Diversity of RE 101

As a religion major, I take many courses that focus on questions. Living with Death asks the question: What does our life look like despite the fact that we all, in the end, will die someday? New Testament Studies of Paul asks: Who is Paul and what does his identity mean in terms of Christianity and the Bible. While all classes start off with a question, religion classes have a knack for asking questions that make people uncomfortable.

RE 101 Literature of the Old and New Testament do this in a way that I think needs to be done in our society more often. I often explain that RE 101 is one of the most important classes for Wartburg students to take here. The Bible is everywhere. Throughout ones life they will encounter at least one person that has an intense relationship with the Bible or at least the God of the Bible (who is also the God of the Quran). Because of this I think it is so important that students learn about this ancient text and what it actually says.

Since everyone has to take this class here there are students from all backgrounds in the class. There are Christians of all sort, Jewish people, atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, etc, in this class. This makes for an interesting class period. Some come into it thinking they know everything about the Bible because they grew up heavily involved with their church back home. Others come into the class afraid to say a word because they know absolutely nothing about this book and the religion that created it.

This class makes one treat their belief system like a machine. RE 101 makes one take apart their machine, part by part, and examine the parts that comprise it. It makes them ask the question: Why do I believe this and what does that mean exactly? After the class is over the goal is that hopefully one has started from where they were and broken everything down to the bottom and then started to rebuild what it is they believe. Sometimes it is exactly the same machine, part for part. Sometimes it is a completely new machine, none of the same parts, Sometimes it is a machine that looks similar but has some new parts added and some old parts subtracted.

Everyone has to deal with religion in some way during their lifetime. I think it is important to try an understand where people are coming from since religion can be such a huge part of their lives a well as the whole society. Even though it is a Bible class, it allows for so much interfaith conversation to happen as well as shines light on a religion that many claim are ruining society while others claim will save the society.

Why do some people like Doctor Who?

Doctor Who seems to be this show that has fans from across the spectrum. By spectrum, I mean that some people are die-hard fans of the show while others are on the complete opposite end where the absolutely hate the show. There are people on both ends and there are those who are in-between. Doctor Who is a very interesting show in regards to the population’s response to it.

Over the years I have shown Doctor Who to quite a few people in hopes of them turning into a fan of the show just like I did. Sometimes this works well, other times it does not. I think it really depends on when they start watching and what their initial reaction to the show is. I think I saw mine after seeing a spoof of some sort on youtube or something. I guess I thought the doctor looked pretty cool and tried to find out what was going on with this whole Doctor Who thing. I must have really liked it cause down the rabbit hole I went.

Some of the people I have shown the show to have taken well to it. I remember, I showed it to one of my really good friend about a week after I started watching it and she was hooked as well.It was exciting to be able to talk to someone about this new show that no one else that I knew was watching (at that time I was not aware of the massive online forum or blog presence in the Doctor Who fandom). She liked the show quite a bit, enough to name her car “Rory the Rav 4.”

I have also shown people the show and the response has been less than hopefull. My friend and I showed one of our mutual friend an episode from the fourth season of Doctor Who hoping that our friend would love it and binge it all like we did. This did not go as planned. We watched the episode and after we asked: “What did you think”? She responded, “Didn’t like it.” That was a fail on our part. Who knows, maybe she will watch an episode in the future and suddenly become a fan but, probably not.

In the end, Doctor Who is just one of those shows that people will think what they want. It is also one of those shows that can lose fans due to a new Doctor and regain them a few years later after that Doctor’s time on the show. The show truly is one of a kind.


Doctor Reunion

When will we see another Doctor reunion? We have only had one in New Who so far to this point. Actually, I am not sure about this Christmas special or whatever the episode was where the twelfth Doctor meets the first Doctor. I also just remembered the children in need mini episode where the tenth Doctor met the fifth Doctor.  It would be interesting to look at how many times in classic who did doctors meet other incarnations of themselves.

Well, I looked into it. The answer is 4 times. I thought it would be higher than that but it makes sense. So now the show has been running form its continuation for about 13 years. Classic who ran from 1963 to the late 80’s. Let’s say around 25 years. Well if we don’t count the children in need episode and we don’t count the recent episode than we really only have one true storyline that includes multiple doctors in new who. I, as a fan, am not satisfied with this. I want more. I don’t just mean the Doctor either, I want the companions to come back too. I want River back the most. I know she was just in the Christmas special last year but I hate that now we have basically closed the character. Who knows though. I still have hope.

