Posted on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 by Austin Gerth
Finals have left me a week behind on life, my head spinning and my knees shaking. Although I only had to deal with two real exams, they were in the two classes I found most difficult this semester (Spanish 112 and Pre-Calculus), and I also had a Euphonium jury, a portfolio to turn in for my Written Communication course, and a large, intellectually rigorous final paper for my Inquiry Seminar to contend with. I’m now home, recuperating from a Friday during which I went to bed at 5:15am after finishing the aforementioned paper, got back up at 8:00 to take care of the day’s obligations, and made the 3 hour car trek back to Princeton in the afternoon. Sitting here in my chair, I can sigh deeply and reflect on my first semester here at Concordia.
The most important aspect of the semester for me has been the time spent with the members of Club 16, my Orientation Club. They were the first new people I met on campus, and therefore the first people through which I began to define what Cobber-dom means to me. They’re also (as is traditional) the people with whom I took my Inquiry Seminar and IWC courses, which courses have resultantly been my favorites of the semester. Though most people’s Clubs part ways for the most part following Orientation Week, Club 16 has taken on an almost cult-like devotion from a significant number of us, and it’s been something uniquely wonderful to experience.
Our Inquiry course, “C.S. Lewis: Faith, Life, and Fiction,” is simply the best class I’ve ever taken–although I signed up for it only because I had mistaken it for an English department-type course, rather than a Religion course, it’s made me think harder and challenged my intellectual preconceptions more than anything else I’ve ever experienced. Each class period brought exactly the sort of deeply intelligent discussion and debate I had hoped for from Concordia, and Dr. Bussie’s emphasis on compassion has undoubtedly made me a better person.
The start of Club 16’s deep interpersonal bonding came toward the end of orientation week, at an intense group discussion of Halima Bashir’s Tears of the Desert, held in Dr. Bussie’s living room in Fargo. We sent our semester off appropriately with a clubbie pizza/Christmas party, once again at Dr. Bussie’s house. Silly photos were taken. I cannot thank these people enough for the Joy they’ve made of my first semester.