Saturday, January 20, 2007

Into the Belly of the Beast

Sara Robinson
Finally got a minute to check in. My apologies to Dave and the rest of you for my absence: all I can say is that I a) caught a flu at Christmas that is refusing to let go, b) started my new semester, and c) am suddenly finding myself back in the homeschooling business -- which is enjoyable, but a massive distraction.

My school career is taking an unexpected turn this spring. I'm spending a semester in residence (well, as resident as you can be taking classes from 3300 miles away) at -- wait for it -- Regent University. Yes, that Regent University, the one in Virginia Beach, VA; the one started by Pat Robertson himself.

Surprisingly, Regent's in the process of building a strong and lively strategic foresight graduate school, following the same model as the program I'm getting my degree from at the University of Houston. Their program has a few electives that Houston doesn't offer -- specifically, "Religionists and Futurists," a course on various approaches to the prophetic and vision-making role in society; and "Images of the Future," which promises to cover the ways in which people have historically explained and promoted their preferred futures to the masses.

It does feel like going into the belly of the beast again. I had to sign a solemn agreement not to bring tobacco or alcohol products onto campus (I think I can handle that one); and another one signifying my that I understood and accepted that I'd be instructed by teachers who believed in biblical inerrancy and the Second Coming and a bunch of other stuff. (At least they didn't demand that I believe this; just that I was willing to work with teachers who do.)

I was also expecting a dress code, like the one at Bob Jones, that would demand that I wear skirts and hose to class. (In fact, since my usual distance-learning attire is a boho layering of yoga pants, kimonos, and bare feet, I was rather looking forward to the thrill of flouting it.) No such luck, though. Regent's mostly a graduate school serving over-30 adults, and they apparently know better than to try to act like loco parentis.

I've got more stuff I want to blog about than I have hours in the day to get to, but I'll try to start getting to it this week.

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