What I Learned in School (Part I)
I am still trying to get into the rhythm of writing again for something other than my thesis. I find that every time I think of writing, everything in me wants to do something else. It dawned on me earlier today that I should take some time and write a few reflections of some things I learned in school over the past two years–and, I will just spoil it for you, very few of them relate directly to things I learned in classes.
1. Waiting to get an education may be a wise choice.
I started college immediately after high school (well, aside from taking a semester off to try and figure out what to do with my life). I know this is the path for most young adults in the western world. It is just the next step in the path laid out before us by the people who are older than us at the time of our decision. Most times people do not stop and ask “why” college is the next step–it just merely serves as an “experience” that must be had on the way to normal American adulthood.
Now, my first attempt at college (we will call it “College 1.0″) ended just short of finishing my degree. I felt the call of the Lord to move, and I came to KC to serve at IHOP. I do not doubt for a moment that the Lord had spoken to move–but I also know that the desire to finish never quite left me. After five years at IHOP, and after being unable to shake the desire, I decided to resume my education (think “College 2.0″).
My point here is that I am grateful I took time off, and that I did not finish my degree until later in life. I possessed such a different perspective when pursuing it (not to mention it came at a much greater cost to me–not only financially, but my family, time, etc.) that I feel I received a much greater “experience” than what your typical college student receives. I do not advocate that this be the path for everyone, but I know it can be a wise decision to take some time, get some life experience, and put yourself through school–it makes the whole experience much more about receiving an education than just about fun.
2. It is not too late to start…
Tied to the first item is something else that I realized–the lie that you are “too old to start” does not hold real weight (now, in some people’s life circumstances it may not be wise–but it probably wont be tied to age, but to other things). I started again at twenty-seven (I am twenty-nine at the moment) and I imagined I was too old to do it. However, I know not that is not the case.
3. I really like being around people who do not think like me.
It is easy for us, as humans, to surround ourselves with people who think just like us–and never see the “outside” world. It would be easy for me to blame Christians here as great culprits of this–but I think this really is just a human propensity, and that it is easy for people to single out Christians as doing this because they do not agree with their way of thinking. However, I found that I came alive being around people who did not think the same way I did. I loved hearing professors whose ideas were shaped from a completely different perspective (though I, for the most part, rarely agreed with their ideas). I began to appreciate at a greater level the need for deep thinking and the ability to communicate ideas effectively. I think this has real implications for what we need to do as believers, and how we need to go about it.
4. Interdisciplinarity is fun…
Interdisciplinarity is a fancy word for using different academic disciplines to answer a question. For example, you may attempt to understand how people perceived Nazi Europe by exploring history, literature, film, poetry, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, etc. from the post-war period (I use that example because I just finished that course). The concept of interdisciplinarity is tied to the previous point–it helps us to think about things from many different angles. Again, I think this could have real profound implications for believers on how we understand people, how they view themselves, and how to then pose answers to the “questions” being asked. I really desire to grow in this way and use such an approach in my writing/communicating. I recently read Francis Shaeffer’s How Should We Then Live, and this is essentially what he does in an attempt to understand modern culture and the response of the gospel.
These four must suffice for the time being. Hopefully these will get me over the first blog back hump, and resume somewhat of a rhythm.