Little Pink Spoon #7 from The Wheel of Creativity

Posted on Sep 17, 2012

View From The Ivory Tower

Going away to college in Chicago opened the box for me, but only slightly. I was a smart girl and had been well prepped for a good education. Following in the pastor’s footsteps, I applied to only one school. Time magazine called Wheaton College “The Harvard of the Evangelicals;” we affectionately knew it as Billy Graham University, as he had gone there too.

Wheaton was a new piece of the same fabric—religious, strict, conservative, uniform. Even when transferred to a new garden, this little goat still jumped to the same height. But somehow from this ivory tower, I began to get a glimpse of life out there, beyond the unilateral vision of my childhood. There were over 200 denominations represented at Wheaton—from Quakers to Catholics. Not everyone thought like my parents.


I became a tourist in a new world of thought. I had my favorite stops on that tour: psychology, philosophy, astronomy, drama, art and music appreciation, and pottery making. I longed for new vistas I had not seen before. Each stop was a feast of new ideas and experiences—just enough to keep a starving girl alive.

Shock & Awe

My favorite professor, Robert Webber, won me over when he incited our Bible class with the words,  “Kill a Commie for Christ!”  I liked his shocking way of making a point. It blew the top off the box, if only for 45 minutes.

I approached Wheaton the only way I knew to approach school, for strict academic pursuit. I might have majored in Art, but because I did not draw, I believed I could not be an artist. Though I had studied voice and Wheaton had a renowned conservatory, I did not even consider music. Looking back, I believe these life-limiting choices evidenced my prejudice—that creativity is exclusive and reserved for a select few. But they also drove me to keep searching.

And you?

Q: What fabric has lost its sparkle for you? What new vistas do you long for?

Continued next Monday…

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