Lest you read that last post and think that I’m a negative nancy who isn’t enjoying the College experience, let me put your mind at ease with this list of things I am loving about being at college… I listed 16 because the experience has been more positive than negative – and I suggested 12 improvements.
- Studying with my wife
What an amazing privilege. I need to keep reminding myself, even when she gets better marks than me, that it’s an amazing opportunity to live life together (all hours of the day) in a way that we couldn’t when we were both working, and we possibly won’t again for a long time.
- Filling in gaps/gaining knowledge
Knowledge is like high fructose corn syrup. And I’m like a fat kid addicted to soft drink. Knowledge might puff you up – but it’s addictive and I’m enjoying the process of trying to quench my seemingly unquenchable thirst. I love reading. I love ideas. I love debating with scholars in my head and on paper. The library is an awesome new discovery for me. I managed to studiously avoid the library in my first degree. But, so many books, so little time. Our librarian is also amazing.
- Writing Essays
Knowledge will only get you so far, I love the process of communicating knowledge through writing. Essays are where it’s at as far as motivating study and clarifying thoughts and arguments goes. I have thoroughly enjoyed the topics I’ve chosen to write about where choice is available, and benefited from the exercise when choice isn’t.
- Having the Bible come to life
Standing in front of the Bema in Ancient Corinth is possibly literally a once in a lifetime experience, doing it with a bunch of people from college and a lecturer who specialises in first century Roman culture and its interaction with Christianity is an amazing experience. But that’s only the tip of the obelisk when it comes to the question of how college has fleshed out my understanding of the background to the Old and New Testaments. I’m pretty firmly settled on historical context being an important hermeneutical key – so the chance to dig around in primary source documents from the Ancient Near East, Qumran, Greek and Roman philosophy, and political proclamations from the Roman empire has been a really rewarding experience.
- Having to justify our presuppositions, and having our assumptions challenged
College is a stretch, some scholarly ideas are worth considering, and you’re almost always richer for undergoing the process of considering (and rejecting) them. Someone told me that if you get to college too late in life you’re already to set in your ways for it to effect you – I hope that’s not the case for me.
- Being taught by faculty who love the Bible and love us
While the pitfalls and potholes of modern scholarship are many and varied, our staff are academically excellent and theologically orthodox. They model the appropriate approach to scholarly pursuits, while also demonstrating a love for God’s word and for us. It’s encouraging to see the two spheres of theology and ministry come together like they do in our teachers.
Before we went overseas on our trip we went to Toowoomba for a week of mission. It was an experience. Time spent with other people, in a foreign church, seeing how stuff gets done in the real world, and doing some RE and other evangelism stuff, was great.
- Studying with other people
Some people have told me that the best thing about college is the relationships you form with other people. It’s probably true. I’ve loved serving with others on mission, travelling overseas with 20 other students, and just hanging out and chatting about significant (and not so significant) theological and practical issues. The college community is a blast, and little random acts of generosity and kindness from other students have been greatly appreciated.
- Constructive arguments about theology
I love arguing. I love arguing with smart people in an encouraging way and having my thinking stretched.
Chapel services have been pretty amazing experiences. Hearing fellow students and the staff preach, singing together, being encouraged by God’s word, singing and praying together has been a consistent highlight of the week for me all year.
Seriously. How cool is handball. I heard it’s almost banned at other colleges in Australia.
- The Coffee
Roasted with care. Ground fresh every morning. Brewed scientifically. Turning a profit. How can I complain.
- The Drive
We did have the coolest car going to college from the northern suburbs of Brisbane. The drive to and from college was almost always eventful.
- Language “study hour”
So, you may have the impression that I don’t love studying Greek and Hebrew. You’re right. but one thing I do like is that QTC built time to study the languages into the program so we don’t have to at home (in theory).
- The Location
Eating lunch overlooking the river. Oh, the serenity.
- Free Bread
Brumbies give us free bread every Wednesday.