Season One Recap: Angelina, Michael & Dan

We’re grateful for all the guests who took time out of their schedule to spend a few hours sharing their stories, experiences, and expertise with us. In the final episode of the first season, we take a look back over the past nine episodes to rehash some of the conversations that stood out to us. 

Key Topics

  • Cameron Anderson and his perspective of the arts as a hospitable grounds for connection that transcends belief. 
  • Dr. John Nunes on the margins as a construct based on what we define the center to be.
  • Dr. Ferry + Dr. Cario on recognizing the need for varying and differing perspectives in all areas of life + the importance of reframing one’s understanding constantly and consistently. 
  • Heather O’Neil and Brad Alles on Christian education versus public education + the pros and cons of each. 
  • Dr. Angus Menuge on postmodernity and truth: Is there a reality that is independent of power?  
  • Dr. Nunes on a postcolonial framework + expressing faith in a way that isn’t connected to power.
  • Dr. Ferry on balancing work and life as a leader by compartmentalizing responsibilities.

A Few Mentioned Resources

What are your thoughts on the first season of the Living Uncommon podcast? Was there one conversation that stood out to you more than the others? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your feedback on this episode.

Episode transcript

Michael:  In my mind, it’s discussing things like this where you’re really thinking about these questions as part of a deep search for God, this part, you know, it’s part of your relationship with God. That’s an act of worship. It’s like, just discussing these things, thinking these things through, being serious about them, and studying them in relation to being, I want to know God deeper, and deeper, and deeper. That’s worship.

Michael: Welcome, everybody, to the capstone of season one.

Dan: The penultimate episode. No, just kidding. That’s the almost last, right? Next to last. It’s weird that there’s a word for that.

Michael: We have to have a big cliffhanger, like they do in Netflix between seasons. So, right in the middle of a sentence, we’re just gonna stop and then we’ll start again. 

Angelina: With really dramatic music.

Dan: Some organ music, maybe.

Michael: I’ve had good character arcs this whole season, I think. Progression…

Angelina: You’ve had a good character arc?

Michael: I’ve been great. 

Angelina: Well, we did have quite a change in one of our guests. I mean, not even a guest, he’s a host.

Michael: Yeah, Tim got killed off in a surprise move midseason.

Angelina: Very Hunger Games-esque. 

Dan: Mid-season replacement. I haven’t heard how he’s doing. I assume he’s doing great. 

Michael: What was that sitcom? The Hogan family? Was that one were there was a different mom? 

Dan: It was originally called, ‘Valerie.’ That was the name of the mom. Then, they killed her off between seasons, renamed the show, “The Hogan family.” They said she died in a car accident, and that was it. They never talked about her again. They brought in another character to take her place, and that was supposed to be her sister. So, her sister came in and took over as the mother figure.

Michael: It’s relevant pop-culture references like this that’s why we’re number what 75,000 thousand on Itunes right now.

Angelina: And slowly climbing the ranks.

Michael: Dan, why do you have a bandaged wound right now?

Dan: I went to the doctor for a physical today. I had not been there in four years apparently, So, they’re like, “oh we got to do some labs.” They pulled some blood.

Michael: Tell us all about it.

Dan: There isn’t that much to tell. I’d rather not,

Michael: Disclose all your personal health information in this podcast.

Dan: I would need you to fill out a HIPAA form.

Angelina: Then, one for every listener.  

Michael: I’ve had to go to the doctor a few times in the last couple weeks, and they take a pulse every time. I have a really low pulse, naturally, like super low. I don’t know what that means.

Dan: It means you’re good at meditation. 

Michael: Is it?

Angelina: It is good to have a low resting..

Dan: A lot of inner calm.

Michael: They’re always like, “Oh, this can’t be right,” and then they take it again. 

Angelina: Do you remember what the number is? 

Michael: It’s like in the fifties or sixties.

Angelina: That’s like Olympic athlete resting heart rate right there. 

Michael: Hey, 25 minutes on the treadmill, three times a week. 

Angelina: Do you feel Zen all the time? 

Michael: No. My life’s terrible. My life’s a whirlwind, storm. I don’t know. Getting excited, I’m probably like in the 70s, like normal. 

Angelina: So, what are we doing here today? 

