Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Now, This is More Like It

A fellow alumnus writes:

I Don't Wanna Be Like This Mike-

Wow. You have managed to confuse, anger, sicken, and bore me all in the same blog. What a piece of garbage your post and/or blog turns out to be. You teach what for a living? Remind me so I can be sure to warn any and all of the horrors that await them at your institution.

Now, in regards to your criticism of the University I graduated from...I regret that your experience was that painful and unpleasant. But, like most who go to Taylor and come away from it with the demented perspective that you obviously have, you are the only one to blame. I attended Taylor my first semester of college and hated it. I left, went to junior college back home and worked for a year. I visited other schools I thought would give me a better education and better experience. I ended up back at Taylor and graduated in 2005 with a degree in Marketing. My only regret is leaving the first time.

What is education? Is it just the degree that hangs on your wall? Is it just a means to an end (a job)? For most, yes. Taylor offers a unique chance to study specific disciplines inside the context of a Biblical worldview. Your heart and ability to see the benefit of such an experience is blackened and clouded by your sin and apparent anger towards God. I say this not as an ad homnyn attack, but as an easily obtained assertion based on your writing.

What makes you so angry? What makes you feel that it is necessary to spew such hatred towards a school that has produced outstanding, Godly men and women for over a century? You had a bad time and felt isloated in your own personal misery; so what? Deal with it. No one forced you to go. You missed the chance God provided you to enjoy your college experience, regardless of the shortcomings (in your mind) that school had.

Now you condescendingly condemn Taylor even though you've done little more than "Google" your alma mater in 40 years. What a shame. I do not dislike or resent you and/or your comments. I feel bad that you've reached the point in your life where bitterness has burrowed so deep in your sinful heart that you cannot see the forest for the trees. God is love. Let go of your self-inflicted resentment towards Him. Let go of your disdain for a university that seeks to further His kingdom by training His people for a life "in, but not, of".

Let me assure you that I was no cheerleader for Taylor much of the time I was there. I complained often. I pointed out obvious flaws and easily correctible mistakes the administration and faculty made. Could I have obtained a better scholastic education had I gone to Wisconsin or Miami-Ohio? Of course! That is not the point. The point is God had me where he wanted me. Knowledge is more than books and petri dishes and cynical journalism professors who reject the God that made them. You, sir, like me, know the Truth. One of has decided to hide it in his heart and that is where you and I part company.

I'll be praying for you and if I've offended you or gone too far, then I apologize. Please, for all of us, before posting anything in the future...take a deep breath and think about a dewey meadow or something.


Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

You tell him, Mr. Moeller. For the sake of full disclosure, it ought to be mentioned that the majority of Robert Moeller’s own Taylor-hatin’ was restricted to tirades and petitions based on reinstating free ESPN in dorm rooms. This proves an important point: today, Taylor is place of social conscience, student initiative, and progressive, populist activism.

The place is full of engaged students (pun!) who are passionate about their education as well as their faith, and wouldn’t be content to settle for some autocratic propaganda even if it *was* being spoon-fed to them. Taylor has some truly gifted professors that encourage critical and thoughtful discussions that aren’t bounded by political or theological presuppositions.

It would be easy enough to hear that and concede, “well the place sure has changed,” but I don’t think it’s that simple. There are still bitter people at Taylor. There are still students who refuse to engage the community and join the debate, who would rather settle resentfully on the outskirts, console themselves by denouncing the rest, and wait to reflect on the missed opportunities and invisible rebellions of a closed mind until the pithy comebacks come forty years too late.

There are plenty of people from a wide range of social, political, and theological backgrounds that have enjoyed their time at Taylor, used the opportunity to learn and grow, and have gone on to do all sorts of great things. Robbie Moeller, as you can see, has started his very own blog. What I mean to say is, your unfortunate experience at Taylor has as much to do with you as it does to do with Taylor.

Of course by now you’re probably sick of getting hated on by the youth, so I’ll leave out the requisite heaping on of coals and prayers of exorcism (Andrea, sweetie, you just *did* comment on “how rude, insensitive, cruel, and ignorant…”) and move right into a more reconciliatory catching-up-to-speed.

We still can’t smoke or drink. We can dance, but not very well. “Occasional hand-holding” was on a pretty steady rise throughout the 80’s and 90’s, peaked towards the end of the Clinton Administration, and has been quickly losing ground to “heavy petting.” Chapel is not required anymore, but it is strongly encouraged, along with communal prayer and generous alumni giving. There have been reports of “moral banditry” in local bars, though it was probably just to aid the stagnant local economy. Most references to “Whooping Jesus Bible College” have been removed from official stationary. The new letterhead reflects a more modest, calmly encouraging Risen Lord and Savior.

So you can see, things are getting better every day. Judging from the response you’ve gotten, however, I think it’s safe to say that one thing hasn’t changed: there is, apparently, still not a whole lot to do in Upland.