Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hola, Mormons!

I've been studying pretty hard today. I finished my Astronomy homework early this morning, then I did a Psychology jag, and now I'm poring over my GRE prep book.

I was about 30 minutes into a practice math test when the doorbell rang. Mormons!

I love when Mormon missionaries come to the door. We chatted for some time, and I let them fill in some gaps in my knowledge of their faith, shook their hands and sent them on their way. It was a little naughty, because it distracted me for about a half-hour from my books.

Walking back to the dining room table, where I have stacks of books and ever-growing heaps of spent scrap paper, I thought about Elder Bowen, who told be he would return to Wyoming after his journey and study mechanical engineering. I told him to learn how to write a good paper, because, as a grad student, a lot of the papers I marked written by engineers lacked a certain amount of communicative skill. (Yes, I'm being kind.) I told him to take a composition course, because he was exceptional at communicating verbally and should cultivate that on paper.

Walking back to the table, I thought, "Why didn't I tell him to get an elective in Comparative Religions?" I said the phrase in my head: "Take a great course in Hinduism, or pagan religions, or pilgrimage!"

Pilgrimage. Damn. Why didn't I ever think of Mormon missionary journeys as a pilgrimage? A pilgrimage where a specific destination wasn't specified? That could have been a killer chapter in my Master's thesis.

Finding new facets of my thesis has happened many times in the last 6 years. I suppose we never stop learning. Thinking of all there is to learn out there, I have moments of, "Oh, darn, why didn't I pursue my PhD?" But then I tell myself that I would be studying a much narrower field of knowledge. I would have only been comparing, say, Graceland to Medjugorje, or graveyard pilgrimages to Ephesus, and maybe not been comparing broad selections of pilgrimages (and Pilgrimages) with broad theories of those journeys.

AND: I'd probably still be just as jobless.

Right. Back to the books. This was a nice distraction. I'll let you know how the GRE goes.

PS: I'm pretty proud that I didn't mention The Book of Mormon, which I desperately want to see, or this.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You’re the only person I know who loves door-to-door Mormon missionaries. You are also the only person I’ve seen stop and talk to those Muslim dudes handing out free Korans at the corner of Yonge and Dundas. They did a double-take when they realized someone actually wanted to make eye contact.
Mare

Catherine said...

The previous LDS pair I had (last fall), actually heard me yell, as I saw them through the window when I went to answer the door, "Mormons!"

I basically told them I was as resolute in my faith (Atheism) as they were in theirs, and we agreed that if I wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ (never just "Jesus") I would contact them. I will, too. I just don't see it happening.