Dan: Doing a recap episode. I think the idea was we were each gonna pick a few highlights from the past year, the past nine episodes, and then we’re gonna talk a little bit more about them, expand on them a little bit, maybe ask each other for some more feedback.

Angelina: Some pointed questions. 

Michael: Why don’t you go first, Angelina.

Angelina: One of my favorite moments in our first season was talking with Cameron Anderson. I believe he was episode five. Reading back through the transcript, and listening to some clips again, I just loved that part where Michael, you had asked him to talk a little bit more about his experience with the arts community. You know, we don’t necessarily think about the arts community being Christian, especially when your digging into theory and our criticism. You asked him what his experience has been like in that world. Did he feel accepted, did he feel rejected? He talked about the difference between being a Christian artist, and he’s a Christian, and what that means to him. What I really loved, what he talked about in the second part of his answer, was talking about the arts as a hospitable grounds for connection that can transcend our differences. That super resonated with me. We all have so many differences that we use to differentiate ourselves from each other, but when there’s something like the arts, or music, oftentimes, that can be a way that we can connect to something together, even with people who might be very different from us. 

Michael: I think with art, there’s hospitality. It makes me think about when you’re hosting someone, you often give them something when they come into your house. Art can be thought of almost as a gift because a gift is a surprise, right? So, when you experience a piece of art, there’s usually a surprise for you, you’re getting something out of it you didn’t expect, or, there’s usually something given to you from that. It’s also an element of that to it that can go along with the hospitality aspect. That was good. I remember you also really identifying with Cameron, talking about the whole idea of, ‘Are you a Christian artist? Are you an artist who’s a Christian?’ It goes back to the Lutheran saying where they talk about, ‘Are you a Christian shoemaker?’ I make really good shoes. I don’t know if that’s the right phrase. The idea behind it is that whatever you do, you do to the best… you don’t make Christian shoes, you just make really good shoes, I guess is what you’re saying. 

Angelina: I appreciated his perspective on that, and talking about that. There’s room for both of those kinds of artists. There’s art that’s explicitly Christian, and that’s needed, and that’s necessary for the church, but there’s also art that’s really excellent and has a purpose, but it might not be explicitly Christian. Those are both equally valid expressions. 

Dan: I subscribe to some newsletters online. 

Angelina: Surprise! 

Dan: There’s one called the International Arts Fund, International Artist Fund, something like that. Anyway, it’s an international Christian arts group, and a couple weeks after our talk with Cameron, he was featured on there with a new piece. I’m gonna describe this piece, because I know nobody can see it. I can see it. It’s a panel that’s about 15 feet long, so, it’s very large piece, and maybe a few feet tall. The beginning of the panel is an inset, and it’s a stone, just a stone. It must be glued to the panel, or something. So, it’s actually a rock. It’s not painted. It’s just kind of stuck to the panel. The rest of the panel is painted brown and almost looks like dried blood colors. They’re real unevenly and highly textured, splattered across that part of the canvas. There’s a 3D sketch of a building. So, if you can imagine a blueprint that’s exploded to a 3D view, so that is overlaid. That overlaps a second panel which has this blood red, dried blood, looking color splattered across it. Not splattered, but more just covering the panel. Then, some other textures. He has a third panel set inside these other two panels, so it’s kind of three-dimensional. You can see where it sits in there, and that’s painted with a brighter red. It’s a really interesting piece. Actually, when we went to talk to Cameron, and I wasn’t involved in that episode, but, I hadn’t seen any of his work at that point, and it was interesting to go back and look at his work and to see…cause he’s been doing this a long time. He’s been doing this for maybe 20 years, 25 years. That’s what he said? He has a lot of really interesting pieces, and they’re very abstract. There’s nothing explicitly religious about his art. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know. I think that that’s okay. It’s still really interesting, and it’s a beautiful piece. 

Angelina: Did he title that piece? 

Dan: It’s called “Foretaste” and then in parentheses “for J”. 

Michael: Dan, what was yours? 

