Monday, November 8, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Seminarian: Classes

This part of a seminarian's day is probably one of the most varied, since of course he has different classes each day. For example, I'm able to write this post because I don't have to take English, and thus have free time until 10 am. But, I will try to draw a little sketch of what classes are like.

Our seminary building is two-storied, with a basement. On the first floor is a large hall, used for choir practice, lectures, and the like. On the second floor are the classrooms and offices. The basement is mainly taken up by our library. The second floor has classrooms for each of the years of seminary. We first-years stay in one room basically the entire year, while the teachers move around. The rooms are big enough to fit all of us (and a few more) comfortably, while small enough to prevent anyone from hiding or sleeping.

Here's a selection of our classes:

Russian I: Natch. We have Russian every day, including scheduled Facebook checking independent study hours in the library.
Church Slavonic I: Actually takes up a good deal of my time, since we have to memorize parts of the Small Compline service. Помилуй мя, Боже...
Russian History: A prelude to the Russian Church History classes. Fr. Andrei Psarev leads us through Russian History from Ryurik through Rachmaninoff. Also, there are many interesting side-conversations, mostly involving monastic footwear, coming from one of our more animated classmates.
Patristic Anthropology: Our professor, Fr. George Dragas, a disciple of Fr. George Florovsky and one of the greatest living Orthodox theologians, presents the anthropological view of the Church Fathers, a great deal of which is over my head. Fr. George is rector of a Greek parish in Boston, and a professor of the seminary there, which means he is with us only once a fortnight. I was going to make a reference to My Big Fat Greek Wedding*, but that would be too clichéd.

Most of our class-hours in the first year are devoted to Russian, which I should be studying now. For the next post in this series, I will write about the afternoon.

*They should make more movies with Orthodox people in them, because I'm starting to get tired of references to the Greek origin of the word “kimono.”

1 comment:

  1. you could also try writing the next post in russian, that would make this even more helpful as extra russian practice ;-)