Friday, April 27, 2012

University Daze

Or is that 'craze'? Even though Mr. P. and I have eleven years of university between us (and I was mercifully spared from another four by the grace of God via an unintended--on my part anyway--pregnancy), I am not convinced that college is necessarily the best thing to start off a young person's life. You send them off with fear and trepidation, hoping and praying that they will emerge four years later with their faith and morals intact, but it's getting to be more difficult all the time. My latest post at MercatorNet. Content warning.


  1. Based on what I've read of your posts (which is not saying much seeing as how writing and living are two different things) I would not be worried, in particular, about your children facing college. You seem to be a mother intent on raising adults, not on "raising children." Since the Enlightenment, a general disdain for virtue (or character) ethics has come into play with a raising of utilitarianism. Now, Christianity is neither one of these but I find (personally) that Christianity--and especially the more recent Papal encyclicals--stresses the virtue ethics portion of Christian philosophy more greatly than 'secular' folks may be comfortable with. If you go in to college with a strong sense of self--who you are as a person, what your character is--you have a less likely chance of having your person modified without your conscious consent. You'll also feel less pressured in avoiding asking for help among older relations and friends. Which is not to say that it will be easy, but as one finishing up the years (first year PhD) I have found this to be true with myself and with others (not to say that I haven't stumbled, but Reconciliation and a good support group of faithful friends and family are gifts without price).

    The other thing that I have found is the need for a proper vocabulary and capability to articulate myself. Having gone through a public school system (and not always asking the questions I should have to my parents) I found myself standing firmly going 'what I'm taught is not ethical' but not knowing how to support that claim. Not until seminary did I receive a fully Christian vocabulary. Sunday School and Youth Group helped as a child, but I, personally, needed some more hard core stuff. I believe that if we a) raise adults instead of children and b) prepare our young adults with proper articulation and vocabulary we'll find that the Church is stronger than the World.

    A final note: my interest lies in theology, unfortunately (due to finances) this is not my direct field of study. However, due to my respectful articulation and understanding on my faith and my ability to argue without sounding like a-knee-jerk-reactionary-snake-handling-Evangelical I actually have respect and not disdain of my colleges. The separation of Faith from Reason (circa Kant) has been a detrimental occurrence, it is time, as Christians, that we place these two in harmony once more and not allow academics (or laity) to believe that the two are mutually exclusive.

  2. "a-knee-jerk-reactionary-snake-handling-Evangelical" --great phrase. Thank you for that thoughtful reply, Aquinas'Goose. Hear hear for the remarriage of 'fides et ratio'! I thank heaven for all the great Catholic colleges out there today that are seeking the resurrection of the Classical Liberal Arts Education. Best of success in your studies! (I'm kinda kidding about the "mercifully spared" part... I still haven't entirely ruled out doing my M.A. someday.)