Dan: I reread the one where we talked with Heather and Brad. They’re education instructors here at Concordia. It was interesting to hear them rehash. I had a look at their discussion about Christian education versus public education, and some of the questions they were asking, “Is it better for Christians to be out in the world as educators, for Christians to be at regular public schools, or non-christian schools, or is it better for them to be in church run schools where they can be very open about their faith and teach very openly?” They had a really good discussion around that, and I thought it was interesting. They brought up some good examples. Both of them had experience teaching in public schools, and I think Brad had more in Lutheran schools. That contrast between how they would approach instruction, and what kind of things they would be talking about with students, I think it’s a great discussion. I think it’s a great question to ask. We as Christians, we kind of relegate ourselves to Christian spaces. All of us here work for a Christian institution. If you can put that adjective to an institution, you know, we’re not working out at an agency that’s run by someone, we’re here at a church run institution. What do you think about that debate of Christian space versus public space?

Angelina: I guess, I’m interested in knowing… I’m not a parent. When you guys think about your children, and particularly in education, is that something that you wrestle with? I’m sure you approach it with a lot of thought, but what does it look like to navigate that as a parent?

Michael: We homeschool right now, but we’re sending our kids… I talked about this in another episode. Our child, who’s of age to go into second grade, she’s gonna go to an outdoor school. It’s a public school, it’s not a Christian school. I wrestle with that a little bit, but what I think the purpose of Education, and this is something that Concordia, despite being a Christian University, a Christ-centered University, in fact, does a really good job at doing, which is you can still challenge your worldview continually. I think it’s the job of the parent, and the job of the church, to make sure that your child has a good foundation biblically, and a good understanding of their own faith, and their own relationship to God. There’s discernment, I think, to be made. I don’t necessarily think that every space that we should be in, or that a child should be in, should be a Christian space. There’s not examples about that in the Bible. It’s on the contrary. 

Dan: I grew up going to public schools, and I knew that there are some teachers that were Christians. They didn’t stand there and hand you a Bible when you walked in the room. I had a teacher in my sophomore year, Mr. Guth. I still remember his name. 

Angelina: What a great name.

Dan: He’s also a football coach. Anyway, he taught world history. He would start with creation narratives from different cultures around the world, but he would focus a lot on the biblical creation narrative, as he would present it as one of many. He would present it in a way that was not dismissive, or not like, “I’m about to tell you guys something. Doesn’t this sound dumb?” But, more like, “I want you guys to really think about the way this story is presented.” He was an example of a Christian in a public school environment. He was encouraging to the students that he knew were Christians. He worked at really being an excellent teacher in that environment. Do you guys have experience with it? Teachers in your public school, or teachers in schools that you knew was Christian?

Michael: I did. I went to both, a Christian private school and then public school. I remember in high school, or in actually middle school, I had some Christian teachers, just the people that you knew from functions and religious events. You could tell, just in the way they taught and the way they handled things. 

Angelina: I started out in private education, and then was homeschooled for a little bit in middle school, and then went to public school for eighth grade and high school. I came from a really small town, so it’s kind of just assumed that everyone was a Christian. I mean, there were certainly some teachers that set themselves apart by being kinder, or being more generous to students, but I don’t know. I think back to what we were talking about, a public space versus a private space, or a Christian based space. They also talked in that episode about what’s the purpose of an education. Is it to disciple people for the kingdom of God, or is it to create good citizens who can contribute to society? Those can be one in the same, or they can coexist. That’s an interesting thing to think about as far as, what’s the goal of education?

Michael: Just for clarity, I think, a school can help disciple someone in a way. I mean, I’m sure there could be a Christian school that could do that. I’m sure there could be a Christian school that could provide all that, theoretically. A family or a church could provide that if they’re not getting it from that. I just think that it’s not necessary to have your child be, or yourself be, so insulated in all Christian spaces. 

Angelina: That’s one of the things that I appreciate. There are some key people in my high school experience that introduced me to ideas and different ways of thinking that I had never experienced before in either my family life or my faith life. Had I not had that exposure, especially in high school. When I went to college, I went to a Christian institution, but that was very much encouraged. Even arriving there with having a little bit of exposure to different ideas and different ways of thinking, I still struggled with like, “we can actually have a conversation about this?” That shock would have been so much more enormous had I not encountered that a little bit in high school.

