Click through the thumbnails below to view Meg's photo journal.
I’ve Been Impressed with Gordon’s Academics
My name is Meg Lynch, and I’m a senior communication arts major. Since I’m graduating soon, I’ve been reflecting on my time here and why the school has been such a great fit for me. I think one reason is that Gordon’s standards for strong academics have pushed me to be a better student and have grown in me a stronger desire to learn and succeed. There are a lot of different ways Gordon does this, and I’m proud to attend a school with such a good academic reputation.
The Importance of Studying Abroad
Studying abroad is possibly one of the most important parts of my Gordon experience. When I studied abroad—ok, technically it wasn’t abroad; I went to the Contemporary Music Center on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Massachusetts—it set my life in a direction I wouldn’t have gone had I not studied there with other like-minded artists and musicians. I’m now an aspiring singer/songwriter, dedicated to my craft because of all I learned on the island. I was also introduced to some of the most important relationships of my life. I’m still writing music and performing with friends I met that semester, and I have plans to go on tour this summer with some of them. Studying abroad really affected my life, and almost everybody I talk to who has studied abroad agrees it affected them too in important, life-changing ways.
Professors as National Leaders and Scholars (but also Friends)
Every day I have the opportunity to interact with and learn from professors who are national leaders and scholars in their fields. I’m not always aware they’re this national in scope since they’re friendly and personable, and they care a lot about my success as a student. It’s easy to forget sometimes when I’m laughing at one of Bob Whittet’s jokes before class that he’s a nationally known author and speaker in the youth ministries field. And we all look with reverence at Dr. Marvin Wilson, who helped translate and edit the NIV Old Testament. I’m proud that I have the opportunity to learn from professors like these who are making a difference in the world and impacting students in much the same way.
Our Christian Commitment to Work Hard and Study Hard
One thing I’ve noticed about the students here over my four years is the number of self-motivated, hard workers there are. I think the reason for this is that as Christians we’re called to work our hardest and do our best for God’s Kingdom. We know that ultimately we’re working for God and not man, so studying is for more than just a grade. Being reminded of that by friends, faculty and staff has increased my desire to learn more and given me a higher purpose to work hard.
Freedom to Wonder
There is definitely a freedom here to ask difficult questions and wrestle with big issues. Professors often ask controversial questions, facilitate discussion and then leave us with the Lord to work out the issue. They want us to come to conclusions on our own but make themselves available to talk, answer questions and listen. I know professors do this to help us grow stronger in our understanding and in our faith. This overall freedom to question within the safe walls of a Christian environment encourages deep growth and a self-motivation among students who work hard for the intrinsic value of it.
Learning Happens Here outside the Classroom
There are a lot of professors at Gordon who recognize the invaluable benefits to integrated learning outside the classroom. I’ve definitely been the beneficiary of these classes—like when I took a canoeing class with Stan Reczek, assistant professor of physics, whose absolute fascination with nature and the outdoors made this a really enriching out-of-class learning experience. And last year I took a bicycling class with Dan Johnson, associate professor of sociology, whose love for biking took my class all over Wenham and the surrounding towns . . . much to the chagrin of my leg muscles. But you don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to discover learning outside the classroom. In my Arts in the City course, classes were held in Boston—at museums, concerts, festivals and art studios. I also have some friends who student-teach in Lynn, and others who take field trips to Jewish mosques.
Academics for the Community
In one of my classes this semester, Advanced Writing for Public Relations and Advertising, we’re gaining experience by serving the community. Our ongoing project throughout the semester is to pick a “client”—a small organization or nonprofit off campus—and do volunteer public relations work for them. It’s been a great assignment because while gaining work experience we also get to bless and build relationships with these companies through volunteer service. Many of my friends in different majors do similar off-campus events and projects for the community as well. Our professors are committed to engaging students through helping others, and I think that’s really unique about Gordon.
In talking with friends from other schools, I’ve come to realize how unique my Gordon classes are because they’re much more interactive than those at other, larger schools. Most of the classes I’m in are small enough to have real one-on-one time with professors, which has been incredibly beneficial to my understanding of the subject matter. In at least three of my classes this semester alone, we circle up the desks every class to create a more discussion-oriented and personal environment. This helps me learn more from my peers and professors alike and causes me to feel more comfortable in engaging in classroom discussions.
Life off the Grapevine
Soon I’ll be graduating and leaving Gordon’s campus. This is very strange to think about since I along with all the graduating seniors around me have spent almost our entire lives in the classroom. Thankfully I’m more excited than nervous, because everything I’ve learned at Gordon has helped to prepare me and grow me into a woman who’s ready to take on life off of Grapevine Road. My academics have been challenging and fruitful; the relationships I’ve formed here will continue in the years to come; my professors have been so helpful providing support in and out of class; and I better understand now how I can serve the Lord and the people around me.