Wednesday, November 2, 2016


 Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) was where I chose to get my Master's Degree, so that I could teach Theatre at Anderson College.  That was my plan.  That was my goal.  The school was in Ft. Worth, Texas.  I arrived there around May 20th to begin my studies, which started that summer school.  This was the same school where my parents met some 40 years before and fell in love.  I had something of an advantage, because most of the teachers and staff knew my father and many were his old friends.  I had known many of them too growing up.  It was the perfect place to attend.
 One of the things I had to learn very fast was the Mexican cuisine.  No Del Taco.  This was the real thing.  A friend of mine, also from South Carolina, went to a nearby Jack-in-the-Box and wanted a pickle.  He got a jalapeno pepper, not knowing what it was, and his mouth burned for days.  It may sound strange, but one of the things we were told in orientation was to never make fun of the Hispanic people.  Like not to yell out "Immigration" in a crowded theatre.  That would have the same reaction as yelling out "Fire".  You would have a stampede. 
 The seminary environment was special.  When seeing me coming down the sidewalk, another male would address me as "brother".  It was strange at first, but I got used to it eventually.  For single students that wanted to live on campus, there was Ft. Worth Hall for the men and Barnard Hall for the women.  I lived in room 235 in Ft. Worth Hall.  It was a single room with paint peeling off of the walls.  I had two closets, a desk, and a sink.  The bathroom and showers were down the hall.  I brought several posters with me, which adorned my walls.  We had an open house, and my dorm room was picked as the coolest in the dorm because of all of the posters. 
 I wanted to study to teach Christian Theatre, but there was not a major in that, so I helped them develop a course load for that, and I was the first Communications major at that school.  My main teacher was Paula Brooks, who was the mother of the later PGA golfer Mark Brooks.  More on him later.  Paula and I put together a major using Public Speaking, Acting, TV & Radio, and other courses.  I also took courses in Education and Psychology.  The teachers would talk about church work, and I would mentally substitute the word "church" with "college".  I also had to take some Bible courses, and a couple of music courses.  The Bible courses were very hard.  I wasn't much for learning the Greek word for anything in the Bible, but I muddled through it.  In one of the music courses, I learned to direct a choir and how to pick out notes on a piano.  If you give me a sheet of music now and about an hour, I might be able to play the melody, but it would just be with one finger. 
 All of this story is just an introduction to the seminary.  There will be much more later.  Some good and some really bad.  How bad?  I guess that would be open to interpretation, but it was really bad to me.

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