New School for an Old Car Salesman

It was 1995 when I last stepped into a classroom, expecting to receive a grade. For the past few months I've been excited for this chance to learn at a higher institution. Now that I'm here, with all the reservations and complications that I bring with me, I find that it is something still new; the first day of school notwithstanding.

To give everyone an idea of my course-load, I should explain something about my goals here. Most importantly, the Order requires me to complete several college-level classes to prepare me for ministry. This is something they have all Post-Novices do. For example, I must take a class in Ecclesiology, Eucharist, and Pastoral Ministry. But I'm also require to take a Public Speaking class, as well as being strongly encouraged to pick up a second language. There are a number of classes that are required, many of them are fulfilled by a college's core curriculum. They are required before I can take solemn vows.

I'm also discerning a call to the priesthood. Since priests are required to have 32 credits of Philosophy, taking Philosophy is very important. However, because we are religious and not diocesan seminarians, we are encouraged to pursue an undergrad different than Philosophy. Some in the house are studying for music, others for Psychology, and we even have someone who's studying Pastoral Accounting. All of these skills are important for a group of guys living together, and many will go on to the Master's level.

Earlier this year, I talked about how I'd decided to pursue Computer Science. I'm excited to get started, and everyone recognizes that in a religious community, the options I will have are endless.

Unfortunately there are a few conflicts in such a course-load. Computer Science and Philosophy aren't truly compatible studies, as opposed to Computer Science and Math. None of my courses overlap or compliment each other. Instead of having open electives to explore different learning, many of my elective classes are Philosophy classes. This leaves me with little room to explore.

Thankfully, when you're as old mature as me, you've developed a greater focus for learning. I do need to complete the core requirements, classes in the Arts & Liturature, World Studies, Culture Studies, and a three other sciences for the Bachelor's in Science. While my course-load is narrow, there's a little bit of room to explore.

The first day of school here was pretty dull. I like the professor (I still have another class tonight), I have homework to complete already, and the shorts women wear got a lot shorter at some point. If I'm self-conscious about anything, it's still about my age.

Between the excitement, the anxiety, and the realization that I'm in a place where God wants me to be, as a student friar, I'm still excited about this opportunity to learn again.

Perhaps this time I'll be more interested in what the professors are saying, and not trying to make the people around me laugh. But you know what they say about old car salesmen and new tricks. =)

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1 Response to New School for an Old Car Salesman

August 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM

You are never too old to learn! God's grace will be sufficient!