My parents always expected me to go to college. I never got to rebel against anything or be bad so I fought the thought of going to college, for a few minutes.
We came up with a deal. Apply jointly, choose, visit with my father, who was a college president, and then decide my future. I chose college, and worked summers to make 1/3 my tuition, that was part of the deal.
It was a Catholic college, even though they said it was not. The first class, a guy walked in wearing a brown robe with ropes around his waist and a crucifix and we all stood and said a “Hail, Mary.” That wasn’t on the potential student tour from the gal who went to public school.
So here’s this 17 year-old, unable to get into bars, thinking she will be alone in the dorm forever making no friends, shy and away from home the first time. I was corralled into classes to meet my requirements, including religion. Philosophy is a different post but that was included as well.
By end of sophomore year I learned to work the system (volunteer in the development office for a couple of years) and got art history. Fr. John, didn’t know him but was interested in art and history and had to take tougher courses so really wanted to do this.
It was exhilarating and all the English, history, science, math, religion, philosophy courses started to coalesce. Why do we learn these disciplines and never put them all together? I was 19 and happy to think I could gain knowledge and not just facts.
Look at art, especially ancient, medieval and renaissance art and it tells you the story of the people. I believe Guttenberg changed the world of religious art because with the first Bible, peasants learned how to read and didn’t have to depend upon what religion told them of stories and beliefs.
Fr. John gave great stories and slides of his travels and expected us to learn history from his lectures. Once in a darkened auditorium setting where Fr. John held class a fellow student tried to cheat off my test. I covered it and after class I told him I’d report him if he ever tried to do that again but I would spend time tutoring him for free, before the next test. He thanked me, and never cheated off my papers again. Perhaps someone else’s….
Years later I studied art on my own in Europe. Pulling together all the disciplines and knowledge was a gift from two priests, unfortunately Fr John passed years ago but I know he keeps sending me to art museums and churches.
After Art History II, I chose Fr John once again for Renaissance and Reformation, a history course. He was an inspirational teacher. To higher education, Dee