Finals Week and Final Thoughts

Summit Semester Jackson Wood 2016Imagine living with thirty people for three months, getting to know everything about them — the good and the bad. Now try to imagine all the emotions that might creep up on you when you realize that you only have a week left to spend with these people before you spread out across the country. This week has been tough because a lot of us are realizing how little time we have left with these people, while trying to stay focused on our last week of class and finals. We have a week left and then it is time to go home. The lodge is full of excitement that classes are over, yet people are sad to go home. The bright side is that we have one week left. I’m sad to go home, but ready to apply all the knowledge I’ve learned here at home.

This week was our last week of classes. It’s very sad to know that the environment we are in and the place we are at is going to be gone in a week. I will never have a community like this again. The classes were helpful and inspiring, and it’s going to be hard to go home to a place where I’m not going to be able to learn from the professors we have had here. Everyone is very excited to get home and start reading, and that may be one of the very few positives about leaving. All the professors have taught us the importance of reading and how it will affect you in a positive way if you read correctly.

Because this week was our last, we had exams for Dr. Bauman’s classes on English Literature, Christianity and Politics, and Church History. We also had to finish up all of our other assignments. We had reviews from several Bible books due, reviews on numerous chapters from a book called Symphony of Scripture, by Mark Strom, and our biblical timeline. These assignments were given out week by week, but a good majority of people were editing their paragraphs to ensure their perfection. Another assignment that put a lot of stress on people was a paper that was due on a book called La Place de la Concorde Suisse, by John McPhee. This book talks about Switzerland and how they have stayed neutral for five centuries. It is a very interesting read and I recommend it to anyone interested in the secret ways the Swiss have been such a successful country. We had a good bit of work to get done this week on top of finals, but everyone got the job done. There were no tears, no crying, and while there may have been some complaining, in the end everyone buckled down and did what they needed to do.

Finals for Dr. Bauman’s class were surprisingly fun and challenging. The first exam we had was on English Literature. We had to answer four questions: What good is life, and what is a good life? What is a good death, and what good is death? What’s a good love, and what good is love? And finally, what is a human being? As long as people were engaged in class, these questions were fun to answer. Everyone has different examples they can use on these questions but we all had a good time answering them. The next exam was Christianity and Politics. This exam was more about how Christians can live in the political world. I remember that my favorite question from this exam went like this: If you were appointed the President’s advisor concerning terrorism, what policies would you put in place for the nation to follow? Many students had several opinions on what to do in situations like this, so we had fun with it. The last and final exam was on Church History. This exam focused more on important Christians throughout history and what their views were. One question asked about the views that Pelagius and Augustine had and how they debated them out. All in all, the week was very stressful but also full of sadness and excitement.

I have grown so much in the time I have been here. When I first arrived, I had no idea what I had got myself into. The personalities were so different, and I will admit I was scared. As the weeks went on and the classes kept coming, we all bonded so much together. I have become a much more outgoing person because of Semester. It has taught me to speak my mind, to not be afraid of how I might be perceived, and to be intentional with my relationships. I’ve met some amazing people here. I come from a town that has very few young Christians so, as you may suspect, meeting Christians my age who have experienced similar situations that I have has been so refreshing.

Semester is a light in a dark world. I can’t imagine my life right now without it. I wouldn’t be reading books, I wouldn’t be questioning certain topics that come up in my church, and I definitely would not be seeking out mentors in my church. Semester has taught me so much and I am so thankful that God gave me the wisdom to make the decision to come here.

Jackson Wood, a recent high school graduate, joins us from Bethel, Vermont. After attending the two-week Summit Conference in California, he decided to follow his brother’s footsteps in attending Summit Semester. Jackson was raised on a Maple Farm with his siblings, both biological and adopted. He played football in high school, and enjoys hiking, swimming, riding bikes, and watching The Office. Around the lodge, he can usually be found playing a board game, reading, or experiencing the adventures to be found in the San Juan Mountains.