Michelle writes at RevGals:
May marks the end of many academic years. If we are scrolling through our newsfeed, we’ve begun to see photographs of our friends and family members in their caps and gowns.
For me, there are days in which I miss taking a class to continue my education, whether the course is in theological studies or something more hands-on, like computer courses. As I see photos reminding me of my days in the classroom, I wonder what type of class would I like to take next? I know chemistry was my toughest course, so I would probably stay away from the math-based science classes. Maybe I would retake a course on the history of the human language or anatomy and physiology…
So, as students wrap up their years or maybe their academic careers, let’s reflect upon our school days in today’s Friday Five:
- Favorite class during your many years of schooling: My first semester in my MA in English I took a course called Bibliography and Literary Criticism. It was taught by Harrison T. Meserole, then the editor of the World Shakespeare Bibliography. In addition to that, he was the former editor of the MLA International Bibliography, and that's a big old deal if you know literature research. He was very much larger than life to me, and he was an absolutely incisive teacher. The huge lesson I learned from Dr. Meserole was that in life (i.e. grad school) I wasn't going to be given specific instructions for everything. I presented my research in a way that made sense to me and I got a good grade. (Dr. M. did not have any teeth by the time I knew him, and he never wore dentures to class...but I never knew that until much later, because his diction was impeccable.) Here's a tribute to him that you will enjoy if you have time to read it.
- Toughest class you have taken: Statistics. I didn't take it in my Master's degree, because it was in Literature and we didn't do that there. When I took some Ph.D. classes and had to take it, I had another dear and wonderful professor, Dr. L. Fred Thomas, who understood my trepidation and continued to tell me, "I believe in you! You can do this." I managed to get through the class on the basis of that belief. What a gift.
- Class you would love to retake: I'd love to go back and do again, then, one of the ones from my first semester in college, that I got a C or D in. Texas history, Political Science. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. That's all that was. When I retook them later, I loved them.
- Favorite seminary or theologically-themed class: None of those so far. But many poetry classes approached it.
- Dream class – if you could design the ultimate undergraduate/graduate course, what would it be? As I retire, I'm planning to earn a MSW degree with a goal of being a hospice social worker. My passion is for helping people and their families through the process of their greatest journey. I'm also deeply interested in fostering conversations about aging, death, and dying well before the time comes. I hope and plan to study these things in my degree, but a class focused on this is my dream.
Earlier today I watched the live stream of the commencement ceremony at UNT, which has been central to my life for the last 19 years. I'll never really leave school, because learning is the joy of my life.