A semester-end wrap-up.

Well, if you get my family’s newsletter, you probably already read this. If you didn’t, here’s the little semester-end blurb I wrote for it. And if you want to get the newsletter and you don’t, send me your address and I’ll get you on the list.

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My first full-time semester at Grossmont was a definite culture shock, as I came fresh out of the sheltered bubble of Christian High. People here dress differently, talk differently, and most importantly, think differently. Especially in my discussion-oriented classes, such as English and philosophy, I came to realize just how many different opinions exist are out there other than mine.

Sure, my parents might be the real missionaries, but I can’t help but think of this school as its own mission field, just as much in my backyard as the Mormon temple is for my family. Speaking of Mormons, my closest friend at school is a sweet Mormon girl in my philosophy class. I can’t help but think that God set me up for that one. Throughout the class, we have become close and still feel open to talk about our beliefs. She’s as passionate about her beliefs as I am about mine, yet we respect and love each other anyway.

The most unexpected ideas I had to deal with this semester were in my English class. On the first day, the professor shocked me when he informed us that his class was going to be based on the environmental movement. His first lecture included the statement, “I will be presenting some liberal ideas that you might not like, but it will help you become a better thinker.” We spent much of the class not discussing literature or English writing, but global warming and why the planet is going down the toilet and radical ways we should change it. This was challenging and frustrating for me to deal with throughout the semester.

My apologetics background prepared me a little for my philosophy class, but I learned much more floundering through it on my own. Though my best conversations happened with my Mormon friend and our friendly campus missionaries, we had friends who were skeptics and intellectuals in the class as well with whom we enjoyed interesting conversations. The professor had strange Eastern views and often put down Christianity. One discussion in class was led by the prompt, “Explain the story of Christian faith and then think of all the reasons why it makes no sense.” The professor said that she wants us to learn how to have an open mind and accept other ideas, but she sure made it sound like she wanted us to replace our own ideas with hers.

For my final paper in the class, I wrote an 8-page discussion on reasons for God’s existence. and though my professor obviously disagreed with me, she said it was an interesting topic and I had a few good discussions with her on the issue before completing the paper. She appreciated my hard work on the paper and I look forward to getting her written responses back at the beginning of the spring semester.

It’s one thing to learn about worldviews and doctrines in a classroom like my dad’s or the lecture halls at Worldview Academy. It’s a completely different experience to be submerged into a flood of ideas coming at you from every direction and defending your Christian faith in the midst of all of them. This semester was a crazy learning experience and though it was hard, I know that I needed it.

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