The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life Lessons Learned: Reflecting on My Seminary Experience

Going back to school as an "older" student is an educational experience. Not only do you learn a lot of new material, you also blow away a lot of false conceptions of yourself that you've gathered like so much old scrap over the years. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I picked up along the way:

  • Going back the second time around you are a much more focused student and know what you want
  • You're paying for it this time and are going to wring the most out of the experience ... and you're going to hold the staff you're helping pay for accountable for ensuring things go well (in a nice way of course)
  • Perhaps the previous Master's degree was a real struggle and you thought yourself less than accomplished as a Master's level student ... only to discover that with age and experience you have become a much BETTER student
  • How you did in Junior High School French does not reflect on your aptitude for a foreign language. I had a blast with Koine Greek (and can no longer say "it's all Greek to me")
  • Note taking and report writing is MUCH EASIER on a laptop than it was on a portable Olivetti type writer and with a BIC pen
  • God does see you through all the challenges large and small ... have faith and keep plugging away
  • If you are a compulsive note taker who learns best that way, your notes may be a great help to a foreign student for whom English is a second language (who knew)
  • Maybe one of your research papers will get published the second time around ("Joy in Evangelism" in Witness Magazine 2009)
  • Adversity will not stop you (2 years chronically ill while working full time and attending seminary part time ... Paul's confession of having a thorn in his side while doing amazing missionary work kept me going ... and am thankful I was cured)
  • For so many things ... it's never too late
Those are a few of the things I picked up along the way. These insights let me toss away old preconceptions and poor judgments of myself and I'm glad to be rid of them. Taking a great risk and stepping out in faith were required ... and well rewarded already.

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