Chalk shatters, dissipating into clouds of white dust. Numerous diagrams cover the board, intersecting into webs of chaos. The students, wide-eyed and alert, write vigorously, notebook pages flying, hoping not to miss a single word. One could only encounter such excitement in Dr. Junker’s 301 class.
When preparing to register for this course, “The Catholic Vision,” I had a vague idea of what to expect. The class description revealed the two central themes of creation and redemption. This seemed intriguing enough. However, I hesitated to sign up right then for a couple of reasons. Primarily, I found that a new professor would be teaching the course. Secondly, I grew alarmed as I began to examine the book list. Who was this new professor, and where did he come from? What did Shakespeare’s King Lear have to do with creation and redemption? Only by the grace of God, and a program as strong as Catholic Studies, could such a doubtful decision prove to be beneficial.
Catholic Studies 301, like every class I’ve taken in our department, has been phenomenal. We have explored a variety of materials, ranging from homilies of Cardinal Ratzinger, to the Gospel of John, to Shakespeare’s work, King Lear. Each day we enter class and sit in a square formation, looking all our classmates in the eye. We enjoy lively discussion and wildly energetic debate. We experience the antics of Professor Junker, his passionate refutations and occasional trampling of backpacks and chairs. There is never a dull moment. The class is reliably interactive and bursting with intensity. Never have I been pushed to engage class material so deeply. Tensions occasionally arise within the diverse texts we study. Yet, we do our very best working as a group to resolve them. It’s incredible to see a class striving to move forward together. How unique!
Each morning, as we begin our class in prayer, I thank God for the opportunity to be a student in Catholic Studies. We are so privileged to have professors who are not here to simply educate us within a certain subject, but to help us all to grow in holiness, to bring learning to a new level. Never can I doubt the work of the Lord, or the effectiveness of a class within Catholic Studies. God deserves to be trusted, Dr. Junker proves to be a perfect fit, and his 301 course is one which no one should miss!
~Logan, Junior ,Catholic Studies and Spanish