300 level courses

I didn’t check thoroughly enough and off a whim decided to audit a class called “The Zen of Buddhism.” It sounded like an interesting topic, and as Tom and I hope to some day visit China I thought it would be informative. I arrived, a bit late, because the school’s website was down and I couldn’t figure out where the class was being held. There were only 6 others in the class, all of whom obviously knew each other, and all of who the Professor obviously knew. When I sat down he looked at me quizzically as if to say, “and what are you doing here?” I told him I was interested in auditing the class if that was an option. He simply said, “No,” paused and said, “This just isn’t that kind of class.” And it wasn’t. It was a 300 level class composed of student led discussions, lots of papers and lots of reading. As I sat there observing I was impressed by the idea of a 300 level class. I have never taken one. They just don’t offer them in Voice, I guess. I guess I left feeling a bit saddened. I love the idea of functioning and understanding a subject at that level. I guess one of my regrets from pursuing music is that I haven’t had as many opportunities to really stretch myself mentally. I haven’t struggled to understand something, and toiled and toiled over it until finally got it. Sure there are technical parts of singing that I still haven’t mastered, but its different, there doesn’t seem to be a ton I can do about that. It’s not a matter of thinking harder, trust me! It made me wonder how much we are supposed to challenge ourselves in this life, how much we should push the limits? When should we run longer, read deeper, and study later?

2 responses to “300 level courses”

  1. As I am currently taking 800 level courses I feel inclined to add that there seems to be a grey area in academics between challenging students and torture:)

  2. Amen, Trevor. 🙂 I’ve taken my share of 300, 400, 500, and 600 level classes now. They’re mostly over-rated. On the other hand, a really inspiring professor, no matter the level of the class, that causes you to “run longer, read deeper, study later,” can be an awesome experience. Since you provide this motivation for yourself oft times, you’re certainly not one of the people I think of as missing out on these experiences. Hello!! That’s one of the things you’re best at and just one of the million things I love and admire about you.

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