Friday, September 26, 2008

I am a voice crying out in the suburbs

Since I can no longer stand being "that blog" that just takes up space on your blogroll, I will post!

I am still here at Trinity. Alive: yes; sane: barely. [Takes a break to wipe the dust off my desk]. I don't know how to properly express my happiness with being here without sounding like I'm recruiting or fundraising for Trinity, so I'll try to be more reflective.

First of all, I love being here. Okay, now that I got that out of the way:

It's impossible not to compare this place with Biola. They both have Bible departments, outstanding faculty, chapel services, financial aid offices (oy vay!), and on-campus housing. Oh, and students. So the similarities go on and on. So is Trinity just a colder version of Biola?

After thinking about the differences between Biola and Trinity, undergraduate and graduate schooling, one big difference came to mind. Now, understand first of all that this distinction I will make is a highly subjective, gross generalization and may be very false. Okay? Here goes: After thinking over undergraduate education, I started to see it as a one-way transaction. It goes like this: teacher-->knowledge-->student. The student is a bucket, and he/she is to catch as much knowledge as they can (or as much as they want). Full stop. End of transaction. Now hear me on this: I don't think schools set out to deal with this one-way transaction of knowledge to students. This education model I just gave is grotesque, and I doubt any reasonable educator would affirm that college academics seek to fulfill this plan. So why did I give this model in the first place? Because I think the students are the ones who see undergraduate education this way, and that makes all the difference. Students see college as: "I go to college, I learn, and I leave." End of transaction. Again, I am not saying that every college student ever was like this, but it sometimes seemed to be the general air being carried around the undergraduate world.

And so, turning attention to Trinity, I see something different in the way education is portrayed here. Now, just like Noah's ark, generalizations best come in pairs, so generalize I will. Because of Trinity being a seminary (*ah hem*, a 'divinity school'), a training ground for future ministers, there is an ethos of service and urgency. The students here (beware: generalization approaching) have a sense of calling and purpose to be here, so any talk of getting smart just to get smart is near blasphemy. And, let's be honest, who'd want to pay this much just to get smart?

I could go on, but I really need to study Hebrew. Maybe I'll post again in another month. Thanks for reading.