English 121: Resolving Ambivalence


Yay! I convinced my son-in-law Jeremy to write another guest post for me. Have you experienced anything similar in your school, now or in the past?

Jeremy writes:

Nothing is worse than having to sit through a class you cannot stand, as an unfair professor can make your life a living hell. But now that an entire season has passed and I’ve had ample time to recover and even procrastinate, I feel the need to follow up on something. Several months ago I wrote a short, satirical essay [College: Where You’re Liberal or You’re Wrong] about my first college class, and how it turned out to be a waste because my professor, Mr. R, was a hypocritical bigot.

Although much of the same abuse which I discussed in that paper persisted for the remainder of the class, eventually Mr. R and I found some common ground and slowly developed a mutual respect for one another. Considering his attitude towards me and my beliefs, the fact that the two of us were ever able to see somewhat eye-to-eye is actually rather remarkable, so I (driven by the gentle, yet persistent, persuasion of my lovely mother-in-law) felt it would be good to share a little bit about how that came to be. The following is a random assortment of our exchanges which brought us to our somewhat common ground.

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College: Where You’re Liberal or You’re Wrong

Pete and I are on the road this week, attending a retreat/conference in central Arizona. I’ve been out stalking the local birds, hiking in the desert, and enjoying time with friends who share our ministry calling. I have not been writing. So I thought I’d turn today’s soapbox over to my son-in-law, who has been writing about his college writing class. It’s a bit long, but I couldn’t find any content I was willing to delete. My questions are:

  • How should Jeremy respond to his professor? What would God have him do and say?
  • Have other people experienced this much harassment in a classroom? Is this common?
  • What place should a professor’s personal beliefs and opinions take in a classroom discussion?


So I finally did it; after many months of consideration, prayer, consultation, and jumping through financial aid hoops, I’m officially a college student. Since I’m still working full time I’ve had to take it easy on the classes, starting with only two at first, then hopefully working in more as I go. I’m taking a fairly basic math class online and a lecture-style English class, which I was looking forward to because I enjoy writing and reading. Unfortunately though, my excitement and positive attitude ended up being short-lived, as I had no clue what English actually held in store.

I showed up for [the first] class full of enthusiasm about beginning my long-awaited college career. As soon as the class before mine let out, I walked into the room, grabbed a seat close to the front, and just watched in anticipation as all my classmates slowly filed in and took up the remainder of the empty chairs. So far, things were good. Then my teacher started to talk.

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