Saturday, May 25, 2013

Higher education

Thirty-eight years ago today, I graduated from college.  I lived in Spanish House, one of the several language dorms, pictured here.  All these years later, I still dream about this dorm, and my rooms there over the four years I spent at Oberlin.  It's there that I learned how to think independently, to question, to wonder, to know how much I still had to learn.  Every spring, I was devastated to leave campus. College was a lifeline for me, a startling and endlessly stimulating place.

I am grateful every day for the quality of my education.  I wish I had taken more than one religion course in historic Peters Hall, but the class I took with Harry Thomas Frank, author of Bible, archaelogy, and faith, will always be with me.

We've just returned from N's graduation, where again I am grateful for the quality and breadth of education he received at Yale's Institute of Sacred Music.  These graduates aren't just fine musicians.  They also learned a great deal about scripture and liturgy, and were able to enjoy the occasional theological comments and puns we seem to make in our household.  I'm delighted to have a discussion about psalms with a group of young choral conductors.

All this graduation festivity leads to reviewing past years, so I remembered once again the first weeks after N was born. I took him, all wrapped in blankets, to a college library where I worked as a cataloger.  So you might imagine how surprised I was when, at this institution of higher education (affiliated with the Lutheran Church), a colleague said to me about Noah's name: "What an interesting name.  Did you get it from a book?"

The only words I could think to say were, "Yes.  I did."

Every day, I still am learning.  Every day, I am thankful for it.


Blogger Castanea_d said...

My time at Duke was perhaps much like your time at Oberlin; as you say, it was a lifeline. And like you, "every day, I still am learning" and thankful for it.

And I got a good laugh from the bit about where you found such an interesting name for your son.

2:41 PM  

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