What does it mean when you love being a student?
Before coming to Wabash, I didn’t “like” school. I didn’t dislike it, either. A few classes like History were occasionally interesting, but I was more mentally stimulated by going on internet forums, browsing absurd political blogs, and reading books. I saw college education as a way of picking up skills–writing, reading, critical, you know the story–in preparation for my legal and political career. Politics was what inspired me, since I wasn’t good at sports. Learning didn’t inspire me yet, since no suburban public high school tries to inspire in its students a love of subject matter.
As a freshman at Wabash, Dr. Cook and his Church History course lit a spark in me. Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly that spark meant. The subject matter was, at its core, historical–did I have a future as a historian? What I found most inspiring, however, were the theological and philosophical ideas expressed in the texts. So perhaps I ought to go into theology or philosophy? But Dr. Cook’s course wasn’t unique in inspiring me. Perhaps it was merely the first spark, of learning in general, which precedes the more specific vocational one. My “calling” may be in some other field.
The next two years at Wabash were spent trying to piece together my ideal field of study–was it ideas I cared most about? Past human action? The phenomenon of religion? The design and practice of government? Becoming well-read in Latin and Greek? All these things seemed like essential knowledge to man. I experienced the awful curse of not really being bored by anything. OK, I was bored by some things. But I’ve never faced any problems engaging myself in the humanities. In fact, I’m enraptured by school, generally. The debate, the bonds, the discussion, the shared culture. I’ll leave Wabash with an insatiable appetite for the liberal arts education, the whole shebang.