DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Cracks Me Up When UK Folks Use S’s Instead of Z’s

Written by: on October 19, 2017

I am a little sorry, but the first thing I noticed about Bayard’s book was the common usage of the letter S instead of the letter Z in words like “memorising” and “analysing”. I understand this is not a very deep first impression of an academic publication, and it should NOT have surprised me, especially coming from an author from the UK, but it cracked me up. In fact, I tried typing those words into my paper but spell check kept “automatically correcting” the spellings. Now, the words remain underlined in red in my draft copy reminding me of my American-ness. I apologize for my English language deficiencies to our Londoner, Dr. Jason Clark!

The second impression I received from Bayard’s book was immediately about the usage of the word “grit” in several different places. Before Mike Webb reminds me that he had dibs on the discussion surrounding this word (especially compared to the Duke, John Wayne), I wanted to early on in my writing include a quote from Coach George Raveling that says, “As I stated before, you do not need a title to be a leader. But one does need grit to be a courageous leader.” Bayard’s use of the word grit, in his book titled, “Learn How To Study: Developing the Study Skills and Approaches To Learning That Will Help You Succeed in University” and in Coach Raveling’s quote, grit screamed out to me concepts like perseverance and stick-to-it-tive-ness!  And surprisingly spell check did not auto correct that last word. This term resonates with me on so many levels after one month in our program. It is going to take grit in persevering and being successful in both leadership and in our studies.

Unsurprisingly, most of us in the elite LGP8 cohort will have immediately focused in on Bayard’s SQ3R and how to apply this to our reading. I have found this strategy to be extremely helpful and would count it as a top three takeaway from our Doctoral studies so far. The other two of my top three takeaways, in no particular order, center around NOT feeling guilty about NOT reading every word of every book, as well as reading more intelligently at a significantly deeper level (both from Adler’s How To Read a Book).

Regarding the SQ3R previously mentioned, especially beneficial to me is the third R, Review. However, it is not what I have chosen to drill in on for my post this week. I have chosen to focus on one of my weaknesses in reading and writing, specifically I am referring to the area of being appropriately critical, and how to respond carefully. Thus, chapters 6 and 7 dominated my reading energy this week. Critical reading almost naturally makes me read to a deeper level.

Therefore, the first item about this book that I found myself critically evaluating was the fact that this book is nearly 50 years old! I understand there have been several revisions, but almost 50 years old–Are you kidding me? I don’t think many of us in the program will be using a 50 year old source for our dissertation. If we do, we had better be able to back it up, and pronto.

Secondly, I found myself questioning why there was such a lack of professional reviews of this book. Was it so basic that folks simply skipped the thought of critically evaluating Bayard’s writing? I searched every source previously used to find helpful book reviews, but found almost nothing. Then I found myself thinking that I agree intuitively with many suggestions from chapters 1 through 5, but there was nothing that especially rocked my world and made me want to change my reading habits, especially enough to want to write a favorable professional review.

I honestly believe this book was so full of common sense that it lulled me to sleep. There were many practical applications in this book (like getting organized for reading and developing a strategy for reading), but I was quite surprised at how few of times I used the highlighter feature of my Kindle.

However, I can honestly tell my beloved cohort members, and my wife when she asks me what I learned this week (she is so kind to show interest and ask me this question every week), that I will be able to respond without hesitation that I most enjoy reading books that are PRACTICAL. I was reminded first and foremost, that I am a practical reader. I most enjoy books that give me something to APPLY to my daily living. I need books that help me to improve my lot in life. I don’t enjoy so much books that are more about theory than practice.

I am not referring to so called “self-help” books, because my practicality goes deeper than that. This book was a decent example of practical applications in the art of studying, and I will use strategies like searching for weaknesses, and deciding if the author’s conclusions make sense. I have actually found this practical book to be of some use to me.

Has this book been of any value to my Brothers and Sisters in the elite LGP8 cohort? I think it has, especially if you have read my blog post CRITICALLY, and noticed my on purpose referral to this book being written by Bayard, because this is completely inaccurate, as this book was written by Rowntree! (grin)

Derek Rowntree. Learn How to Study: Developing the study skills and approaches to learning that will help you succeed in university: A virtual tutorial with Professor Derek Rowntree. Kindle ed. (Wappingers Falls, NY: Beekman Books, 1989).

About the Author

mm

Jay Forseth

Superintendent of the Western Conference of the Evangelical Church. Blessed with 28 years as the husband of my amazing wife who I can't make it without. Now three of four in our family are attending University, but both my children are way smarter than me.

12 responses to “Cracks Me Up When UK Folks Use S’s Instead of Z’s”

  1. mm Trisha Welstad says:

    Jay, the first thing I did was go to the bottom of your post to see if you tagged Rowntree after seeing Bayard at the top. Way to help us continue to be on our toes with our reading. I too like practical books and felt myself reading through without much highlighting and being lulled a bit.
    You mentioned that reading critically is a weakness of yours. How have you seen that strengthened so far and would you say that Rowntree gave you any new ideas on reading critically that you have not implemented in the past?

