Saturday, September 17, 2005

Just thinking about my previous post and wondering: what other paths might you have followed in life? Do you ever think about changing direction? How would you go about it?

Friday, September 16, 2005

After a conversation with my friend Zelda today, I got to thinking about the road I took to get to my current place in life. If the outcome was predicted by the courses where I shone during my college years, I'd be a theologian (Systematic Theology was the pertinent course here) or I'd be designing and analyzing standardized tests (Psychological Tests).

The Systematic Theology class in question was a quake-in-my boots experience. There were four other students in the class. The prof had just been promoted to Dean of the School of Theology (or SOT, a graduate school for ministers-to-be). He asked if we would mind meeting in his office, and we agreed to do so, of course.

The class met twice a week for one and one-half hours. Each student had to teach one class session for 20% of their final grade. I was terminally shy at the time, so this was pure, unadulterated torture for me. My mouth and my throat dried out, and my voice went painfully hoarse. I mean actual, physical pain.

A take-home, open-book, open-note test (you could choose 3 questions out of 4 to answer) was another 20% of your grade. The rest of the grade was based on reports and essays. This was the semester that I lived at the SOT library. I was there when it opened, I was there between classes, I was there when it closed. I knew the stacks better than the librarians.

Needless to say, I did NOT become a theologian! However, I highly recommend the educational method outlined above. I worked harder and learned more in this one class than in most of the others combined, and it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.

I'll mention my prowess in Psych Testing in a future post. It relates to the history of the computer as an educational tool. In other words, I went to college before the dawn of digital enlightenment, before computers had Windows, mice, or color monitors...