Hard for me to pass up this Friday Five though I am late to the party.
So, as students wrap up their years or maybe their academic careers, let’s reflect upon our school days in today’s Friday Five:
- Favorite class during your many years of schooling
Undergrad: Emily Dickinson. We studied her poems and her letters for a whole quarter. Best class ever. I did a presentation with my roommate. We got my mom to let us tape her singing our poem to the tune of “Yellow Rose in Texas”. Fun stuff. I still love Dickinson. (Also, the only class in my undergrad for which I earned an A+.)
Graduate School: Shakespeare and Film. It was a great class and I wrote about 10 Things I Hate about You and Never Been Kissed. A year or so later, talking about possible dissertation topics, I opined about wishing I could just follow up on that paper and my friend Young Jim said, “why not?” And I thought, “yeah, why not?” And so I did. More or less.
- Toughest class you have taken
Computers for the Liberal Arts Major. It wasn’t. We had to learn programming. Shell programming. I still have no idea what I was supposed to do in that class. On the other hand, I learned about newsgroups and connecting from home via modem and spent a whole lot of time reading ST:TNG newsgroup posts (and that was the term the Great Bird of the Galaxy passed out of the galaxy (Gene Roddenberry dies), so it was quite poignant). But I didn’t learn a thing about programming and it was a singularly unhelpful class for this liberal arts major.
- Class you would love to retake
Hard to say. I would like to have done better at some of my GE classes, but that doesn’t mean I wish I could retake them. Probably one of the English classes I was too busy to do all the reading for. More than “retake” I would like to be able to go back in time and take the Shakespeare Comedy class in my undergrad. It was taught by the woman who was eventually my committee chair and dissertation advisor for my Ph.D., but I never had her as an undergrad.
- Favorite seminary or theologically-themed class
I’ve taken 8 classes in my Certificate in Ministry Course. 5 have been excellent, 1 fine, 1 mediocre, and 1 poor. Not a bad average. I am enjoying the Worship and Preaching one I am taking right now because that’s what I am doing, and I get to wrote what amounts to more or less a poem a week, but I am pretty well ahead of the curve in this class thanks to great opportunity and mentorship. The surprising ones have been the Pastoral Care class (who knew you could do that online) and the Church Leadership class. Those were terrific!
- Dream class – if you could design the ultimate undergraduate/graduate course, what would it be?
Literature and Ministry. Not sure what it would look like, but I think at minimum we would read Gail Godwin, Marianne Robinson, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, William Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. I could write the syllabus right now. I want to teach this class. I’d start with The Winter’s Tale and move on to Mansfield Park. Then A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Then Gilead and Evensong. Maybe some Vicar of Wakefield in there and a few episodes of the Vicar of Dibley and Rev thrown in. It could be a really fun and thoughtful class. (other suggestions?)