By Ian Proano | Echo
Integration of faith and learning. Intentional community. Flourishing.
Those are the first words we heard on campus, and they'll also be the last. Many senior Taylor students sigh and grumble at the thought of going to the Senior Seminar class they're "forced" to take in order to graduate. As the minutes of every Wednesday night session pass, many students in the audience use their Apple and Android escape pods to flee from the session. I do this more than I would like to admit. But Jeff Cramer, Kevin Diller, Scott Moeschberger and Matthew DeLong put a lot of work and thought into this course, and it shows. Some people talk down this class and cast it aside, but we should take it more seriously. Even though we're seniors, we still have a lot to learn.
First of all, we're not going to hear these concepts again anytime soon. I empathize with seniors who believe they've heard the well-known cornerstone sayings and concepts of Taylor a thousand times before, but I think that's for a distinct reason. In my personal life, I've seen and heard about many other Christian universities that focus on some form of legalism or moralism. But at Taylor we have a unique and valuable view, a mix of both liberal and conservative thought, where Christian community is exemplified on both the communicative and societal levels. And that's a gift we shouldn't squander.
Second, this year's Senior Seminar is a marked improvement from last year's. Previously graduated seniors found it to be merely an iteration of the Foundations of Christian Liberal Arts class, and they wished it was more applicable. This year, the professors have really improved the class. The four of them are trying to evolve the course every year they teach it, but it won't get there overnight. I will admit, some of the sessions are far better than others. But I enjoyed hearing one of the professors in our first class joke that this year they would actually put some thought into it. It was very refreshing to hear them admit and acknowledge the mistakes they made in the past and set a new course for the class.
Finally, it's easy to complain about this class because it's a required course. This is often true for Foundational Core subjects. It's easier to complain about them because we're made to take them to get that final slip of paper that proves to the world we're qualified adults. But that shouldn't automatically lessen those courses' value among the student body. In my first year, I didn't try to get anything out of Foundation of the Christian Liberal Arts. But halfway through the semester I decided to put my best into it and found that I learned a lot once I chose to invest. I believe the same is true for Senior Seminar.
I know it can be tough to invest in a Foundational Core course like Senior Seminar, but I think we'll find more wisdom than we bargained for if we give it a chance.