Michael: Well, you’ll crumble. I mean, people will crumble if they don’t have challenges early on in their faith, and thinking about it may be developing the muscle of critically thinking about your faith, and having reasons for your faith. If you’re just fed stuff, and it’s normal to you, then there’s a shock that happens when you get out in the real world and you’re not always equipped to deal with it. I mean, I believe the Holy Spirit will equip you to a certain level, but it’s also up to us to be ready to give a reason for our faith. What do you think, Dan?

Dan: Yeah, I mean, I have mixed feelings. I have friends who have taught, and I have also sent their kids to… for example, you know Lutheran schools, and there’s a great tradition of religious education. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think education for everyone was originally started by churches where they’re just like, “All right, everyone can just come in here. It’s not just for the rich people anymore. You don’t have to pay, you just come in and we’ll teach you.” So, a lot of what we consider now to be our, “big public institutions” were originally started – schools, hospitals, universities – originally started by Christians, or by religious organizations. I think there’s a lot of good there. Michael, I kind of agree with you. You don’t want to necessarily isolate, especially your kids. My kids have gone to public schools their entire lives, and there are definitely things that come up from time to time that we have to talk about. We have to say, “Let’s look at this from a faith perspective.” I suspect that a lot of those things would come up in a Christian institution anyway. I feel like having them in the world as just this is normal… you know, you’re with a wide range of people. You’re with people with a lot of different backgrounds and experiences that are different from yours. I think that’s healthy, and that’s going to allow them to be more empathetic and have a more stretched view of humanity.

Michael: I think the big takeaway from this is that there’s nothing wrong with sending your child to a public school, or there’s nothing wrong with sending your child to a Christian school. You should find spaces where your child is challenged and is exposed in the right way, in an overwhelming way, to the world, so that they can handle it, process it, engage with it, and develop their own thoughts. Just because the school is religious, doesn’t mean that won’t happen there. I mean, there’s plenty of great schools. We have lots of great Lutheran schools that we work with at Concordia. You get great exposure, and it is a christ-centered environment. It all depends upon what you believe God’s leading your family to do. 

Angelina: Michael, what stood out to you in season one?

Michael: Well, we all picked a few. I think we’ll get to a few more. Trying to decide which one I should start with, but I think I’ll do Angus Menuge and Dr. Young. When they came, they talked a lot about science and philosophy. That’s something that I was doing graduate work in. I wanted to get a PhD in, and I wanted to be a professor. It’s one thing that I wrestle with, so, I’ll throw it out there. It’s something that Dr. Menuge said when we were talking a little bit about Logocentrism, which is the belief that there’s an underlying truth and an underlying guarantee of truth in this world that you can latch on to, as opposed to a diffuse amount of truths that are individualized. I guess it would be one alternative to that. He’s saying, “The alternative to saying that there is an objective logos that’s out there, it’s just that it’s each individual’s logos. In other words, either there’s one story, which is the way reality is. We have to discover it in our own humility. Or, you can say this is all construction, which is really the view of what he calls the postmodern philosophers. The problem is that everything lies behind. It’s all power is basically what he was saying. I mean, so it’s a Nietzsche and world of power, which I can talk about in a second. You’re saying that what is true is what you get to say is true. There’s a passage where O’Brien says to Winston Smith, “whatever the party holds to be true is truth, and that’s the fact. You’ve got to relearn Winston. You must humble yourself before he becomes sane.” He’d written this in his diary. “Two plus two is four. The freedom to say two plus two makes four, if that’s granted, then everything follows. Why? Because, he is asserting that there is a reality that’s independent of power, and this is really interesting for an atheist writer,” referencing George Orwell. Well, the thing is, he’s asserting that there’s a reality that’s independent power. That question, is there a reality that’s independent of power? This is what I wrestle with a little bit. I don’t know if this is too heady for what we are doing here or not, but just because you might not say that there’s multiple truth, that truth is just completely subjective and everyone is its own little isolated bubble with its own truth going around. They come into contact, and then you have to the postmodern way of thinking. This would be, you can make a decision, you choose an aesthetic, and you may have fidelity to it, you go with it, and you create artistically your own life. That would be a way of doing it. Just because you say that that’s not the case, does that mean that the role of power in truth? So, how has power shaped for my understanding of the gospel? When I close my eyes and I pray to Jesus, one lame example could be, I could picture him as a white guy with long hair. Well, there’s power dynamics that have handed it down to me, the image, which is sometimes unconscious. I mean, I don’t know if I really think of that when I pray to him, but you could, right? It would be be part of your unconscious relationship to God. Some people say, “I’m dating Jesus.” Well, that’s a way of looking at Jesus that was handed down through some sort of power dynamic. Someone else thought that, there’s all sorts of social constraints, whatever they hand it. Over and over again, you can say all that you know, what you know about your faith walk, for instance, just one thing, much less everything. I mean, everything. How do you get to the truth beyond all the power that’s been enacted on you? Then, the other question I would have, is power always bad? I’m sure, Dan, you’re into postcolonial. Your mind is immediately going to those sorts of things. You could take multiple ways of looking at patriarchal power. I mean, all sorts of postmodern mumbo-jumbo, but is power always bad? I mean, is it just a fact of ‘that’s how things are shaped.’ He got me thinking about that and wrestling with that. What say you?

