Friday, September 18, 2015

First Class

The first class of "Exploring the So-Called Gnostic Christian Literature" met today from 12:30-2 p.m. at UConn's Waterbury Campus. I teach as part of the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) there.

Amazing thing is, in my senior year of college, my plan was to become a college professor--teaching "American Literature" in some small liberal arts school and writing the Great American Novel in my spare time. Then two of my professors, Mr. Stasny and Dr. Meitzen--from the Classics and Theology Departments, came to me to tell me they'd nominated me for a Rockefeller 'Trial Year in Seminary' Grant.

"I don't want to go to seminary," I told Stasny, who I'd had 7 classes with in 8 semesters, and Meitzen, who I'd had three classes with.

"That's perfect," they said, "just keep saying that."

The Rockefeller Grant was for people who didn't want to go to seminary but some teacher of theirs thought maybe they should.

So I got the Fellowship and spent two years at Harvard Divinity School and earned a Master of Theological Studies degree. And got hooked on God.

But now, over 50 years later, I get to teach people in a college. Amazing!

You have to be at least 50 to be a part of OLLI. So these people want to be in class and pay to be there and care about learning.

I had a lecture to take up about 45 minutes of the class--something called 'From the Apostles to the Council of Nicea', but people kept interrupting with questions and that's the way it went--me responding to questions, which is good and the way I like to lead a class anyway. Several folks stayed after to ask more questions and make insightful comments so it was 2:30 before I got to my car.

Teaching and learning--and I do both in the classes I lead every other semester or so--it seems to me that is what a lot of life is about. Teaching and learning. What a joy. What a wonder. How so right that is in the scheme of things. Just as it should be.

Here I am, after all these years derailed by the God stuff, doing what I always wanted to do in the first place.

How lucky and blessed am I?

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.