Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Five ~ school days

My great-grandson graduated from kindergarten last week
Today's Friday Five is brought to us by the Rev. Michelle L. Torigian:
"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. ... So, as students wrap up their years or maybe their academic careers, let’s reflect upon our school days in today’s Friday Five."
1.  Favorite class during my many years of schooling.
I think that college English class was called something like Theology and Literature.  We read ten books that semester, including The Stranger by Albert Camus and The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a small book which is also a chapter in Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov in which Ivan questions the possibility of a personal and benevolent God.
2.  Toughest class I have taken.
A newly-graduated professor's class in classical Greek.  She was so tough that not . one . single . student in my class went on to second-year Greek.  The department head tried to talk me into staying with it, but I preferred to go back to the German I'd taken a decade earlier and start over to complete my two-year language requirement.  In seminary, however, I did take Koine Greek, which is the first-century Greek of the Christian Bible.  Throw in my two years of Latin in high school and my dab of Hebrew from a kantor at a nearby Jewish community center and I figure I really do like studying languages, but that new teacher piled on way too much homework.  I had a husband and three young children when I took her class, yet often stayed up until 3:00 a.m. trying to complete all the homework she assigned.
3.  Class I would love to retake.
My seminary class on John Wesley.  It wasn't a favorite subject, but my professor's comment still rings in my ears.  I reached my last year of seminary and realized I had never used the Pass-Fail option available for a single class.  So I applied it to the Wesley class.  I always took the exams anyway.  My professor told me I would have had an A+ grade.  That would have raised my grade point average slightly higher, and he laughed when he said, "Don't you wish you hadn't chosen Pass-Fail?"  Could have, but maybe it lowered my stress level.  All was well, since my grades were not a problem.
4.  Favorite seminary or theologically-themed class.
Preaching class, where we chose theologians from a list our professor passed around and then learned all we could about that person and his or her writings.  The popular names were chosen long before the list reached me, and I chose Jürgen Moltmann.  That was back in the mid-1980s, and I predicted he would turn more toward the idea of community in his coming books.  And he did!  I now have over thirty books by him and have kept up with his (and his wife's) theological ideas ever since seminary.  I don't see eye-to-eye with him on everything, but I greatly admire his willingness to keep growing and changing as he learns.
5.  Dream class – if I could design the ultimate undergraduate or graduate course, what would it be?
I want to teach "Seven Gospels," starting with an overview of the four in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and asking why those of James, Thomas, and Mary Magdalene were left out of the Bible.  I have notes and outlines dating back to 2004, when I taught "Six Gospels" using translations from The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version, edited by Robert J. Miller.  I've since added James, head of the Jerusalem church, who hasn't gotten as much attention as Thomas and Mary.


river song said...

Wonderful play, thanks! Gotta love both Wesley Bros and I'm also such a Moltmann fan. Wishing you a Blazingly Spectacular Day of Pentecost!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel has died. (See my answer #4.) She was a guest teacher in one of my seminary classes in the mid-1980s.

I have several books by and about her, these six and maybe another one or two:

1982 ~ The Women Around Jesus
1983 ~ Humanity in God
1986 ~ A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey: Perspectives on Feminist Theology
1988 ~ Love: The Foundation of Hope: The Theoloogy of Jürgen Moltmann and Elisabeth Moltmann-Wendel
1991 ~ God — His and Hers
2000 ~ Rediscovering Friendship: Awakening to the Promise and Power of Women's Friendships