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Can we learn from failure? A Luther College program this week will discuss that topic

Posted: Sun, Mar 10, 2019 5:38 PM

Failure happens.  Often we don't want to talk about it, however.  It's embarrassing or we're still struggling with not having something work out the way we hoped.

College students aren't immune to failure.  But for a college like Luther College, where there are many very high-achieving students, dealing with failure can be a challenge.  Fortunately, five faculty or staff members at Luther have agreed to tell their stories of failure at a program Wednesday night called, "Here's My Story: I Failed."

Luther Counseling Service Counselor Bobby-Jo Molokken, a Licensed Independent Social Worker, tells the program was created in hopes that it would help to hear such stories from people who are on campus every day.  The goal is to encourage conversations about failure and how it can be "totally OK to fail" sometimes, especially if it becomes a learning experience.

Molokken says a tri-fold board has been circulating around the Luther campus in high-visibility locations in recent days, giving students a chance to anonymously post their stories about failure.

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Luther's Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall.  Luther faculty members Joe Breitenstein , Mark Potvin and Stephanie Travers and staff members Erik Berg and Stu Johnson have their stories all lined up about the good that can come from personal struggle.

The program is open to Decorah community members as well as Luther students, faculty and staff.  A reception will follow the storytelling.  Molokken says the Counseling Center is hoping the reception will give people a chance to share more stories.

An e-mail about the event ended by saying, "In a culture where we are often afraid to fail, we hope to normalize failure by speaking of it."

Luther students have posted messages on a board about their dealings with failure