As all student at Luther are aware, Intro to the Bible is basically a required class for graduation. I had a bit of
trouble getting into it at the start, and needed to write a special request to Dr. Ward Blanton to be put into his freshman
section when the other sections were all full. He welcomed me into his class with open arms, to my great delight, but then
lo and behold, another section was created for upperclassmen. This is where our story begins.
My expectations for this class included the following: 1) I was just plain interested in knowing the stories of the
Bible. For one, they are stories many people know, and I was not raised in a particularly Christian community. I wanted
to know the characters and the scenes involved in shaping this religious message, and I wanted to be able to speak up in religious
discussions involving these people and places and what they stood for. In short, I really wanted the knowledge and understanding
that many people take for granted, as they are drilled with it at a young age in this part of the country. 2) As a writer,
I am very interested in the anecdotal value of the stories. What is being said, and what does it really mean? I wanted to
understand the symbolism and allegories present in the literature, and learn to do similar things with my own stories. There
is much more to say in regards to my expectations, but my teacher's expectations are that I only use up half a page describing
them, and her expectations definitely outrank mine!
Much of my mid-term guidance session was spent discussing the last paper I had written, "A Promising Look at
Genesis." There had been some serious miscommunication and errors which lead me to write a paper which was likely not
even close to my best work. That being said, there was plenty to discuss in the guidance session. I feel it was very successful
in stimulating my desire to change my work for the better, and immediately after the session I retired to my room and began
piecing apart that old paper in search of my own mistakes. This search lead me back to my original expectations, and brought
me to the realization that although I may not be making the best grades on my work, I was getting what I wanted out of the
course so far. This was inspiring to me for quite some time, and fueled my desire to continue delving into the literature.
As of today, November 30th, 2005, I do not feel I have reached my goals, but rather continue to reach for them.
The goal of knowledge is never one a person should feel they have reached at any given time. There is always more to learn
and more to understand. This is really the only reasonable way of looking at this type of thing. I set a challenge for myself
that would require energy and attention, but wasnt impossible by any means. I was most surprised by the amount of thematic
information I could soak up in class and during readings without taking any physical notes. To me, this just means that the
information I was reading was somehow relevant to my current thoughts and could be tied in with ideas I already had. As a
writer, this is a very valuable process to me.
As a whole, the only thing I can think to do differently if I am ever given the opportunity of time travel is to
perhaps spend more time pondering the discussion questions that I don't get to use in class. Though we did the whole "representative
presentation" thing in class, I didn’t feel I understood the other questions as well as the one my group was
given to discuss. One thing I certainly would not change was the discussion group I was placed in. I enjoyed working with
those people very much, and loved the alternate insights they always provided. Agreeing is not always the best method, after
These last two short papers I've written have been very enjoyable for me. I can really relish working without the
pressure of a really long length requirement, but still with a solid topic to work from and expand on. I usually end up writing
more than I'm allowed to, and need to cut it down by way of strategic editing or...in some cases...font shrinkage. The first
New Testament paper I wrote dealing with Paul's letter to the people of Corinth was very to-the-point and seemed more like
a summary with a few key ideas thrown in as decoration, but there still ended up being the question of whether or not my angle
was an accurate one. This puzzled me quite a bit, as it was one of the more conservative papers I've ever written. Of course,
the paper was returned to me a second time with a very high grade on it, and for that I am very appreciative. I admire a
person's willingness to take a second look and challenge their own preconceptions, as it is something I'm not entirely good
The second paper of the New Testament discussions was completed quickly, with the first as a model. Seeing as I have
not received comments or a grade for that particular writing, there is little more I can say. I'm already running short on
The experience of writing the second paper, compared to the first, is simply this: The first paper was done in two very
stressful days. The second was spread out over about a week and a half, and was revised in several copies. I think the methods
speak for themselves.
The thing I regret the most about my learning experience this semester would have to be the definite lack of comparing
the issues and themes of the text to the modern world. There are so many traditions and even common-day language that has
come from the biblical texts, and those were not explored or addressed. I was hoping there would be more of that relevant
study. After all, we’re not all in seminary school.
Secondly, I would have to say my greatest achievement was correcting myself in terms of being able to write the type
of mini-paper the professor was looking for. I went from not having any idea what I was doing wrong to magically satisfying
the requirements. It is nice to know that with a little work, serious miracles can happen.