It’s not easy to live on a mountain. Just ask our own Diane Graham. But I’m not talking about physical living, I’m talking about mental living.
For the past semester, I’ve been engaged in some of the most mentally challenging classes I’ve ever had. Here’s the rub, though… I took them at the same time. Introduction to Hebrew, Systematic Theology, and Philosophy of Religion.
I’m brain fried.
Just a few hours ago, I turned in the last assignments of the semester… two papers with a combined word count of 13k and a combined page count of 40. Now I can bask in the blessedness of nothingness. I’m in need of some dumb.
But what have I learned? Well, today I won’t go into specifics… that would require too much thinking. But I’d like to give you a generalization of some of my epiphanies this semester. Perhaps later, I’ll unpack a few things for you.
Twelve Things I Learned This Semester
12) Most famous or well-known people WILL email you back if you’re nice.
This semester I have conversed through email with Tosca Lee, Robert Liparulo, and Alton Gansky. And when I had to do a book review for Systematic, I had a question I couldn’t find the answer to. So I looked up the author online and emailed him. He answered my question and I cited it in the report.
11) Germans make tough graders.
The grad school I’m at utilizes students who are advanced enough in the program to grade papers so the professor doesn’t have to. I had two of my classes with the same professor, which means I had the same grader. He’s a natural born German. He shows no mercy. My professor calls him the Arian Avenger.
10) I instinctively understand the syntax of almost any language.
I noticed this a little last year when I took Greek, and to a lesser extent in high school when I took Spanish. But after having one semester of Hebrew it is confirmed. For some reason, the nuances of how languages are structured (the syntax), seems to come much easier to me than most other native English speakers. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer.
9) God told Abimelek that he would kill him twice.
You would only get this if you read it in Hebrew. Genesis 20:7. When God says he will kill Abimelek, what he literally says in Hebrew is… “Dying, dead you will be, and everything that is yours.” That’s like a Chuck Norris moment.
8) It is beyond a doubt that librarians are the cheesiest people on the planet.
My Hebrew professor is also the head of the library. In his powerpoint presentations, he would put everything from super heroes, to Gomer Pyle, to orangutans. And he enjoyed the cleverness of the associations he made. We all agreed it was pure cheese… but I wonder if he knows.
7) Don’t let on that you’re just as nerdy as that girl the professor picks on.
In the first week of Hebrew, the professor began to have the students introduce themselves. He only did two students that day, and forgot afterwards to do the rest of the class. One of those was a girl who is going into linguistics and plans to be a Bible translator. The professor zeroed in on her all semester, and would throw information out to her specifically as if she were the only one who would understand it. Little did he know that not only am I a writer, but I’ve had more graduate level languages than anyone in the class. I kept my mouth shut.
6) Can God make a rock too large for him to pick up? is a stupid question.
I’ll try not to get too philosophical here, but it’s really a very stupid question. If God is the greatest possible being, how could he ever make something greater? It’s stupid. He can’t make something greater than himself, and I’m fine with saying that. Get over it… there are things that God can’t do, because he can’t do anything that contradicts himself.
5) There exist people who like to hear themselves talk.
Have you ever had that person in class who just talked and talked, and asked questions and questions, and argued with the professor, and stalled class because of some stupid technicality that he doesn’t even believe but wants to argue about? These people just want to hear their own voice. They want attention from the professor. I’m sure these people are not only in classes… I’m sure you know lots of people who like to hear themselves talk too. These people suffer from diarrhea of the mouth.
4) Philosophers use too many words.
Not only do they use too many words, but they say very little. This is the opposite of what a good fiction writer should be. And some of them sprinkle commas like pepper. I counted 13 commas in one sentence, four of them following only one word each and in a row, something, like, this. Seriously people, stop flexing your multiple doctorate degrees and take a writing class.
3) Frequent “sanity breaks” are necessary when studying philosophy.
Don’t try to process all the word vomit at once. Read little bits at a time and then go do something else. Let it sink in. Then go do a little more. Sanity breaks of choice… facebook, laundry, cooking, facebook, blogging, tv, spending time with the family, facebook. But beware, because…
2) Discovery and History channels are like crack.
I. Can’t. Stop. Watching. My favs? Mythbusters, Storm Chasers, Swamp People, Ancient Aliens, American Pickers, Chasing Mummies, UFO Hunters, Stan Lee’s Superhumans.
1) Don’t use formal logic on your wife.
Women are not logical people. Formal logic only works on logical people. Therefore, formal logic doesn’t work on women. What it does is make them mad, and they still won’t change their mind. They dig in their heals and you will lose. Not only that, but you may end up on the couch. Don’t do it. It’s not a very good idea. I don’t recommend it. At all.
So, there’s a few thing I learned this year. It feels good to have all the heavy academics off my shoulders for a while, and I think I shall participate in some mindless, numbing, activities. What’s the first thing I did after turning in those last two papers??
I went and wrote a blog about it. I’m such a nerd.