I love talking to people, but I really don't enjoy spending large portions of time in academic debates or discussions. Many a time and oft have I argued with RobJ about the differences between him and me academically, but it has only been within the past few weeks that I have been able to put my finger on why the differences exist. Rob is (along with a host of my other friends), in my opinion, an intellectual. Why do I consider him an intellectual?
Well, let me describe what I consider the intellectual students. They can frequently be heard in the hallway, classroom, livingroom or cafeteria pondering the accuracy and role of history, debating the validity of philosophies, and arguing the docterines of theology. They make a hobby out of their courses: they read books of philosophy and history during the summer for fun and never seem to tire of it in the least. They can pull something completely arbitrary out of a reading and make it the thesis of the article. They are the students that walk into class and ask important questions and make references to two different philosophers and a historian when answering a question in an English class. I'm not in any way trying to criticise them: I'm just proposing my view of the "intellectuals."
Suffice it to say, then, that I'm not an intellectual on any level. Yes, I like learning- that's why I'm at Redeemer. However much I'm intimidated by my courses, I enjoy them and I love my profs. But. (there's always a "but.") When I step out of my classes, sometimes I'll chat with my friends about my courses, the implications of what we just learned, and sometimes I'll just catch up with them and what's been going on in their lives. I dn't have a burning desire to spend an hour arguing about liturgical worship. When I read an article, I'm afraid to say that, despite being an English major, I basically just read the article and can't seem to find the gift of "reading between the lines." I love reading my novels, and could probably spend weeks on end reading Atwood, Munroe and Wodehouse, but I really hate disecting books. I always have.
This is not to say that I don't have any academic ambition: I promise you, I'm not simply a lazy student. I'm just not an intellectual. I love words, and I love talking about words. I have been lamenting for the past two years that Redeemer has managed not to have a Latin programme. I would love to sit down with Dr Loney for as long as it takes and learn everything he knows about etimology. This fascinates me, and granted, this is the one area of academia that I could chat about for hours outside of class. Except that I don't have the knowledge base required to do that. Anyhow.
I don't want to disappoint anyone with the information that I'm sharing here, I just want to make it clear that although a huge amount of my friends are intellectuals and I love them for it, I'm not one. If you've put me in that box, I'm sorry to do this once more, but please take me out of there. (I hope that's not another one of your first impressions gone out the window....)