Friday, January 30, 2009

Guest Friday: Greenville, Greyhound and Bob Jones University

N is the honoured guest for this Friday, and he's chosen (alright, been *strongly encouraged*) to write about his recent trip to BJU. he went to visit as a potential freshman for next year, and has decided that he likes the college and campus so much that he's started the application process for next fall. we are pleased with his choice, and know that Bob Jones University will be a good fit for N.

Early on the morning of January 13th, I awoke to make the long trip down to South Carolina with my sister M and our friend Matthew. The purpose of this trip was to go visit the college which she attended; Bob Jones University, in Greenville. We met Matthew in Lewisburg, and crammed all of M's belongings, as well as my duffel bag, into Matthew's small two-door car. It was cramped! But, we forced it all in there, the important stuff, anyway. The rest would be mailed to M at some point in the not-too-distant-future.

The car ride down was remarkably unremarkable. The two college freshman had it in their heart to torture me with a mind game that took extraordinarily long to figure out, considering how easy the solution turned out to be. I retaliated during twenty questions. (They went entirely the wrong direction! The answer was "India"; they were guessing "diamonds", "Angel Falls", and "rocks". Odd, I know...)

Anyway, we arrived safely, and made a quick stop at the college to drop off luggage and empty out the car. That finished, we wandered around Greenville for a while, using up minutes on cell phones and gas in tanks, searching for the house of the family with whom I would be staying. We finally found it, and had a delicious meal of spaghetti and cake. M, Matthew and I went back to BJU, to the student center. There, she introduced me to her friends, roomies and fellow nursing majors.

The next morning, I met M outside her dorm house. She had a pass to go off campus, and we walked to Starbucks for sustenance. A few of her friends happened to be there, and she introduced me to them. We then returned to the college; she to the grind that is getting settled in, I to the Administrations building to talk to my admissions counselor, Ben Cochran.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, but he had left a list of classes on which I could sit in. They consisted of several science classes, a few labs, and some Bible classes. Obviously, I didn’t have time to attend all of them, but I did make an effort to attend as many as was humanly possible. Sadly, I didn’t end up going to any of the chemistry labs. The first, Analytical Chemistry, was in Science Building Room 131. Rather, I should say that it was scheduled for that room. I waited outside the room for about fifteen minutes; no one showed up to unlock it, much less instruct us! The other lab was scheduled to overlap with Human Anatomy and Physiology, which was a class M was taking and one to which I wanted to go.

Thursday morning started bright and early; 6:30 am, to be precise. I met M for breakfast at the Dining Commons, and learned several very important bits of information concerning keeping up your image while eating. Duly noted. I also met more of M’s friends. The first class I went to, not counting the aborted chemistry lab, was a required class for all students. New Testament Messages, taught by Nathan Crockett, was one of my favorite classes while I was down there. Granted, I only went to it once, but he seemed like a great teacher, and as though he cared about his students. One of the things I liked about the college overall was the fact that that all the classes started with a prayer by the professor, and perhaps a relevant verse. You’re not going to find that at Bucknell University.

After NT messages was chapel, in the Founder’s Memorial Amphitheater. It was HUGE! There were about five thousand people there! Stephen Jones, great-grandson of the original Bob Jones, gave the message.

After chapel and lunch, I had another class, taught by Nathan Crockett again. This was Life and Ministry of Christ. After that, it was Life and Ministry of Paul. Then it was off to dinner with M and her fellow nursing majors.

The next morning started off bright and early again. This was a day filled mostly with science classes. General Chemistry at nine o’clock, and then a class with M at 10, Bio-organic Chemistry. Both were very fascinating, and I was even able to keep my head above water and comprehend most of what was being said! Chapel and lunch again. At 2 o’clock, there was another science class with M and her buddies: Human Anatomy and Physiology. Since I had to be at the information desk at 3:30, after this class we parted company; ne'er the twain again shall meet. (At least until May...)

Well, what did I think of the college, specifically the rules? Hmm... tough question! I obviously liked it; enough to apply there, of course. I liked the classes offered; it was a spacious campus, but not sprawling enough to get lost. The food wasn't terrible, the library was large and had a wide selection, and the student center was quite enjoyable, thank-you!

But that isn't what made me want to attend. In spite of all the griping and complaining to the contrary, it's the strict rules and regulations that are going to be a great help in my college career. Yes, some may be very strict, (no playing cards), and others somewhat nonsensical (no pool on Sundays), but hey. At least they try. In spite of all their shortcomings, regulations-wise, BJU has and does maintain a Christian atmosphere, which you won't find at any secular college. As the prevailing theory among most of the student body seems to be, they're rules for college, not rules for life. Besides, all these regulations can't help but cause you to try to act right, and if you're not allowed to socialize off campus or play pool on Sundays, well then. Perhaps you should be studying anyway, hmm?

In short, I enjoyed my trip, had a quick taste of what it would be like to be a college freshman at BJU, and hope to taste more fully what the campus has to offer come this fall!

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