Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Gettin' By ...

I hate midterms.

First of all, I hate taking them.  I really don't like feeling like my knowledge of a particular subject is being tested by very select snippets of knowledge that a professor chooses to put on an exam.  I don't think it's an accurate portrayal of what I actually know.

Second of all, I think they absolutely contradict EVERYTHING that we're taught about self-care.  We're told to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise and try to take a sabbath.  At the same time, we're told to be prepared for all midterms, hand papers in one time with no exceptions while still being prepared for regular classes.  Um, excuse me, Candler:  How many hours do you think actually are in our days?

Third of all, I don't think it's great for the life of the community.  Granted, we're brought together by the stress and frustrations of what we have due, but I just think that is a very "initiation-type" of mindset.  During college, I was always flabbergasted during pledging time because I always thought there HAD to be a better way to build community than high stress, hazing and dominance.  So what makes Candler thinks that it's going to work here?  Wouldn't a better way to build community be worship services, potluck dinners or long hikes?  Also - what about those who don't find comfort in the misery of others?  Those are the people who fall through the cracks, who are isolated from the community.

Fourth, I hate what they do for my home life.  I don't get to spend enough time with Bruce, much of my time spent with Bruce is me crying while he comforts me, my family and friends start to wonder if I'm still alive, and my ability to reach out to people in need falls dramatically.  Everything I've learned about pastoral care flies out the window faster than smoke from a chimney.

Fifth and finally, I forget why I'm here.  I ignore my sense of call as it is covered up by my anxiety and tension.  Right now as I see it, I will look back at seminary during my ministry and think of it as a terrible experience.  When God calls someone into the ministry do you think God wanted them to despise it so much?  (This is when I start thinking about Mary - "Let it be to me, according to your Word."  I need to remember her difficult journey to Bethlehem as inspiration for me as I complete my journey through seminary)

Okay, so there you have it.  Midterms are terrible for five reasons.  1 - They don't accurately portray what you know; 2 - They're a terrible setup for self-care; 3 - It's a terrible time for the life of the community; 4 - Your life at home starts to fall apart and 5 - People forget why they're in seminary.

Please pray for me.


  1. Also, pedagogically they accomplish nothing. They set it up so the point of the class is not to make sure you've learned the material, but rather to see how much you haven't learned. Tests are really ridiculous.

  2. Agreed. I wish there was a "don't test me I just want to learn" track at Candler ...


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