More About Bridges….
I LOVE this bridge and everything it represents. It is outside Santiago de Cuba and crosses a stream cum drainage ditch, connecting the Eastern Baptist Seminary with an as yet uncompleted retirement home. Both sides of the bridge represent education.
The Seminary’s goal, of course is to prepare students for their vocation. The shortage of ministers in Cuba is sever and has been since Fidel Castro came to power. In recent years the government’s stance has softened toward organized religion; however, it is still illegal to print or sell Christian literature. New congregations are cropping up so frequently that Seminaries work in them full time, going to the Seminary for one week of training every quarter.
The retirement home is intended for elderly servants of God. It is beautiful and includes flower and vegetable gardens, a fish pond to provide fresh food, fountains and a chapel. There are some medical facilities and a few rooms for married couples. The rooms are not large, but it is expected that residents will only use them to sleep.
The bridge? It connects the two in anticipation that Seminary students will cross to guide Bible studies for and provide company to the elderly. The retirees may cross to the larger gardens to enjoy them and even help to care for them as well as to use meditation gardens, study in the library and provide experience to the students
My tie-in? In DE, technology is our bridge. It connects the instructor to the student and vice versa, the instructor to resources, the student to content, resources, other students and even discipline experts (Otto Peters during 601). This bridge started with print material, moved on to radio and television broadcasts, then audio and video via cassettes, CDs, VHS tapes and DVDs. Now we are able to use the Internet to access more than just the written word. Students using DE can collaborate quickly, no matter where they are, even synchronously. The possibilities expand with every technological advance. Imagine your children (or grandchildren) having a holodeck in their home, or a local educational center…. Students could pull up lectures or observe historic events. Another advance and maybe even participate in synchronous communication in a 3D real time hologram. Except in GTMO, where they will still have super slow ‘net and no cell phone coverage.
(note: due to the political climate in Cuba, I cannot properly cite my sources about Cuba; most of it was taken from personal communication.