Sunday, October 02, 2011
I love the idea of taking pictures of Yoda in different venues, but I only remember to take him with me some of the times and when I do toss him into the car, he seems to faceplant more often than not. Poor stuffed Yoda. I didn't take him to the laundromat with me or to the grocery store and both of those places could probably use a little bit of fun with Yoda. I haven't yet figured out how I would explain him sitting in the children's seat of my grocery cart. I'm sure I'd get a lot of funny looks and very few questions. That means that most of the people would simply think I was nuts. (stop it)
This semester I ended up taking only 3 classes. After the intensity of last semester with four classes, two of which were languages, I figured this would be a nice, easy term. I was wrong in so many ways! In fact, I was so wrong that one evening I threw a complete and utter tantrum all over my poor sister. I was just angry. It took me about an hour or so to calm down and realized that I actually HAD signed up for all of this, I just didn't like the way they were presenting it. And ... it was my problem. I calmed down.
I am taking an Introduction to the Old Testament course, which isn't exactly what I expected it to be. But, really ... how in the world do you quickly look at 39 books of the Bible in one semester? I have four fairly intense textbooks and we are moving through them quickly. Is there any particular reason academic writing has to be so darned difficult to read? One of the authors insists on interspersing multiple subordinate clauses in his sentences. By the time I've reached the fifth or sixth comma, I've forgotten the original intent of the sentence, much less the paragraph or chapter. For someone who can finish a novel in a few hours, reading this slowly is frustrating. I can promise you that I'm not actually retaining any more information at this pace than at my regular reading pace!
But the class is introducing me to things that I hadn't seen before and any time I can learn something new, I am happy.
My Christian Formation course is ... well ... hmmm. Interesting will work, I suppose. It really is difficult to be 52 years old, have a lifetime of walking with God, living within the church, acting on God's call in my life and then be treated like a 21 year old who has no idea what is coming in his or her life. God and I have been forming my Christianity for a lot more years than you have been alive, Mr. Teacher.
This week has been a real struggle for me as we have looked at racial divisiveness and I have read posts by white men who refuse to even consider that they might stereotype others or have prejudices. In the same posts, they disdain 'white male privilege' because they've had to work for everything. As soon as that type of intense defensive behavior shows up, they don't understand that they are showing their true belief systems. They are the ones who have been put down by the world ... a world in which someone from another race or culture is given opportunities. It actually broke my heart to read some of that underlying racism and the justification they have for it. These are going to be our future pastors.
The last class I'm taking is Hebrews: Exegesis. For an entire semester we will look at the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. Now, ideally, we would all be well-versed in Biblical Greek, but the truth of the matter is ... we're not. It's a struggle for most of us (me included, and I have had two strong semesters) to move past our English translations of the Bible to looking at the Greek. But the depth of understanding is so profound when it actually happens. There is a lot of work, but I love it.
I can get lost for a long time in reading and trying to comprehend all that the Greek is telling me. I am forced to slowly move through the words - back and forth between translations - to try and understand why an English word was used when it feels as if another would be a better choice. I'm having fun with this class.
At the end of a day of this stuff, I usually feel like Yoda ... I faceplant into my pillow and try to turn it all off.
And now ... I think I've probably avoided my Greek long enough. It's time to go back to work!