young grandmother, with more love in her than those sick lungs could handle. This little boy was never formally diagnosed, as he never got the opportunity to spend much time in school, but looking back now, I know that he did indeed have certain cognitive delays, which I did not, and still cannot, name. Nor do I want to. Socially constructed deficiencies are not lovable. To me, he was just Shelby, even though on that level beyond the one that we talk about, we all knew that he didn’t function in quite the same way we all did. Shelby was diagnosed with something, though. He was diagnosed with leuke- mia at the age of five. His childhood years were a blur for all of us. Waiting and hoping, trips to Vancouver through the Fraser Canyon—and later, over the Coquihalla, stays at the Ronald McDonald house, fundraising projects, months in isolation units, 76 | jodi latremouille...

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