All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Why I Still Keep My College Notes

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I’m at work today–the day after my “big” move to my “small” place–and some coworkers who were recruited to help me move were poking fun at me for having three or four boxes of college notes.  They couldn’t fathom why I would keep them.  But no matter how hard I tried to explain in a rather eloquent apology about my passion for knowledge, it just wasn’t sinking into their heads.

Yes, I have my Calc II and Differential Equations notes.  I love math.  I still do.  I don’t use analytical geometry in my career and I have long forgotten most of it, but I love looking back on these notes.  They remind me of happy times.  They also remind me of an against-the-odds achievement I had.  Having never even taken Algebra I in my life, going all the way to Diff EQ is quite an accomplishment.  So yes, I like to look at old notes and hastily sketched-out trigonometric quadrants.  It’s like saying to myself, “This, yes this, I have done.”

Although I didn’t finish my math degree, I did finish my literature and philosophy degrees.  I have all of those books.  They didn’t seem to mind that I have five or so copies of The Republic or Confessions sitting around because they don’t look like textbooks.  Ah, but how they are!   How they helped shape my mind and forced me to ask hard questions. 

Similarly, I have old essays and term papers, too.  I occasionally re-read them and I can’t even believe I wrote them.  I sounded so intelligent.  I think to myself, “Really? I wrote this?” 

I had this exact experience yesterday while unpacking boxes of books.  I was reading draft of a term paper on George Herbert’s poem Love (III) and his allegorical references to God (as Love).  Funny that I wrote about Herbert’s faith in this term paper because I wrote it while I was an atheist.  But, oh, how sweet it is to read with the faith I have now and with a little more gained knowledge about the Wedding Feast!  I highlighted the two verses that speak to me most powerfully:

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
        Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
        From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
        If I lack’d anything.

“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”;
        Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
        I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
        “Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
        Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
        “My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
        So I did sit and eat.

Laugh or not, but I am still going to keep my old college notes.  I might just make them digital for more secure safe-keeping.


Written by Written Straw

May 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Faith, Life

Tagged with , , , , ,

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