This week is full of scholarship interviews at my seminary, and since I am serving on the scholarship selection committee this year, I am humbled both by the responsibility and by the fact that whatever I did several years ago managed to catch someone’s eye in the midst of all the talent that was/is there for the interview weekend.
During my interview two years ago, one of the professors that I now love refused to look at me. He hunched over, with his face turned to the side and harumphed occasionally. I now recognize that harumph as one that indicates listening/approval (coated with a veneer of disdain…), but I thought that I was the worst interviewee ever.
And then another professor, one who specializes in Egyptian Christianity, ended the interview with, “I have one final question: why in the world would you call Europe the ‘cradle of Christianity’?!”
I was taken aback. He was right. That had slipped past a dozen proofreading eyes. So I said the first thing that came to mind:
“Evidently that’s why I need to come to seminary! I know that Christianity was not born in Europe—and that it has not stayed there. What I should have written was that Europe was the grammar school of Christianity.”
Smile. Wonder why prof #1 isn’t looking me in the eye. Harumph.
Then I went on a tour of campus apartments, where grown-up people asked questions about washing machines and playgrounds and fiances. I went back to the hotel and called my mom and cried.