Earlier this semester I posted about an evening where I got a bit carried away sipping cheap wine while writing a take-home mid-term for my Systematic Theology class. The good news is, I didn’t fail that mid-term. The bad news is: I didn’t really, exactly, completely, entirely learn my lesson.
Rather, what I did learn is three things: A) writing mid terms is more fun when sipping cheap wine 2) writing mid terms is more fun when sipping cheap wine and D) writing mid terms is more fun when sipping cheap wine (Home Alone reference anyone?). Furthermore, I actually remember some of the things I learned for the test, a miracle beyond miracles, one that makes me question my previous system of learning.
All this certainly goes to say that I tried it again. Unfortunately this time it proved a little more difficult because I’ve literally no clue what’s been going on this quarter in the class. So I spent this afternoon teaching myself two months worth of systematic theology which was like running a marathon on my brain. I took a brief break to eat dinner and bang my head against the wall and then the exam started on a high note when I went to take a swig of my wine and spilled half of it down my front. I wasn’t sure if this was God’s way of saying “this is a bad idea” or “you need to drink more” but I assumed it to mean the latter so I wiped myself off and refilled my glass.
Thus, by the second hour of the exam, I was cradling the bottle with one hand and typing voraciously with another in between beautiful (if I do say so myself) renditions of several numbers from ‘White Christmas’ all of which were performed in a British accent. This continued until my roommate politely requested that I shut up upon which I returned to my exam with the fullest of attention. All in all, I’m not too sure how I did. I may still be looking for a barista job next semester…but at least I’ll know some theology.
Anyways, here’s some of the highlights:
1) I used at least 6 hashtags in my final exam including: #calledit #brucealmighty and #totallykidding
2) I began a response to an essay question asking about the canon with the following paragraph: “A cannon was a weapon developed in the late middle ages. It was a long narrow metal tube, which would be loaded with gunpowder and metal ball. Upon ignition the gunpowder would explode sending the metal ball flying through the air eventually landing and exploding in some poor chap’s face. But since this final is for a Systematic Theology Class, not History of Middle Ages or Medieval Warfare and since that cannon is spelt with two ‘n’s I’ll stop being a smart-ass and move on. I really am sorry you have to put up with me.”
3) Referencing the curses listed in Deuteronomy that the Israelites would face if they failed to uphold their end of the treaty I added: “if they broke the covenant they would be forced to listen to the song ‘Christmas Shoes’ on repeat for all eternity'”. Just to make sure my final referenced the spirit of the season.
3) Towards the end, I got lazy….just plain lazy: “The canon according to the Protestants consists of 66 books: 27 in the New Testament and whatever 66 minus 27 is in the Old Testament.”
4) I said that Rob Bell was Marcion reincarnated. And in retrospect I really feel bad because I meant to go back and delete it. What with the whole heresy thing and all.
5) I actually referred to the grader by name, because my professor gave us his name in class. Points for creeper award. (In my defense, I was trying to make things a little more personal. But still, yea, that’s creepy.)
6) I played the role of tattle-tale to my grader on spell-check: “By the way, spell check tells me that ‘covenantally’ isn’t a word but I think spell check is full of it. Because spell check also tells me that “misspelt” is misspelt. But then again, in the words of Casting Crowns….”who am I?” All things considered, I thought I would raise the issue with you.” Oh, that’s really mature, seminary student. Real mature.
7) I made a grand an elaborate analogy between biblical canonicity and a doughnut shop in my town, an analogy which I went to great lengths to share was due to the fact that I was anticipating going to said doughnut shop as soon as I was finished working on my exam. I may or may not have personally invited the grader (again by name) to come to get doughnuts (again with me) sometime. Lest you think I’m being inappropriate this is a male grader. Then again, my name can easily be confused as being of the female variety. (Again) oops.
8) The last question of the exam was very basic. It asked whether or not we finished all the required reading. Simple question with a simple answer: “yes” or “no”. Well, now, I can’t let them get away that easy. Because, truth be told, I didn’t finish the reading. I know, I know, I’m truly ashamed to admit it. But even seminary students aren’t perfect. Point is, I had nothing to lose, but I was going to make them work for the answer. Because this ship is sinking and I’m going down with it. So instead of just “no” here’s what I put:
“So, here’s the thing…..over the past several months I’ve been really bothered by something. In Suzanne Collin’s hit series The Hunger Games Katniss and Peeta fell in love on the battlefield…as Rhianna might say, “they found love in a hopeless place”. But here’s the thing: do you really think love like that will last? I bring this up because I’m really worried with the direction Suzanne Collin’s trilogy is taking, especially with the release of the second movie. Survival aside, my pastoral instincts are kicking in and I don’t think Katniss and Peeta have a relationship that will survive Collin’s trilogy. Here’s my deep thoughts on the issue:
1) Katniss and Peeta have communication issues. I mean…duh right? Who hasn’t called this one. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little harsh because they grew up during a tyranny and didn’t have a chance to talk until they were tossed into a gladitorial contest. But even afterwards they really have a hard time talking things out. A majority of their disputes end in Katniss going all Legolass-y and shooting something with her arrows and Peeta sulking in a manner that teenager girls somehow find attractive. That’s just not healthy (in my opinion).
2) I think Peeta fails to show the leadership that is necessary in a relationship. Now hold your horses…I’m not necessarily an old fashion Pauline-chauvinistic imperialist. I’m not saying the leader of the household has to be Peeta. Generally, men should be. BUT, there are exceptions. Not, however, in this relationship. Peeta should be leading. Because Katniss needs someone to help her out. She’s a strong woman, but when it comes to emotional well-being the Hunger Games didn’t exactly leave her capable. But instead of stepping up and taking charge Peeta is always emotionally distant off in wa-wa land thinking about God-knows what. Writing poetry? Who knows? You could say the games did this to him but there were red flags from the get-go here. I mean he had a crush on her for what- 16 years and didn’t say anything? Seriously, bro…time to step up.
3) They have a history of domestic violence. I understand she was under a little bit of duress and she was somewhat obligated but Katniss has tried to kill Peeta a number of times and considered it countless more. And okay, forgiveness is essential the past is the past…but whatever….I’m jus’ sayin’.
So all things considered, I’m just not sure that going into the third novel Katniss and Peeta stand much of a chance as a couple…
…unless there’s pastoral intervention. Which there can be. I’m fully willing to help. I think this is what saved Jim and Pam in The Office (though Hollywood surely won’t admit it) and I’m sure it’s what could save this couple. I’ve sent letters but haven’t heard back from anyone. If you know who I might send one too, let me know.
All this goes to say that I didn’t finish the required reading for this class. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I would have liked to, loved to in fact, but all things considered I hope you will understand…I was much to preoccupied with the above mentioned grave considerations. This couple’s relationship is at stake.
And that’s that. All things considered, the exam went pretty well. I controlled myself and didn’t even point out my primary concern with the leading couple in The Hunger Games, namely that Katniss and Peeta’s celebrity name is somewhat akin to that of male privates. Though, I probably should have. You only live once after all.
So I’ve one final down, one more to go and something like 90 pages of papers to write. If you think I’m kidding then you’ve obviously never been to graduate school. It’s wonderful. Really. And I’m not even being sarcastic.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there was something about a doughnut….