I’ve been accepted into the Master of Art in Religious Studies program at the university where I earned my other three degrees. I believe in life-long learning.
This is a dream and a miracle, because I am going to college without having to pay tuition or fees! I will pay for my books under a program in Georgia titled GSU-62, for people over 62 who want to return to school or go for the first time.
Ever since I was ordained in 2005, I have wanted a degree in religion. However, having to work and already repaying the government for financial aid rendered earlier, I wasn’t about to go into deeper debt. So, I put the dream behind me and enjoyed my beloved teaching.
Over the last three and a half years of retirement, as someone who sees learning as being as necessary to my well-being as water and healthy eating, I have feel an aching in my spirit. I will reach the biblical three score and ten in November, but as we are living longer, I believe we need to rethink the notion of too old after age 65.
But, also, I will have the opportunity in the second year of the program to teach again, oh how sweet it is! I will be a full-time student because I am blessed that I don’t need a job to afford this adventure.
I will again be able to enjoy the aspects of graduate school that I loved so much from earlier: conducting research and writing papers. I want to stretch my mind to understand God in many aspects, especially questioning the inequality and oppression that exist in religion today.
Also, my Fall 2021 cohort includes students of different generations, races and ethnicities, genders, social class, sexual orientations, and, of course, religious faiths or no faith at all. How I look forward to understanding other people’s beliefs systems, because, admittedly, I only really understand Christianity. I have no clue about Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions regarding why, what, how, or where people practice these religions or the benefits that others feel they receive from their religions.
Over the last three to four weeks, I have been ill with a severe case of bronchitis, and I have been on a lot of medications with awful side effects which kept me from writing my blog. Thankfully, I am almost normal again. So, I have had a lot of time to read articles in the papers and on social media, and I am appalled at the ignorance in this country and the attempt to suppress the vote for people more likely to vote Democratic. It’s like seeing history repeat itself!
This is particularly true about the push by Republican members of Congress to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools and universities, a theory created by blacks to describe their experiences in America. Then, I realized that I am just as ignorant about other religions, and that when I try to push my beliefs on others without knowing their history and about their religions, I am just as guilty of an arrogance that leads to hate and prejudice.
So, it’s back to school, as a student. One is never too old to learn new things and ways of thinking. Education really is a great weapon against hate, bigotry, sexism, racism, and other isms, and I think you never outgrow the need to know the truth and be freed through it.