End Times; 1st Year Reflection

Published: April 24, 2012

Given the avalanche of work that has fallen upon most students of the Divinity School during these end times (of the semester), it is a bit tricky to find someone to spare a page long blog entry or so. Today, the term paper for Church History with Dr. Leonard is due; over the next few weeks students will be assailed by Old Testament, Greek and numerous other courses as well. TULIP is in danger of becoming TULI, as it remains to be seen how many saints shall Persevere. Jonathan Redding (Third Year MDiv) sees the ending of every semester like the Matrix: it ends, but it makes little sense how it happens. Stewart Self (Second Year MDiv), when asked about the end of the semester, commented that he is not ready for it to be over since he is still in search of a job. Quoting Jon Redding, Nathan Rice (Third Year MDiv) joked that the end of the semester is somewhat like the eschaton, except we are sure when it will actually happen. It is clear from these comments that the end of the semester is a veritable beast creating a feeling of impending doom and uncertainty among a small contingency of students. One individual even took to writing the poetry of William Butler Yeats on the wall of the student lounge, inscribing*,

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;

    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know

    That twenty centuries of stony sleep

    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

However, the melodramatic response of students to the completion of the semester ought not to be taken too seriously. The end of the semester inevitably will become a time of fellowship and enjoyment of one another’s company. Ultimately, spending hours together in the library hammering away at the same lengthy assignment leads to a relaxing cookout on the weekend or a quick trip to Shorty’s on campus here and there. Most notably, the END OF THE YEAR BANQUET (this Thursday night) will be a time to celebrate the third year class as faculty and students come together for a night of time well spent. Surely the work to be done between now and the fast approaching end will be forgotten quickly as students depart to summer internships, jobs and new lives all across the country. By graduation, of these next two weeks we will all soon be able to say, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Emphasis on “best,” because at the School of Divinity, we put our work in and learn to enjoy life properly in the process.**

* First Paragraph is largely Not Serious.

** Second Paragraph is Totally Serious.

Perry Dixon
First Year