Two days ago, at lunch I sat with a group of my fellow classmates in the refectory. We chatted, joked, gossiped, and did everything that people expect Seminarians to do (we even freaked out the folks using our conference center when we sung grace). Near the end of lunch, a distinguished professor, a giant in his field, came and joined us. He seemed to know me even though I have yet to take any of his classes. The conversation began with pleasantries but soon moved to heavier topics. Pretty soon, we were guessing who would be the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal church. As I cannot name ONE current bishop of their church, I kept my mouth shut. I did learn, however, that the current presiding bishop will be serving a 9 year term (nine!) and there was even talk, amongst our group of eight, on how to make her an archbishop (we all voted and said she should be one). I sat there, enjoying my coffee and cookies, and when the conversation moved to the ELCA (because they are thoughtful and wanted to include me), I threw in my two cents and even proposed a candidate for the next bishop of the Metro-New York Synod. I felt very distinguished and informed. Back pats for everyone.
When I was done, my young friend who was sitting next to me leaned over and informed me that she really wasn’t that interested in the conversation. Instead, she was care more about who would win The Bachelor. As I am also currently engrossed in it (what can I say – Courtney is my favorite and Ben is pretty terrible), we then proceeded to talk about it, loudly. In a matter of moments, the entire table stopped talking and turned to listen to what we said. Even the distinguished professor chimed in (though he admitted not knowing what the show was). I think I have finally discovered how, in the future, to derail any future discussion during an assembly of clergy: just bring up bad reality tv.