In The Presence Of A Master Teacher

It Never Gets Old

Motorcycling can take you places you wouldn’t believe – like the past, to meet old friends. Last night at Mockingbird Bistro, we celebrated, lionized, and told inappropriate tales about a transformational figure in our lives. Ross Lence changed the way we thought, forever.

Many like to say Ross Lence never answered a single question put to him by his students. In truth, Lence answered all their questions the same way . . .

“There are no answers, only questions,” he replied with a wry smile.

The path to knowledge is blocked by a hairball of questions and the task of the student is to untangle them. In the presence of a Master Teacher you engage with insights into the most powerful experiences a person can have. You discover the Tao of The Master Teacher is helping students teach themselves about love, friendship, virtue, and how to live. In our tradition, learning begins with an introduction to the Great Books where the great conversation takes place across space and time. What we find soon enough is the never-ending story – a journey for a lifetime and beyond.

Lence’s mojo was difficult to nail down. The classroom became electric when he arrived. And then he started to talk. And ask questions. When it came to our preconceived notions, Lence was a one-man wrecking crew. Our reaction to him was intellectual and visceral. Ross Lence was a shock to our systems. He exposed us to the universe of ideas and the world of the mind. Resistance was futile.

On the ride home through the noire of The Montrose I couldn’t help thinking back to those days of shock and awe. It’s been exactly 10 years since Ross went on his journey to the Divine Beyond. This is not the first time we celebrated his life and our good fortune. It won’t be the last. It never gets old.

Ross Lence was professor of Political Theory at the University of Houston from 1971 ’til his death in 2006

Lence was a Master Teacher with a program in his name – The Ross Lence Master Teacher Program, which is alive and well to this day at The Honors College at University of Houston

I started at UH in Fall 1976 … by the time I finished in Fall 1981, I’d taken five courses from Ross Lence … it was not nearly enough

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