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September 19, 2008

Familiarity, Where Art Thou?

Familiarity, Where Art Thou?

The past two weeks have been so full of information, activities, and new experiences. I think we are all craving a little rest, solitude, and familiarity. I will have my break before my fellow students because I am sick. There is nothing like sickness to tell one when they need to slow down. So today, I am getting my supply of rest and solitude, as well as familiarity. A few of the students are circulating the common cold - pray it does not start an epidemic, please.
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In class, Dr. Bauman is tearing all of our assertions out from under us. The ideas we have held onto our whole lives are crumbling under Bauman's interrogations. "I am only doing to you in a friendly setting what the world will when you get out there," he says. To some of us, it does not feel entirely friendly, but it is a necessary part of learning to support and defend our beliefs. How are we to know and understand our beliefs if they can be undermined by a simple question?

As challenging as morning classes are, I am more challenged by the art class on Monday nights (at least at this point in time). Our first assignment is to define art. What is art? Is it relative to the individual - whatever you think is art is art for you and whatever I think is art is art for me? Or is art objective - regardless of what you or I think, x is art? Even as an art student, I find myself extremely challenged by this assignment: often I just do "art" rather than think of what it is.

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This is a fault we possess in many areas - we act without careful thought. And often, we avoid thinking because we know that when we have reached a conclusion, we are accountable to act upon that conclusion. Our actions should flow from our beliefs. And when our beliefs are unsteady, we must learn to make them concrete. This is what Summit Semester is helping me learn. In spite of all of the challenges, I am encouraged to see other students who truly have a desire for truth. I look forward to seeing what God will do with each of our lives as we learn to question and to forge through the unfamiliar.


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