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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ave Maria University - My First Day!

I started today as a "Special Student" with Ave Maria University's Institute for Pastoral Theology. I'm just taking a 1 credit class on the Writings of John Paul II, but I'm doing so as a degree-seeking student. My formal application is due on something like May 1st, if I intend to go on.

It was a marathon day; we began at Noon and took a break every 50 minutes. There was no reading assignment to begin, although we had the reading list. Professor Bushman revealed to us during our mini-orientation that his lecture helps us in our reading so it may be actually bese if we DON'T read the assignment prior to class. Interesting.

And the course is indeed enlightening; not only are we learning about the writings (Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters, Apostolic Exhortations) of JPII, but we are coming to understand his writings in light of Vatican II. Suddenly and unexpectedly, I'm learning a TON about the purpose, vision, and soul of the Second Vatican Council, and boy, is this amazing stuff!

I've said it before and I'll say it again; people who think that they know what Vatican II actually said really need to go READ THE DOCUMENTS because most of what's out there is so completely warped it's unrecognizable.

So today was a long day, but I thoroughly enjoyed all we were learning. I have not yet discerned as to whether I'll be applying to the IPT program, although I'm still leaning towards it; for now, I'm thinking I'll submit my first papers and then see how it goes.

That's another thing; papers. He's going easy on us for the first one, which is "several", but doable. This is more a matter of finding out how to write academic papers again. I realize I was nominated for "Best Written" blog, but this particular medium is a far cry from academic standards. I do hope, though, that my own "style" does come through my academic writings in a way which is consistent with the academic standard, yet without being overly...well....boring.

When I look at the writings of our great theologians, I can't imagine finding a "better" way to state something, or to state something in my own words. In some ways, I feel like I'm in over my head, but then again, tomorrow I'm taking the day off and I hope to get a start on my first paper. Sometimes we have to dive in before we can figure out whether we know how to swim.

Now....if you really can't swim, please don't go dive headlong into a pool; I'm speaking figuratively. (Disclaimer!)

I will say this about today; I felt like I belonged there. The lightbulb was going on right and left, both intellectually and spiritually, so I KNOW that my participation in at least this class is God's will for me. Discernment in process for further education.

I'll likely start reading tonight, but for now, off to catch up on other bloggers and handle other brain is quite full right now and so before I insert my nose into "Redemptor Hominis" I need to relax for a bit. And eat. I haven't had a bite to eat since about 10:30 this morning...and my pizza just arrived! Yay!


Warren said...

That sounds so cool! Some day I want to do an M.Div and become a Deacon. Mostly so I can hang out with other serious catholics, and read big dusty catholic theology books by obscure catholic writers like Ratzinger, and then discuss over beer and nachos. Oh am I jealous of YOU! :-)

Still pluggin' along on the old novena, by the way.


Anonymous said...

I look forward to hearing more about this as you unpack the teachings of JP2.

Adoro said...

If it goes well, I might "unpack" some of my papers, although likely some JPII flavored reflections will find their way into my blog. And some more info on V2! head hurts right now. So much info, so little time...and yet I feel so blessed.

Anonymous said...

Your enthusiasm is contagious!!
Thanks for sharing it.

Pax Et Bonum,


Kiwi Nomad said...

Sounds right up your alley. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Just out of curiosity, did they have a good attendance for that first class?

Anybody we know, other bloggers, for example, there?

Good luck, Adoro!

teresa_anawim said...

What a grand opportunity! I wish you the best in this endeavor. Please share with us some 'nuggets' you take from the classes.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I could not agree more with your statement that folks need to actually READ the documents of VII rather then distortions verbalized today.

I read many of them myself and it was big eye-opener for me.

Sanctus Belle said...

Where is this class being given? Also, sounds like a bit more than a 1 credit class!

Deacon Bill Burns said...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll do well. I'm wrapping up the first paper for my semester as we speak (well, I would be wrapping it up if I weren't avoiding it by reading blogs).

Adoro said...

Wow...I get up, go to Mass, get groceries...and come back to find a full mailbox! LOL

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone.

No, there are no other bloggers - that I know of. But of course, we as bloggers stare at screens and screen names, not faces, who who knows?

And Sanctus, it's being held at St. Helena's in S. Minneapolis. It's a 1 credit Graduate-level course, part of the Masters of Arts in the Instutute for Pastoral Theology. I've heard it said that 1 Grad credit is equal to 3 Undergrad credits. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but this 1 credit is DEFINITELY more work than the 1 credit undergrad classes I took at SMU!

Everyone, I will likely be sharing what I learn as I go on...after all, it's likely to temper my opinions, understanding, etc, and that kind of thing is always bound to come through. :-)