Friday, September 11, 2015

Monday, then Friday, the first week

1. With the clock hitting 2:30, I finished my first full week back teaching. The thought I expressed to a couple people was that I was definitely back in my natural habitat. I am nowhere happier then when talking about the Bible, truth, and just about anything with people who at least pretend like they're interested.

It's also been an exhausting week. I don't remember it being this tiring! I am older, of course. I feel more like a Dad now than a buddy. Believe it or not, I used to feel like I was teaching my own age group even when I was in my early 40s. That's a little different now. I know Jim Lo feels it too.

2. I hate to say it, but I'm taking teaching a little more seriously now too. I think up until my Dad died, I still was playing a little at my job. I'm a little more sober and mature now than before, just maybe. I hope it doesn't hurt my teaching. :-)

Then there is that first impression thing. This is a generation than knew not Schenck and Lo. There's no money in the bank. Working hard to deposit some!

I will say that the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the School of Theology and Ministry (STM) are greatly improved in many ways from when I was a teacher before. There are a lot more systems in place than before, for example. Dave Ward has done an incredible job at leading STM into a degree of excellence I don't think it had before. He's appointed David Vardaman and Brian Bernius as leaders of departments, and together they are really forming a world class School. On the level of CAS itself, Dave and a new leadership team are improving the systems of the College and Arts and Sciences in common sense ways almost daily, it seems.

3. I am of course tired in part because I'm teaching a lot. There seems to be some extra factor in almost every course I'm teaching. So I'm not just teaching New Testament survey, I'm teaching a first year experience version of it.

Just a few of my
First Year Experience students
What they have done in the College of Arts and Sciences here is just spectacular! New students come in a week before the semester begins and they meet with a professor they're going to have that semester the week before, as well as with a "peer." So I felt really close to that class, even before the semester began.

And the Romans class I'm teaching is not just undergraduates, but the first master's group for STM's new residential Master of Christian Ministry. Paired with the right undergraduate courses, this program is an MDIV equivalent degree that both includes a year of internship at a church and an advanced theological training.

I'm also teaching two sections of the Foundations course for the Honor's College, which is a new prep. And I'm teaching Philippians in Greek. I'm back in the groove, I think, but on Monday I was trying to pull some endings I haven't looked at for a while out my ear.

4. Bottom line is that I am exactly where I am supposed to be! I am delighted to be working with my old friends in STM, who are all high quality scholars and teachers. I remain deeply grateful for their friendship, for their excellence, and especially for their warm welcome back. I know Jim Lo feels the same!

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