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Community College

This post was written on Friday, June 2nd, 2006 around 12 AM.
   Ahhh....what a relief to (nearly) finish up my degree in a place where the old Extinguished Scholar could be one of the first accused of pedantry. Walking through halls filled with evidence of real-world project tacklage was a good change of pace. The line between vocational schools and liberal arts is a sharp one, and I know on which side I feel the most comfortable.
   I don't think I ever want to earn a doctorate degree. I received about as many encouraging words in the first two days of tech school than in any two semesters at university. Rather than going to graduate school, I should complete as many vocational certifications as might interest me, and then get busy doing real things to learn the real details. And if some stuffy institution wants to give me an honorary doctorate, I'll accept it just for fun. But I doubt the view would get any better with my nose a bit farther in front of me.
   At my old college, the weight of academics clung to many professors. Most approachable teachers — and there were many — still seemed to stand on the far side of a great chasm dividing the Doctorate from the underling. I don't mean to deny my place below those who have earned their authority through by toiling through extra years of homework and who have given the young days of their lives to consuming thesis papers. "A student is not above his teacher...", as Mr. Gnade suggests throughout his series on "informed formality". But for me, one who is not very pizzazzy in the social department anyway, this gully only made conversation outside of class more difficult. Events outside of school felt a little more lonely and empty, church included. A multitude of professors replaced the usual mentors in local churches that met the college's approval. Thankfully each congregation had its own personality, and I finally did find a home church of sorts. Yet for too long, I felt side-effects of "the divide" after every service, on every Sunday.
   I guess this feeling shows how much church is, for sickness or for health, expected to have generous similarities with other social gatherings. But the problem wasn't just who-talked-with-who over coffee after the doxology. At church, Christ's followers are all taught by one teacher, and all serve the same master. Faith is neither for the ignorant nor for the educated, but for the humble. It was hard to follow the professors' examples of humility when the chasm extended right through the church foyer.
   Your mileage may vary. Though I owe the very title of this site to my suffoca mater, there are many things I would not want to have missed there, even if it would mean owing $120 less each month for the next 10 years: learning Differential Equations and the Fourier transform, enjoying over half of the physics lab "experiments", taking leisurely walks through music theory, learning some Greek and some cool stuff about languages in general, not 'getting' philosophy but enjoying it anyway, setting up the auditorium for Michael Card's crew, meeting friends from all over in the commons...and of course finding my best [+looking] friend! Not to mention the friendships, in whatever form, that I was given in a number of professors. Though the cost was high, I have many things to be thankful for.
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