Blogs - Summit Semester
October 31, 2007
What Summit Semester means to me
A piece of advice: when sitting at the dinner table at Summit, DO NOT mention the fact that there are only five weeks left in our semester. The comment will be met with disapproving frowns and will be, for the most part, ultimately ignored. The halfway mark of our time here has come and gone and I think I speak for all the students when I say I would not change a thing.
Eric asked in one of our recent Family Meetings on Sunday night what we wanted or expected out of the next six weeks. I have spent a lot of time thinking about his question.
I came to Summit Semester not sure what to expect. I did not even know exactly how to explain it to people when asked about my semester plans, an "Academic retreat?" "Leadership training?" "A foundational character building semester?" Even after being here for a while, I find that an adequate answer to that question would be more of a long conversation than a simple sentence or phrase.
Looking back through the semester, I see several different stages that I went through that have helped me answer Eric's question. On first arriving, I definitely knew that there was a lot I did not know, and from my past experiences with Summit, I was excited and expectant to find some answers (or validation of my own answers) here. The first few weeks of class were quite basically intellectually humiliating. I was pretty sure I was the dumbest student here and was certain that the more I talked in class the sooner everyone else would discover this. I then became more and more overwhelmed, not just because of the increasing realizations of my ignorance in most of the subjects we discussed, but because I was beginning to see a lot of the gaps in my thinking in the areas where I was previously confident.
I still have this feeling, and rightfully so, but I am slowly beginning to see some light. I see now that it took the first six weeks that I was here to break down some of my unstable Christian beliefs, not necessarily to replace them with new ones, but developing a justification for believing them. And not answers that have been handed to me, but ones that I have reached through my own critical thinking and the revelation of my gracious God who wants me to be able to understand Him better. I can now begin to start building up again. Not with the naive, standard arguments that I would have earlier employed, but with wise intellectual tools to discern and to find truth.
So to answer Eric's question, within the rest of the semester, I expect to build up my knowledge and grow stronger and wiser. I now know better what to expect of myself when it comes to searching for truth. I expect not just a constant searching for answers, but to finally find some. The time I have here is precious, and I expect to leave at the beginning of December knowing why I believe in my faith.