Angelina: That’s a very large question, I feel.

Dan: If we knew the answer to that…. 

Michael: Tell me the answer. 

Dan: I mean, that’s what we’re all looking for, I think, is how to figure out how to be Christians in a way that doesn’t reflect this kind of power dynamic that you’re describing, where people just hand things to us and we accept it at face value. How do we sift, or discern…Go back to the rhetoric episode. How do we read this in a way that allows us to find what’s true about it? I don’t know. I think that’s a difficult question. In the past, we could appeal to some authority, right? We still do that, but it’s not cool to do that. I mean, we’re not supposed to give ourselves over to any authority. Yet, I think that there’s a certain amount of that that certainly Christ demanded of his followers. You know, “follow me,” he said. That’s giving into an authority. 

Michael: We’re trying to understand, in a lot of ways, ultimately, the pure meaning of a text. For instance, the Bible, looking for that truth and what is the absolute pure meaning of that text? I get stuck, probably, because my background is in reading a lot of postmodern philosophy, which I don’t necessarily adhere to. I always have to think through these questions that would be posed by those philosophers, and there’s always a remainder of meaning to text. There’s always further explanation, another why that can be asked, or what does that mean, or continue definitions that just go, and go, and go, and go. 

Angelina: Then, are we ever able to get to the purest intent of anything? 

Michael: Is there a purest intent?

Angelina: Does that even exist? 

Michael: I will say all this.. 

Dan: I mean, it’s a tough one. It’s a very a real head-scratcher. 

Angelina: Even just talking about this… this even came up in our episode with Dr. Ferry and Dr. Cario when they’re talking about how you constantly have to reframe. As more voices come to the conversation, we start interpreting things. As we hear new perspectives, we have to reframe the way that we think about history. That probably can apply to anything. 

Michael: It is interesting. Dr. Ferry and Bill almost imply that it takes a multiplicity of perspectives. You’ll never get to the bottom of it. You’re right, in a way. 

Dan: That might be a good segue to just talking a little bit about the episode with Dr. Nunes. I personally think that postcolonial framework is a way to overcome a lot of this. I think that when we look at kind of the colonizing project… We look at Europe, you look at all the powers of the West and how they got to a certain point. They reached out to the rest of the world, and they tried to take it over. That is literally what they did. We recognize now that that project was probably a failure. Now, what do we do? The kind of questions that we’re asking now is, and this maybe speaks to what you’re talking about, what does Christianity look like if it doesn’t look like our cultural preferences? Our cultural preferences, that power, that says it has to look like this. Some of the things that Dr. Nunes was talking about, looking at the margins is where we can maybe turn to look and see what does it look like to express your faith in a way that’s not connected to power? 

Michael: I would just say, real quick, again, you get the multiplicity of perspectives, but you’ll never escape the power, the tyranny of the written word, tyranny of language. 

Dan: Now, you’re really going back. What, we’re gonna reject language? 

Michael: Yes. We need to reject language, no. I’m saying… you have to think through that. It’s still a question you have to think through. In my mind, it’s discussing things like this where you’re really thinking about these questions as part of a deep search for God, this part, you know, it’s part of your relationship with God. That’s an act of worship. It’s like, just discussing these things, thinking these things through, being serious about them, and studying them in relation to being, I want to know God deeper, and deeper, and deeper. That’s worship. I wouldn’t get discouraged. It’s like you’re on a path now. I can think of it like that and like a worshipful path, but that’s just how I would think of it. 

