Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Couple of Observations

by Scott Dalen

Two things occurred to me today. One of them is related to the transition from DL student to on-campus, and the other one...well...isn't.

First things first...the transitional one...and keep in mind that what I am about to share with you is completely observational based on my personal experience yesterday and is by no means statistically accurate or even plausible.

Okay...disclaimer we go.

It seems like the general trend of age groups on campus is younger than what I'm used to in the DL program. In a way, this makes sense. The DL program is really aimed at individuals that would have a harder time relocating due to constraints of family, employment, etc. In general terms, this applies to people that are older and more firmly entrenched in a particular location. That being said, people of the younger persuasion would likely have an easier time with the relocation required for becoming residential.

I bring this all up because yesterday I started to really interact with several different classmates that are in some of the same classes that I am this semester. Discussion that occurred included internship placement interviews, which of course are going on right now. I have on in about an hour as a matter of fact.

While I was having these various discussions with new classmates, it occurred to me. I'm older than these people.

I'm used to being one of the younger ones. I'm 31 and as of J-term (my last hurrah as a DL student) I was the 2nd youngest member of my cohort and I was okay with that. After 2.5 years, it seemed pretty normal. Now I seem to be interacting with a lot of classmates that are mid 20's (give or take a couple years). Granted, this isn't that much younger than me, but I do recognize the small gap. Conversations that show glimpses of what they are experiencing in life happened to me 5-10 years ago.

Is this what its like to officially realize that you're getting old?

Now, the second observation. Before coming over to campus today, I was reading for tomorrow's session of Reform of the Church (aka History 2). The section that I was reading was essentially "History of Luther" (the guy as opposed to the school). As I was reading it, I realized "Hey, I know this stuff. I've taught this stuff." Background, at my teaching parish back in Iowa, I taught Lutheran history as a part of our confirmation program.

Now, here comes the nugget of wisdom. I don't remember where I heard this, but I know I've heard it within the last 6 months or so. It could have been my supervising pastor, it could have been my CPE supervisor, it could have been a seminary prof, or it could have been one of countless other people.

Brace yourself...this is going to rock your world...

If you really want to learn something...teach it.

My realization this morning shed so much light on just how utterly and completely true this statement is that I had to stop (at least metaphorically as I was driving down the interstate when the light bulb went off) and laugh. Every once in awhile, we realize that the wisdom shared with us from the generations that come before us, is valid.

This is not to say that the wisdom that they share isn't valid all the time, but rather to say that every once in awhile, we actually believe it.


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