College Nostalgia

Ever since I listened to the audio book of Zealot, I’ve been thinking a lot about my undergrad years. I’ve talked in the past about my intensity of purpose during those years, and about my history classes.

My memories keep focusing around a World History class I took. As a history major, most of my subject classes were right around 20 students. The survey courses like this one were taught in the campus’s only lecture hall, which sat 300.

One day the professor broke from the syllabus for the reading material for the following lecture. She had finished spelling out the model Rome used to expand, and she assigned the Book of Matthew.

“Although the library does have versions on the shelves, the Gideons have ensured that all the local hotel rooms have copies of the Bible as well. One person could rent a room, but wouldn’t it make more sense for two (or even more) to split the cost? This is obviously for the sole purpose of the academic field trip to read the Bible.”

Gideon Bible in Hotel Room

(And no, I didn’t rent a hotel room to take the picture, Mental Floss did it for me – and explained why there are Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms.)

Despite the fact that no one admitted to using her “field trip” idea, we had a really good discussion at our next meeting. I for one had been amazed at how much of the backdrop for the First Gospel was an accurate reflection of the times.

What brought this class back into my memory, though, was not the Bible reading, but rather the opportunity for extra credit. My teacher’s pet heart was beating pitter pat. I had an A secured already, but of course I took her up on the offer. The assignment was to watch two films that took place during the era and compare and contrast their accuracy. I chose Spartacus and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

As I rewatched both films, I was in shock at how much more accurate Monty Python was than Spartacus! Okay, yes it is very silly, but much of what they were depicting could point to definite historical markers, especially if you were looking for them and your paper’s thesis depended on it. That was a fun project and a great instructor. She definitely knew how to draw students into her teaching, even in a lecture hall.

Were you ever given a Biblical reading assignment for a non-religion class? or What classes stick out in your memory years later?

4 thoughts on “College Nostalgia”

  1. That’s funny – Monty Python as more historically accurate than Spartacus. I don’t remember Spartacus that well, but I wouldn’t doubt your assessment. Monty Python seemed somewhat accurate, I remember that they referred to Assyria in the movie (I wonder how I remember that). I’ll have to give it a rewatch though – it’s been a while and I could use a good laugh from the movie.


    1. When I saw Monty Python in the theater last summer I remember thinking about my paper and how I must have been a little sleep deprived when I came up with the premise for my paper. It was fun watching it on the big screen.


  2. Love Monty Python. I did an assignment on City of Angels and its lack of theological validity for a theology course. Can’t think of any that ran the other way around, though. One of my standout classes from college would have to be… OK, I stared at that and thought about it for a few minutes and I just can’t quite pick any particular one. I remember many for various reasons…the math class I took as an elective that was WAY hard, my American Romanticism class, my Victorian Lit class, a Shakespeare on Film course. So many…and all have memorable moments for me.
    I love school. 😀


    1. I love school, too. This one class in particular has been sticking in my head. I found the article about why the Gideons put Bibles in hotel rooms to be interesting as well. I guess I simply want to keep learning.


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