Let's Begin: "Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way." - Dr. Seuss
The beginning of the semester is quite the event at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity. Of course, there is the expected transition of the orientation of new students into the community. Not only is the orientation week itself a time of new beginnings, but the first few weeks involve the discovery by first years of all the ins and outs of daily Divinity life.
One should not leave reading for Tupper and Leonard until the last minute, lest the attempt to conquer a couple hundred pages in just a few hours becomes a source of distress. One should make sure to place coffee money in the jar each week if one consumes said community coffee.
Jimmy Gawne makes delicious things for Coffee hour, but they tend to disappear quickly (poem titled “Ode to Bacon Cheesecake Brownies” forthcoming). Chris Hughes’ email announcing the weekly dinner at Mi Pueblo should be read with a the same lack of seriousness in which it was written.
Football tailgates are not for the faint of heart or those of weak constitution; it is no small task to grill out in a parking lot for three hours before a four hour game. Sometimes unexpected things occur at the Party of Beginnings, such as the advent of a first year student who happens to keep his turntables and speakers at hand just in case the need for some noise arises.
For those taking Greek from Dr. Powell, know this: he is merciful, but he is also just. And he is righteous. Thou shalt study every day and remember thy vocabulary. Translations are plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Take advantage of electives from professors on topics such as Black Theology, Agape or Myth and Scripture, among others; these are the classes where you will refine the skills of higher learning in unique environments.
Prepare your heart for election season and the intersection of faith and politics if you are going to D.C. with Dr. Dunn in October; who knows what such an enterprise might produce?
Of the things first years may be bombarded with in the first part of the semester, those named above do not even come close to an exhaustive list. More beneficial than any advice from a 2nd or 3rd year is to simply wake up every day ready to walk the halls with a mind open to learning and a heart open to grace. Soon, this community of people living life together will become a part of your being in the world, in ways perhaps small or big. Now that the new beginnings are quickly turning towards the heart of the semester, there is much work to be done and much community to be had. The School of Divinity excels in providing both.