Coming Up Next Week: Mercy Killings ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Coming Up Next Week: Mercy Killings

The last semester of seminary will be next spring, and as those final classes draw near, my tolerance for work is plunging dramatically.

When I started at Midwestern about four years ago, I was that proverbial fresh-faced kid, wide-eyed, ready to read about 200 books and make at least that many friends. I was baffled when I entered classrooms and found upperclassmen sitting there wearily, dispassionately taking notes, as if they'd just walked off a graveyard shift and into Theology 1 (the most thrilling of classes). Now, sad to say, I understand their predicament. Sometimes, for whole hours at a time, I'm afraid I've become them (God, no!).

My youthful enthusiasm has become, well, not aged skepticism, but--guarded interest? Four years ago, I knew that every class I took would be vital and fascinating and that all my professors would see that thirst for wisdom gleaming in my eye, and make room by their podiums so I could sit at their feet...

More to the point, when I started seminary, learning was a fun game of one on one, me versus my books and tests. Sometimes I was playing against the fat, slow kid, and had to complicate the game to amuse myself. Sometimes I was playing against the fast, cagey veteran, and had to rain in three-pointers to gain the edge. The competitive allure was always there though, back in the day--but not so much now. My coursework has become more like shoveling snow. It falls, I clear it away, then more falls. And so on.

That's why my finals will be different this year. You can check the archives and see how it used to be. Exam days used to be displays of raw firepower, the ability to destroy questions with rapid-fire knowledge, to dominate subjects utterly. But no longer.

Gone are the days of maximum carnage. Gone are the smoking barrels of automatic weapons, the brass shells cascading to the ground like metal rain. Gone are the twin swords of memory and eloquence, wielded like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, decapitating the foe with a scissor-like chop. Dramatic revenge killings are no more. I no longer get a kick from the splattered blood of my exams. This time, a quiet knife between the ribs will do the trick.

It may be a little quiet around here next week, as I dispatch my finals. There won't be a lot of hoopla, just cold, hard efficiency.

A new season is coming, with better battles. I have learned about all I can here. It is time to move on...



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4 comments:

must_decrease said...

The reawakening of the once proud fighter is a needed remedy in this dark tail. Think Russell Crowe, ala Cinderella man not so much Gladiator. One that we root for for he fights for more than pride and recognition, but for family and honor. The fight that you now wage pours forth from dogged duty and determination, the remnants of the last few years of the game well played.
Now yours is the opportunity to ride again, fight a few more epic battles in this academic underworld before you once again enter the land of the living.
So, Happy head hunting my friend. I will see you again on the other side, granted we both make it through alive

R. Sherman said...

Ah yes.

And as you give us cryptic posts about dispatching another course, all to our jeers, you can disdainfully yell:

"Are you not entertained?"

Good luck, and

Cheers.

Will Robison said...

Manly testosterone in a discussion about theology finals... isn't that one of the reasons I can check for why I come here to read this blog? ;)

I remember my senior year in college as well. I remember thinking that I was only putting in a very minimal effort, maybe 10% of the effort I'd done in years past, but I was still getting straight A's. The point is, you're not lazy or deficient in any way. You're just more efficient - like the Terminator. Instead of spraying bullets everywhere, you fire once and hit for maximum impact.

Ariel said...

Thanks for the inspiring call to battle, Must_Decrease. I wish you well also. We must both sally forth with our weapons in hand next week...

And as you give us cryptic posts about dispatching another course, all to our jeers, you can disdainfully yell:

"Are you not entertained?"


That's a good angle. Morbid irony is good. "Grab your popcorn! We who are about to die salute you.

The point is, you're not lazy or deficient in any way. You're just more efficient - like the Terminator.

I'll take this to heart. I haven't lost my edge--I've merely evolved into a more efficient, less melodramatic killer. More M. Night Shyamalan, less Quentin Tarantino. Excellent.

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife