Now that I’ve been in Gettysburg for nearly a week, I can truly say that I’m starting to settle in. I can tell the difference between the three different keys I was given (dorm exterior, dorm room, mailbox). I know how to get to Walmart and know several alternate routes. I even have somewhat of a daily routine starting to take shape (although my summer Greek routine is far different than it will be during the actual semester).
And, being settled in, I feel like I can take the time to blog a bit about my experiences so far…
First, about summer greek. Honestly, it’s not all that bad. As someone who’s not too far removed from traditional collegiate academics and already has two foreign languages under his belt, I have it pretty easy. A lot of things just click. It’s definitely taking practice to improve, but it’s not terribly hard to understand and pick up on it all. The amount of material covered in each individual class session isn’t even that bad. Honestly, the worst part is the overall pace. After the morning session, you do your homework and are expected to apply your newfound knowledge and experience to material in the afternoon session. After the afternoon session, you’re applying THAT knowledge and experience to more homework, and likely preparing for a quiz on the next day. For those of us who learn quickly but take longer for things to actually sink in, this can be difficult. As of now though, I’m pretty comfortable and confident in my abilities.
The seminary itself does a great job of creating intentional christian community. Our first day introductions were not just “Hi, I’m Jono from Delmont, here’s a fun fact about me…” but instead an opportunity to talk about our sense of call and why we came to Gettysburg itself. Furthermore, these introductions didn’t just include our classmates and professor, but numerous faculty and staff members, including the seminary’s president, chose to sit in on this part of the class, introducing themselves but also listening to our stories. The younger members of our class have all quickly become friends, but I can see myself becoming friends and colleagues with many of the members of my class in the coming weeks, months and years.
One of the things that pulled me towards LTSG, independent of the seminary is the town of Gettysburg itself. There are more than enough things away from campus that interest me to give me opportunities to get off campus every once and a while. As much as I love the community at LTSG, I think part of a healthy learning environment is being able to get AWAY from that environment every once and a while. I’ve scoped out interesting places to hike and bike within the battlefield, have started playing racquetball with a few of my classmates at the YWCA, and will be meeting with someone from the town’s volunteer fire department to discuss how I might be able to volunteer with them sometime next week. Right now, I live, breathe and eat greek, but these other outlets for my energy will be appreciated once normal classes start and my schedule opens up a bit more.
I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has played a role in me being here.