Getting started at Northwestern was a little chaotic, but it was also exciting. I had decided on what classes I would take earlier when I met with a counselor, so, on the first day of college, it was just a matter of buying the books I needed and finding out where the classes were and what time. I could tell that some of the students already knew each other, but I didn’t know anyone. So, I just smiled and waved as I went from class to class. The main thing I was focused on was getting to know my teachers—or professors, as you were supposed to call them. Most of them had “Dr.” in front of his name, but there were a few that were just “Mr.” Anyway, I liked most of my professors, and they were all different.
Dr. Hartill was a favorite of a lot of students—but, as I found out later, he may have been a little conservative in his views for some. He may have been the oldest teacher at the college. In fact, my mom knew him right away when I mentioned his name. He was one of her teachers. As far as I remember, I had him for three different classes: Bible Survey, which lasted for three quarters; Hermeneutics, and we used a text book that Hartill wrote; and Revelation. And in that class, we definitely got the most conservative view: the pre-trib and pre-millennium view.
It was always fun to be in any of Hartill’s classes. You could tell that he really knew the material. He had everything memorized and he was a fast talker. Of course, he had taught the same classes for over 30 years, and probably used most of the same material. But he knew how to break up the monotony if he thought anyone was getting bored or if they were nodding off. He always had plenty of jokes and he on occasion surprised the class by going over to the piano and played a little jazz. I wondered why that piano was setting in the class room! It was for him.
Dr. Dunnett taught Doctrine and also bible classes. I had him for Genesis and maybe Joshua and Judges. He was a good teacher, but he was a little odd and a little liberal. Most of the students really liked him. I remember that for Doctrine class he graded us partly on how much outside reading we would do. He expected us to do an unbelievable amount of reading—and that kind of reading is usually deep! I remember trying to read at least 200-300 pages a day. And I am a slow reader.
I had Mr. Jack Smith for many of my Bible classes: for 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, and others which I can’t remember. But I remember that he always told stories as he taught, and he tended to preach to get his points across. I liked him. Oh yes, he also taught Sociology, and he had a way of making that subject interesting. I know that many other teachers on that subject would have bored me to death.
Another favorite teacher of mine was Stephen Farra. I had him for all of my Psychology classes: Into to Psychology, Psychology of Counseling, Developmental Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology. One thing about Farra is that he never really let on to how he believed—or maybe he didn’t know. His thing was just to present all the ideas. But I liked how he would compare the different ideas with what the bible said. And he was never one to preach. He just laid it out for us, and told us that it was up to us to decide how to believe.
Well, those are my favorite teachers and most of my classes, but there were a few other classes I took. Philosophy, logic and Christian thought were all classes that were generally boring to me, and the teacher didn’t help much. I also took a couple history classes that weren’t much better—boring. A class called Bible Customs and Geography was a little interesting; and an Anthropology class was also interesting—but not great.
Oh yes, I almost forgot; I took three quarters of Greek. You had to take Greek to get the degree I got, but it was kind of a waste of my time and money—because I just didn’t have the aptitude for it, or for languages in general. The only way it is a benefit to me now is when I will do a Greek word study. For instance, having studied Greek I understand most of the language used in Greek grammar books or in any Greek Lexicon.