Dan: I think that’s a good way to change your thoughts a little bit.

Angelina: What happens when your community doesn’t have the same view as you, as that being a form of worship? That’s why I say it’s discouraging. Because, if the people around you, think that that’s almost antithetical..

Michael: I will say to that question, I’m not Lutheran. I do know a lot about Lutheranism. There is a wonderful idea in Lutheranism, which is holding ideas in  tension, and just leaving them suspended in tension. I mean, there are certain things in order to be a Christian you have to believe. Otherwise, you’re not a Christian. There’s got to be agreed things that a community comes together and says, “We have fidelity to these doctrines.” They’re usually thought-out and debated over time and everything. I think it is a responsibility of that community to take debate, and thoughtfulness, and disagreement as all potential parts of edifying the body. There’s a judgment thing, right? I mean, if you come in and you say, “Let’s put up a statue of Vishnu’” or something like that, in the middle of a church, it’s like, well, that’s probably not a good idea. That doesn’t seem very biblical to me. It’s hard. Faith communities are built around codification of ideas and agreements on those things. I don’t think Jesus was ever threatened by questions. Jesus was, from my understanding the Gospels, empathetic with people that probably, at first blush, wouldn’t be considered part of the religious community of those times and probably had ideas that were different. I’m sure he brought them in, and I’m sure he talked with them. Paul, in the same way, was somebody who discussed things with people. That’s the Jewish way. Them being Jews, that’s a built upon discussion. 

Dan: It’s a tough one because your community should be a place of trust going both ways. The leadership, and the people that are in charge of the community, should trust that people can ask questions and still be a part of the community. The people asking the questions have to trust that they’re gonna have an actual discussion and they’re gonna be able to search for answers together. I do think that question puts a burden on us as we go into our communities, and then it puts a burden on us to be exactly what you’re asking for. I can be that at my church to someone. That’s maybe a more positive way to look at it. We recognize that there’s something here that needs to change. We can be the people that change ourselves to meet that need. 

Michael: That’s true. I have regular coffee, and things like that, with a gentleman from my church, and we just talk about things like ideas around faith. Unfortunately, even in my church, I don’t think everyone could have those discussions. 

Dan: Your church isn’t perfect? Someone said to me once, “If you ever find a perfect Church, don’t join it because you’ll ruin it.” 

Angelina: I had a another note on Dr. Nunes. Man, that episode was just packed full of good bits. One thing that I’ve been thinking about ever since we talked with him is when you initially asked him what are the margins, or what’s at the margins, and he talked about that your definition of the margins will be determined by what you consider to be the center. He said, a little bit later on, “If I say, what does a Lutheran look like? Immediately, images come to your mind of holy, and svenne, and casseroles, and bowling leagues, and coffee, but the average Lutheran looks like an East African. There are more Lutheran’s at church in Ethiopia in Tanzania than there are in North America.” For me, it’s like, “Whoa.” When you think about the margins, or minorities, and how the people that we consider a few minorities are really the majority, it’s like, what’s that power dynamic there that’s putting them at the margins, or how does that happen, and why does it happen? I’ve been thinking through, in my own life, what am I putting at the center? It’s just something I’ve been mulling over because I think there’s something powerful there about realizing what you’re putting at the center and what that does to the people, or the groups, that are not there. 

