Alright, so I mentioned DCM a few times already this month so I guess I should talk about it some.
All students suffer through experience several things during their first year, the academic ones being Prelude and DCM. DCM stands for Developing a Christian Mind but students know it by names like “Destroying a Christian Mentality” (in fact, I had to look up what DCM actually stood for, as I’ve always known it by the latter name). It is typically taken by first year students during Interim, the January term, although a few classes are offered second semester.
What sort of classes are offered?
Many classes are “Christian responses” to stuff, like ” A Christian response to Refugees”. Also their are many directly about God, such as classes about his will, multisensory worship, infinity, etc. And then there are literary classes, math, etc, etc. There are even classes all about overdone phrases like discernment and vocation! The most hilarious interim class I ever saw was when they were offering a class about aliens my freshman year, I petitioned so hard to get into the class but the registar hates me.
What will happen?
Plenaries are required. Kinda like Prelude. And, oh yeah, it will cover all the “introduction to a Christian mind” stuff that was crammed down your throat everyday of Prelude. But the level of what you are required to read will decrease exponentially (in terms of quality, not quantity). Think that they Prelude packet, with endless articles where the writers waxes long and inanely about vocation, quiet time with God, parking garages and the church and short term missions trips (which I considered the least inane of the articles, for it dealt with fact instead of long-winded feelings) made the “mission statement” of the college look kinda bad since Prelude and DCM are, in the words of the powers that be, “a first-year core course that introduces students to the central intellectual project of Calvin College”?
Then get ready for Cornelius Plantinga, he is proof positive that the seminary really has no standards when it comes to the ability to reason or a command of the English language! This man used to be president of the seminary, for real. I burned his text at the end of Prelude. I hate book burning but I could not bear to bring myself to call Plantinga’s work a “book”.
How to cope:
Candy during the planaries. The sugar will keep you awake, especially during the really dull documentary on suburban sprawl.And never state that you don’t foresee having kids in the near future or that any and all censorship is bad, you will get bitched out by the conservative douchebag in your class.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. I took a class on banned books and grew to love Mark Twain (and learned that Margaret Atwood books give me nightmares, but I also wake up at night and think that zombies are in the kitchen so it doesn’t say as much about Atwood’s novels as it does about me) and led to many questions like, “they turned “The Color Purple” into a musical? WTF?” Oh, and there are broomball tournaments in the dorms during Interim.
If I were to teach a DCM class it would be called, "A Christian response to alien dysfunctional families in trailer parks"