Don’t run away from the languages!

Ines Franklin, MDiv Student

 

Learning a new language is a challenge, even for those who speak more than one language.  Nevertheless, the hard effort is deeply rewarding.  I grew up speaking Spanish.  When I was sixteen, my mother decided to move to California.  This sent me on a crash course to learn English.  It took me three months to learn to read the language, eight months to speak the language, and, so far, thirty-one years to get rid of the Puertorican accent.  Mijo, I’m almost there!

This may not be working, but my goal here is to encourage you.  It turns out that the hardest part of learning a language is to master how to speak it.  Learning to read it – even out loud – is actually very doable for most people. This is especially true if your professor is good.  The good news is that the quality of Fuller’s language professors is top notch.

Last year, I completed the Greek series with Professor Peter Hintzoglou. On the first day, he told us never to give up.  If we considered it, he made us promise to talk to him first.  He was generous with grace and patient with our struggles.  It was very challenging, but also very rewarding.  Okay, I thought of quitting once, but I didn’t.  In fact, studying the Word has become a great adventure as I pursue the original language with confidence and understanding (no, I am not planning any trips to Greece). We learned Biblical Greek, so its application is strictly for reading the Greek Bible.  On second thought, I could become a street-corner evangelist in Athens. I do love Greek food.

Currently, I am enrolled in the Hebrew series with Dr. Norah Caudill. Hebrew adds an extra complication as it reads right to left.  I am pleasantly surprised that my brain is not jumbled.  I am really enjoying its beautiful symbolism and structure.  Dr. Caudill’s organized and deductive teaching style is very helpful.  Also, reading from right to left is not as hard as I had anticipated.  Writing it requires me to slow down, but it is fun.  It is with great anticipation that I look forward to studying the Old Testament with this new perspective.

All this to say, don’t go out of your way to look for a degree that does not require the languages.  Give it a try, a hard try.  You will be greatly rewarded.

Posted in Greek and Hebrew | Leave a comment

Ines Franklin, MDiv Student

 

Learning a new language is a challenge, even for those who speak more than one language.  Nevertheless, the hard effort is deeply rewarding.  I grew up speaking Spanish.  When I was sixteen, my mother decided to move to California.  This sent me on a crash course to learn English.  It took me three months to learn to read the language, eight months to speak the language, and, so far, thirty-one years to get rid of the Puertorican accent.  Mijo, I’m almost there!

This may not be working, but my goal here is to encourage you.  It turns out that the hardest part of learning a language is to master how to speak it.  Learning to read it – even out loud – is actually very doable for most people. This is especially true if your professor is good.  The good news is that the quality of Fuller’s language professors is top notch.

Last year, I completed the Greek series with Professor Peter Hintzoglou. On the first day, he told us never to give up.  If we considered it, he made us promise to talk to him first.  He was generous with grace and patient with our struggles.  It was very challenging, but also very rewarding.  Okay, I thought of quitting once, but I didn’t.  In fact, studying the Word has become a great adventure as I pursue the original language with confidence and understanding (no, I am not planning any trips to Greece). We learned Biblical Greek, so its application is strictly for reading the Greek Bible.  On second thought, I could become a street-corner evangelist in Athens. I do love Greek food.

Currently, I am enrolled in the Hebrew series with Dr. Norah Caudill. Hebrew adds an extra complication as it reads right to left.  I am pleasantly surprised that my brain is not jumbled.  I am really enjoying its beautiful symbolism and structure.  Dr. Caudill’s organized and deductive teaching style is very helpful.  Also, reading from right to left is not as hard as I had anticipated.  Writing it requires me to slow down, but it is fun.  It is with great anticipation that I look forward to studying the Old Testament with this new perspective.

All this to say, don’t go out of your way to look for a degree that does not require the languages.  Give it a try, a hard try.  You will be greatly rewarded.

 

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Academics, Formation, and Community

Lise Porter, MDiv Student

A friend of mine whose father is a pastor told me that when her dad was in seminary he found it the most spiritually dry period in his relationship with God. She told me this thinking that maybe that would be my experience too, since when immersed in the intellectual pursuit of God, I guess it is common to get disconnected from Him. Well, that has not been my experience at Fuller. If anything, being immersed in the study of God has brought me closer to Him vs. farther away!

I equate much of my experience with the beautiful balance Fuller strikes of strong academics and genuine faith. I have been emotionally moved many times this quarter while pondering the intersection of ministry and the Word.

This quarter I am taking Tremper Longman’s Pentateuch course and Mike McNichols and Steve Summerell’s co-taught course, Foundations for Ministry. Taking a scripture-based course with a spiritual formations course has been a wonderful combination. In the Old Testament course I am developing a keen understanding of the story of God’s people and in the spiritual formations course I have the opportunity to literally hear people’s stories of how God has impacted their lives and faith. In this way, the two classes complement one another and stimulate intellectual and emotional fusion.

I close this little report on my fall quarter at Fuller by mentioning that I am a San Diego student. In one of my weekend seminar classes last year, an alumni couple who were auditing the class invited any San Diego-based people to stay at their home, thus sparing students hotel charges and/or long drives to and from the OC. So, this quarter when I take Tremper Longman’s class, while enriching my mind, I experience fellowship and friendship through the hospitality of Fuller folk. Now that is community! PTL.

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Preach it, but deodorant is a must!

Ines Franklin, MDiv Student

Last week I preached my first sermon on Mark 4:35-41 to my Homiletics classmates.  The title of my sermon was “Who then is this?”  It was an experience to hear thirteen sermons in one day.  I was next to last.   By the early afternoon, I realized that I did not wear enough deodorant.  Every forty-five minutes my heart would start racing and my throat felt bloated to the size of a softball.  I began to break out into a sweat.  I used the techniques I learned from a drama instructor to calm my nerves.  He claimed that we can calm our anxiety by bringing our focus to something concrete in the room and gently rubbing our fingers against it.  I rubbed the edge of my desk and chair feeling its texture, temperature and shape.  Don’t snicker, this works!  I was successful at calming myself after each aerobic-heart-pumping outburst.  What was I nervous about?   Public speaking is not a skill I have mastered.  However, I was not afraid of speaking in front of the classmates.  The prior Exegetical Methods course prepared me for researching the “data” necessary for my sermon.  Therefore, I was not nervous about the research or the paper I was required to write.  I was nervous to Preach.  To proclaim the Word of God confidently to others is new to me.  The responsibility of exegetically speaking God’s Word with accuracy overwhelmed me.  Never mind that my classmates would offer the grace I needed to practice.  Perfectionism reared its ugly head at me.  I hit the wall of resistance.  But then I remembered what my sermon was about.  Who then is this (Jesus)?  The One who has power to stop a hurricane, to instantly calm the sea and the wind, was willing to help me with this first step.  I prayed to Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate, the Messiah.  He answered in a whisper to my soul.  Don’t worry about anything.  Speak and learn.  Next time, however, wear more deodorant.

Ines Franklin  


 

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