Now, I know that if we have multi-doctor storylines all the time then they cease to be special but I just really want a nice storyline with Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen. Just imagine it. The Day of the Doctor but way better! I have seen some interviews with David Tennant and Matt Smith where the interviewer asks about a possibility of returning to the show. Each time that is asked I see David or Matt responding that they would love to but it needs to be the right time. They don’t want to come back too often otherwise it will not be as good. This gives me hope that in the future I will see an awesome multi-doctor episode. This is probably likely to happen on the 60th Anniversary of the show in 2023. That may seem like a long ways away but I can remember 2013 like it was only yesterday.

All that being said, I think the fans would love to see more crossovers between the different Doctor incarnation. I am torn between the possibility of the scenario getting too boring but also the fact that it would mean my favorite characters would be coming back.



Who turned out the lights?

There is something about the episodes “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” that gets me every time I watch it. They have always been one of my favorite story arcs in the whole series of Doctor Who ever since I first watched it. Upon revisiting this double feature episode I have noticed some interesting things when it comes to diversity. This episode or episodes have got quite a bit of diversity among them. There is the diversity of race with Other Dave, Anit, and Dr. Moon. There is the diversity of intelligence with The Doctor and River being at the top and Evangelista being at the bottom. It also has the diversity of gender with having both men and women being in positions of power.

The enemy in this episode, the Vashta Nerada, are, in my opinion, some of the most inventive creatures in Doctor Who. They are the reason we all, at some level, are afraid of the dark. They are not in every shadow of darkness but in any shadow of darkness. They feed on the flesh and can rip it away from the bone in less than a second. This is truly a terrifying monster. I can only imagine a 7-year-old watching these episodes and having their fear of the dark being enhanced even more. They are an infestation and as humans, we all seem to have fears of infestations whether it is termites or fruit flies or some flesh-eating virus.

We learn so much about The Doctor in this episode. We learn about his future quite a bit. Professor River Song is introduced. She is from the Doctors future. After watching the rest of her storyline throughout the next few seasons all of the references that she tries to clue The Doctor into are awesome for those viewing. Knowing the fate of Professor River Song does quite a bit for the viewer when watching the later seasons because we know that she will not die in any of the episodes. Thier relationship is my favorite of any in the entire show of Doctor Who. She is the one person that, in my opinion, truly understands The Doctor. She is part Time Lord. She gave up all her remaining regenerations to save the Doctor in a later episode. They are truly meant for each other.

Overall viewing these episodes has reminded me exactly why I love this show so much. The relationships make it for me. This lonely Time Lord finally has met his match. Unfortunately, they never meet in the right order. The curse of the time traveling couple.

Re-connecting with The Doctor

I started watching Doctor Who when I was in the ninth grade. I think I had seen a video on youtube or something and wondered if I would like it. So, I gave it a chance. I was hooked. I watched all 6 seasons that were on Netflix at the time in I think 3 weeks or a month.

In the first season, I got through the first episode, which, in my opinion, is not a great episode to start people out on. I then proceeded to watch episode two, skip episode three, and finish the first season. I liked the ninth doctor, but I wasn’t extremely amazed by him. On to season two. Loved the tenth doctor from the first episode and that fondness grew more throughout the seasons. I can not say enough good things about David Tennant as the doctor. Anyway, season five comes along with a new doctor. Once you have a doctor you are so fond of it is hard to accept such a big change right away. I liked the eleventh doctor but I didn’t love him yet. Season five was fine. It brought back some favorite characters of mine such like River Song. Season 6 bumped eleven up a bit more on my doctor greatness scale.

This is when I had to make a big decision in my life. Would I start to pay for each episode of Doctor Who? I didn’t have BBC America so I would have to pay each week on iTunes or Amazon if I wanted to keep up on my favorite show at the time. I bit the bullet and decided that I was indeed going to start buying each episode in order to watch Doctor Who. Season seven was amazing. This is when Matt Smith took his metaphorical seat next to David Tennant. They were equal in my eyes, both playing The Doctor fantastically, but fantastically in different ways. Then Tennant came back with the 50th-anniversary episode. That was awesome. Unfortunately, after the 2013 Christmas special, Doctor Who an I started to have issues.

Season eight came out with the 12th doctor played by Peter Capaldi. I do not know what it was, but I could not watch him. I gave him a chance, two seasons in fact. Nothing grew on me. I didn’t like his roughness. I didn’t like his attitude. I didn’t like him. There were moments when Twelve was awesome but they drifted away as fast as they came. I stopped watching after season 8 and have not really looked back until this class.

Let me tell you, I am loving revisiting this great show. I thought I knew the ins about outs of all of these episodes. I didn’t. I forgot a lot of what I watched. I am excited to see how the rest of the show looks as I go through it a second time.