19.3.10

Graduation Thoughts (#1?): Outlining my time at Regent

I predicted that I would have more to say about graduation, and I do. I don't know how much more, hence the question in the title.

I just got an email today from Regent college inviting me to a free workshop they offer to help people deal with leaving regent. I was surprised, and commented to Tom that sometimes Regent is a little bit to touchy-feely for me. But, I also realized that my Regent experience has been different than what is considered the 'norm' (at least by the college itself). I have always lived off campus, and not just a little bit off campus, but waaaaay off campus (maple ridge, surrey, and coquitlam). So, I have never been able to base my life, in any way other than scheduling courses, around Regent events or community. For the same reason, I have always incorporated distance education into my Regent degree; less travel, easier to schedule. And if that wasn't disconnected enough, I took a year off in the middle of my degree, meaning that the vast majority of people I knew well at Regent graduated while I was half a world away.

The end result? Experiencing my MDiv degree has been a wildly varied thing. In my first year, I was the typical excited beginner, eager and willing, though with the difficulty of distance. I was a full time student, and that was it; no job, no children, just a wonderful wife (who also worked at the time) and groups of friends and family. Regent was new and shiny and wonderful (and I do still think it is that last one, though when I actually get to 'evaluating' my experience I will qualify myself).

In my second year I took a job as a TA. This was my most 'connected' year, and also my busiest. I took several of my hardest courses during this year (like hermeneutics), and for the first time in my life I started having afternoon naps in bean bag chairs hidden in the dark corners of the old library (my Tuesday's were crazy; if I didn't have that nap, I don't know what I would have done. That library no longer exists, and the new one has no dark corners. It still has bean bag chairs though, and I am happy to say I still see people sleeping in them from time to time) . I knew more people and felt myself to be much more a part of Regent. I got to know several professors, TAing under Paul Williams (whom I learned much from, but most of all I appreciated the lessons on how to properly drink/have tea) as well as doing a guided study course with Craig Gay (the topic: postmodernity. Great course; Craig introduced me to the writings of George Steiner who, in his work "Real Presences," points out what I believe to be the only real major shift, or disconnect, between what we call modernity and postmodernity. Craig also did guide me through this course, helping me not only to understand the issues better, but also he helped me to learn why the topics had seemed important to me but actually weren't. Thanks to both of you :).

Then we ran out of money, and went back to Korea for a year (good times!). When I came back to Regent, there was hardly any connection. My 3rd year was just about getting done and moving on. At the same time, I did my internship at Coquitlam Alliance, which meant I was much more connected to a church community, and that was a very helpful thing (most especially developing a relationship with my mentor/supervisor David Wood).

Now I have spent the last 6 months finishing my last two courses on Audio, while working full time, and while raising our first child, Hannah. These last two courses have, more even than my third year, been all about getting it done. And I am.

So, thats the outline of my experience... I guess there will be a post #2, at the very least, because I am out of time, and still have stuff to say.

No comments: