Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Halfway Mark

I spent the week after the Poland trip resting up and going to classes. The more I study theology, the more I love it. Philosophy, too, is becoming more and more fascinating, although I don't really have the head for it. My professors are a constant source of inspiration. Professor Wolter, in her charismatic manner, is teaching us personalistic philosophy; Professor Cassidy, with his thick Scottish brogue, delivers passionate lectures about the Word of God; and staid Dr. Asci is teaching us all about Christian marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality.

Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility is our Christan Marriage textbook, and it was he who developed Christian personalism, which is a foundation for my Philosophy of the Human Person class. And in my Scripture class, Professor Cassidy frequently references him. I really am studying in the legacy of Pope John Paul II, the beloved figure of my childhood; in a way, he seems closer to me than ever before. I never met him while he lived- yet I stood only a few feet away from his tomb in the crypt beneath St. Peter's, and I can speak to him whenever I please. He does hear me- that was made clear in Poland, when he answered a prayer almost as soon as I asked it of him.

I didn't travel that weekend, because midterms were approaching, starting with a German exam on Monday morning. Midterm week itself flew by, even with the stress of late-night study sessions and little sleep. Thankfully for us, the tea kitchens were kept well-stocked with snacks (Nutella sandwiches, for example). All my exams, with the exception of German, were in essay format. This was a little daunting at first, but I was surprised to find that I like testing this way- while writing, I found that I knew much more than I thought I did. And so, after four intense but rewarding days of midterms, we were free- and on the horizon was our ten-day break in Rome and Assisi.

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