    • Jay Forseth says:

      Thanks for your reply Trish. Yes, I have seen steady growth every week of our DMin. I actually have appreciated the different books that we have read so far. And the discussions help me, too. I think we are all growing without necessarily knowing it. One of the ideas I liked from Rowntree is REVIEW (I wish my congregation would review the sermon sometime during the week…their retention would go way up)

  2. mm M Webb says:

    Jay,

    Outstanding introduction to your post, I am still laughing! Thanks for remembering the Duke and True Grit. Who remembers him facing off four outlaws on horseback, pistol in one hand, rifle in the other, and yelling, “Fill your hands you son of a…” and then putting the reins in his mouth as he and horse gallop towards the fight. There is a man with grit, perseverance, invisible armor, and a willingness to advance justice against evil.

    I am so glad you have processed through the pastoral “guilt” from not reading every word! Praise the Lord for sure. Good job on your critical questioning of Rowntree too. Yes! Trust but verify. I also like your “why” approach. Why a 50-year-old source, why a lack of scholarly reviews, why can’t the UKers speak normal. And then, you analyzed and gave your conclusions about why there are not any reviews, because the work is mostly just “commonsense” study techniques and therefore may not warrant reviews.

    Finally, how did you connect Rowntree to your research question that asks if Dave Ramsey’s financial teachings really help Christians become faithful stewards? Great Post!

    Stand firm,

    M. Webb

    • Jay Forseth says:

      Mike,

      I believe we are all going to remember your “trust but verify” discussion with Mary on our last Zoom. I was not offended with your tongue in cheek “if their lips are moving, they are lying” comment. Now we need to all apply what we are learning to our dissertation–which I think you are probably doing better than the rest of us on. Well done, Mike.

  3. Dave Watermulder says:

    Dear Sly Fox,

    Thanks for the post. I was just like Trisha, and checked the bottom as I read to see if you had mixed things up, or if I was reading the wrong post! I’m with you in the process of reading while looking for practical wisdom or things that I can apply. I’m also with you in being sort of “lulled to sleep” by what I found here… Oh well, on we go!

  4. Greg says:

    I should have read the reviews before I started. I did the same thing everyone else did, and wonder if this was last weeks blog or if all that Montana snow had finally driven you over the edge. I think if we had read this first or alone (not in a 3 part books series) I would have enjoyed the practical side as well.

    Way to poke fun at Mike for trying to call “dibbs” on the grit discussion this week. I was at an event today and was reminded of British words when a friend as for “candy floss”, then looked at me and slowly spoke, “that’s cotton candy for you Americans.” Language is fun.

  5. mm Jean Ollis says:

    Jay,
    It’s a good thing I read to the bottom of your post. I was so confused by your error. Well played! I’m glad you found some beneficial material in the book. I’m curious about your interest in practical books –
    specifically self-help. What are your favorites and why? Do you have snow on the ground this week?

    • Jay Forseth says:

      Hi Jean,

      No snow on the ground here, but I did get a deer today (grin). It has been unseasonably warm for October…

      My favorite practical books actually have been written by Coach John Wooden. His “pyramid of success” has been a tremendous help to me. He was the coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team that has won the most championships in sports history.

  6. Jay, I think Dave has discovered a new nickname for you: Sly Fox. 😉

    I would echo Mike’s question and hope you have a chance to respond – what will you take from the Rowntree book to your study of Dave Ramsey and congregations that use his materials, and how it impacts congregational giving? How will you critique the materials you research?

    One area comes to mind for me. I know personally how frequently I can be excited by a conference or workshop I have attended, and come home with great dreams of changing my ways. But weeks later, not to mention months, I have fallen back into my old patterns. Perhaps with your Ramsay research you will discover if change in congregations is maintained months and years following the workshop.

    • Jay Forseth says:

      Hi Mark!

      Great thoughts and questions. Rowntree’s book, as well as my 30 minute Zoom with Dr. Jason, challenged me on the critical reading and writing skills. I think I am critically questioning if Dave Ramsey classes really do increase generosity in the church–I have heard some statistics from the Ramsey group that do not add up to my personal findings from starting 42 classes of FPU. In fact, I think giving may go DOWN initially because of folks focusing on getting their own finances in order…

  7. mm Jason Turbeville says:

    Well apparently I am not smart enough to go down to the bottom of your post to check you. I spent a good 10 minutes thinking either I lost my mind or you have. To be honest I would be ok in losing my mind. Great job in drilling down to something you feel you need help in reading and analyzing this book. On the surface the book seems “old” but there were nuggets to be found.

    thanks

  8. Chris Pritchett says:

    Nice work on switching the author titles to see if we were paying attention. Interestingly, I caught it right away and thought, that’s not right. And then I thought my memory must be off and surely Jay is right, so I’ll just go with that. Easier than actually looking it up. Good to know that my initial instinct was good! I’m totally with you on the practical aspect of reading. I’m often wishing the writer would cut the crap and tell me what to do. Thanks Jay.

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