The Examined Life

English professor and Zen monk Seido Ray Ronci addresses his students at the end of the semester.

Seido Ray Ronci

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I address you now not as your professor, but as Seido, Rinzai Zen monk, caretaker of Hokoku-An Zendo.

The semester has come to an end. When I look out at you I see 30 people. When you look at me you see one. But for each one of you I am a different professor. There are 30 different versions of me standing before you in this classroom. It is my job to create a relationship of sorts with each and every one of you. I do that by reading your journals and your papers, by observing how you are in class, whether or not you come prepared, whether or not you take notes, how often you text, and how often you nod off. I’m like Santa Claus. I see you when you’re sleeping and I know when you’re awake; I know when you’re taking notes and when you’re checking your Facebook page.

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