I look back at the past four months with a feeling of awe. Where did all the time go? This last semester passed so much more quickly than the one before it. Again, I learned many new things, quite a few of which were not included in the curriculum. I detail a few of these today.
1. English is not about grammar, but rather about philosophy, and, in today’s schools, any reasonably developed and supported analysis of the philosophy in literature will receive a good grade. Likewise, while math and terminology is important to science, a general common sense, impossible to endow to a machine, is the most important thing one gains from science. The ability to apply one’s knowledge, rather than the ability to regurgitate it is the goal. I wonder, however, whether we have not laid too much emphasis on the measurement of one’s knowledge, rather than the results. Several of my classmates and I wrote English papers with which we did not entirely agree (How many writers are able to cram that much subtle meaning into a paragraph?) because the course required a paper, and we could think of no A-worthy argument which we truly thought the book’s writer espoused. (Now, others did not compromise their beliefs and still received an A. I salute them.) In the same way, I did not prepare for my final chemistry exam properly, because, per my teacher’s suggestion, I was studying other things. Here is the thing, though. The second-semester ACS exam focuses on skills that the student should have picked up over the course of the year: general knowledge, ideas which ought to be ingrained in the student’s soul, and some calculations. This is not to say that I did not need to study for the test. However, sometimes, the most valuable knowledge is not what is crammed in at the last moment, but that which is cherished and used fifty years later. And that is something which I gained from both English and Chemistry. Whether the ability to make a coherent argument, or to have a general idea whether some things are flammable: these both apply to real life.
2. Grace is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It may lead my professors to grade me more mercifully than I deserve, perhaps allowing me to get into a better graduate school, allowing me to one day find a cure for some form of cancer. And it may lead my God to die for me so that there is a chance He may spend eternity with me, if, one day, I notice Him and decide that I would like to spend eternity with Him too. The sad thing? Sometimes I have to be reminded of this latter grace by His demonstration of the former.
And finally, last, but by no means least, I would like to wish a wonderful Mothers’ Day to my beautiful mother, who has taught me far more than I will ever realize and shown me more grace than I could ever deserve. Happy Mother’s Day.