10 Questions with Alice Kunce
December 1, 2016
We are beginning a new series of regular interviews with members of our congregation. Taking a cue from Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton we are asking 10 questions that will help us learn about and from one another. Our first guest: Alice Kunce.
1. What is your favorite word and why?
Peligroso; it's Spanish for dangerous and it's super fun to say.
2. What is your least favorite word and why?
"May you please ____." It should be "Will you please _____" or "May I please _____."
3. What makes you alive?
Walking through Emerald Park with my dogs. The trail overlooks the Big Rock Quarry and the Arkansas River. Watching the birds swoop and wing their way across the quarry thrills me.
4. What gets in your way?
Eating and sleeping. I have a lot to do and while I need fuel and a recharge, I wish I didn't have to take so much time and energy to think, plan, and execute those two activities.
5. What is your favorite hymn or spiritual song?
"Let Us Break Bread Together"
6. What helps you experience God?
Taking a moment to be still in the middle of nature. Pausing to listen, feel, smell, and be in the moment, without worrying about the million things I need to do and feeling grateful that I live in this amazingly beautiful world God created. Sun on my face, wind in my hair, nature sounds filtering through the chaos of my thoughts; that's where I find peace.
7. What makes it hard for you to experience God?
I completely stink at contemplative prayer. I participated in a day-long event once as part of my Community of Hope training and despised every second of it. No talking. No moving. No writing. No reading. No interacting with anyone or anything around me. I counted a lot of ceiling tiles, knots in the wood floor, and finally broke the rules and doodled. It feels very forced for me and, at the same time, I'm filled with guilt that I'm not a "good prayer" because I don't sit still and quiet that long. It feels like a punishment.
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I would love to work with people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and help them re-learn how to read and write. Whether the injury was sustained in combat or from a stroke or an accident, I want to show people that no, they're not suddenly stupid, the brain is like any other organ: it needs time to heal. Together we can find a way to make it work again.
9. What is your favorite spiritual book or movie?
"The Courage to Teach" by Parker J. Palmer
I had to read it for one of my master's courses at Harding University. I was in a very negative mental space after teaching for 6 years. I'm not good at navigating the politics of the academic world or the workplace; I just want to help people learn. I read a chapter with breakfast every day for several weeks. I liked the message of being a servant leader. Teaching has a very high 'soul price.' There are so many things classroom teachers are powerless to change, but it's vital that we continue to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. I had started to lose that eagerness, that desire to make the world a better place. Palmer reminded me that I must keep going, but I'm not alone.
10. Where do you see God’s kingdom coming into the world?
Have you ever watched our little ones play on the playground? They are incredibly kind to one another and so imaginative. Their spirits are still shiny and new and I can't help but smile and laugh with them.