Michael: When Christ is at the center of your identity, think of all the cultures, and ethnicities, and different types of people that do that, and you’re a part of that community. It should break down your whole idea of “you’re a white American,” or, “you’re Ethiopian,” or whatever. That takes second seat. Christ is in the middle of your identity. I think, a healthy Church has Christ at the core of all things. It shouldn’t be so much of a shock. I mean, besides the fact that it’s not what you see typically every day, but it may not be so much of a shock to think of it, there’s more African Lutheran’s than there are white Lutheran’s, or whatever denomination are looking at. Christ is the Lord of this universe. It’s bigger than my contacts. The only other thing that I wrote down from the greatest hits of our podcast for season one was, before I came to Concordia, I thought that more people in business, or more people that are professionals, should think this. Then, I heard the president of our university say it, and I was like, “Oh, wow, this is really something that makes me happy to be here,” and it’s Dr. Ferry was just talking. We talked about how he handled this shift from being a history professor and then moving into being an administrator. He says this, “One thing that’s always been important to me, to make sure that I create some distance between my work and the rest of my life.” He compartmentalizes. His wife, Tammy, she works here at Concordia, and he was talking about how she knows that Dr. Ferry doesn’t want to talk about work when they’re at home, so, she’s always trying to talk him about it. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He tries to disconnect. Even when it comes to, “what sort of things should we read together as a leadership group?” well, he wants to read history because he learns through that. That’s how he learns to be a good leader. That’s what works for him. I think that’s so healthy because I try to compartmentalize. I have a lot of different interests, and we were just talking about the books we’re reading right now, and there’s some crazy stuff we’re in to, some really interesting stuff. We all have interesting, varied lives. It’s just good to see a leader, Dr. Ferry, such a renowned individual who speaks, and as a leader, the whole LCMS, and just in education in general, but he’s able to say, “At home, I’m Pat. I do what I like. I have a lot of other interests.” That made me remember that when I go home, yes, it’s good to keep up on marketing and and all that because it changes constantly, but it’s also good to do other stuff too. 

Angelina: I think, when you have other things that you’re interested in, I find that when I go home, and I choose to invest myself in other hobbies, or interests, or even other types of work, it’s almost like it rejuvenates me to come back the next day and go into my work with more purpose. 

Michael: And you see connections. I feel like the broader your knowledge base, even if it has nothing to do with your profession, it makes you sharper, it helps you see connections and think more critically. I also think the idea of learning, as opposed to some of these self-help books, or these “10 steps towards building you personal brand,” which have their usefulness in certain contexts for sure, but it’s great also to say, “Well, what if you read some history, what if you read some literature, or what if you picked up a philosophy book because that’s gonna teach you a lot about life, and yourself, and being a leader, and develop you as a human being” in ways that those books.. you know, those books are quick hits. It’s like, here’s three practical tips, but it doesn’t change you and help you grow to become an actual leader.

Dan: That’s true. I never read nonfiction growing up, and I never read any nonfiction in college. I tried to avoid it all. I started reading nonfiction heavily within the last ten years only. For me, fiction, especially speculative fiction, is a great way to think about the world in new ways and stretch your imagination. That seeps into other parts of your life. Reading fiction and literature, for me, has always been a great way to learn about the world, even though it’s not real in the same sense as reading a biography of a president, or something. Well, those are fine too. Again, if we’re talking about self help versus other genres…

Michael: That’s what good fiction should do. Do you have any other shows that you thought were noteworthy of this season? 

Dan: We covered all the ones that I was gonna talk about. 

Michael: I think they were all noteworthy in their own unique way. We’ve got a doozy or two coming up in the next season. 

Dan: We definitely have a roadmap, I think. Partial roadmap, at least. 

Angelina: We still need to design a few exits and on ramps. 

Dan: That’s good. 

Michael: Some concrete’s been poured. We want to know from you. What do you want to see more of? What do you like about this show? What don’t you like about this show? 

Angelina: If you want one of us to go…

Michael: Yes. One of us has to go. You have to choose. 

Angelina: That can be our cliffhanger. There can only be two guests. What can we do for you people? How can we make you happy? 

Dan: I’d love to get recommendations if people know of interesting guests, or interesting topics, please let us know.You can reach us on social media. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram, Twitter too. 

Angelina: Or, you can email me at  

Michael: With that, we’re trying to come up with a catchphrase for what we should sign off with. I think we should each make one up right now as we end season one. 

Angelina: That’ll do. 

Michael: Awwwwww yeah! 

Dan: Have a great Thursday. We do need to come up with some kind of a a sign-off, a catchphrase. They all have them, right? All the best podcasts. 

Michael: Zip, Zap, and that’s that! This is the end of season one. Bye.

This podcast is brought to you by Concordia University Wisconsin and Concordia University Ann Arbor. However, the opinions and views are not meant to be official statements on their behalf.


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