Thursday, February 03, 2011

Convo-A Little Different

by Scott Dalen

I've experienced Convocation twice before. Both times it was happening during the MDiv DL intensives and so I was staying in Stub while it was happening. Its been my experience (in the past two years) that campus gets very busy, chapel is loaded, and parking is nearly impossible (translation-don't plan on leaving campus with your car during the day or you won't have a spot when you get back).

This year Convo is a little different from two standpoints. First, its 2 weeks later, which means that J-Term is pretty much wrapped and the cohorts aren't here anymore. Second, I'm still around and am driving over to campus.

I had stuff going on yesterday morning, so I didn't head over towards campus until about lunch time. So I missed the morning speaker, though I hear he was pretty good.

I knew one of my good friends was planning on being there for the day yesterday, but she had followed protocol and kept her phone on silent, so she missed the texts that I sent her once I arrived on campus. So I milled around in Olson for a little bit, discovered that there were free lunch wraps from the Caf (YAY!!! FREE FOOD), and then headed over to the library for some odd reason. All I did there was surf the web.

Then I headed back over to the chapel to listen to Professor Matt Skinner give his lecture. I've never really interacted with Dr. Skinner, but since I'm taking a class with him this spring, I thought it might be a fun way to start to get to know him. His lecture was about learning how a community (specifically a faith community) can learn to exist in the face of issues of opposition. I really appreciated what he had to say considering the division of my old congregation that happened last summer. Its hind-sight of course, but I wish they could have heard his lecture prior to the split.

After the lecture, I jabbered with my friend for a little bit, and then headed out.

A couple of thoughts:
There don't seem to be as many recent graduates of Luther at Convo...aka I didn't see past students that I recognize from my time.
Free food is awesome.
The chapel can be a tough place to hear a lecture when you are really crammed in (my legs and feet fell asleep...though fortunately I stayed engaged and did not fall asleep).
Seeing people that wrote some of my text books in person is amazing...for example, I get a charge out of seeing Terrance Fretheim sitting in the pews.

I'm not expecting to make it to campus today as I have a lot of errands to run with my wife today. Tomorrow morning is a possibility though, but we'll have to wait and see. The commuter status strikes again. Being on the other side of the Twin Cities can be detrimental to just "dropping in" on campus activities.


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