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The Little Things Are Bigger Than They Seem

Kayla Cooper

Throughout my time here at the Mount, I've come to love a multitude of little things that are entirely unique to our Mountain Home. I love how when I walk into Patriot, I'm almost always bound to run into a friend, which is something I would not have if I were attending a larger university. I love how when the weather is nice, I can set up my hammock and study outside of Terrace, which looks out to a stunning view of the IC Chapel. I have my favorite study spots like the Cafe, or when it's free, the Catholic Studies room in the Library. All of these little things that are unique to the Mount, no matter how seemingly small, are what make my experience here what it is. One little thing about the Mount that I've grown to love the most, however, is the way I've learned to engage with philosophical and religious texts through my core classes.

The core is a facet of our education that is completely unique to the Mount. I found that, at first, the core was something I easily brushed off to the side last year. I didn't give much thought to the skills those classes were providing me with, and initially, the core was just another small thing at the Mount that was intertwined with my every day college experience. But, like most little things, they tend to have a larger impact than we realize.

As I've progressed in my chosen areas of study, as well as the core, I've started to take notice of how my analysis skills are being sharpened. I now have been equipped with, and am constantly improving upon, the ability to break down arguments and defend my opinions or interpretations of texts. This seemingly small and specific skill is widely applicable to all aspects of life. In fact, this skill is what has allowed me to more successfully defend my sexuality in the wake of homophobic rhetoric that runs rampant in the Church.

There are multiple lenses of analysis that have given me the power to affirm my Queer identity through scripture. Some of which, for example, include using the Rhetorical Triangle Appeals, historical analysis, cultural analysis, and etymological analysis. By learning how to properly analyze religious and philosophical of texts, such as the Bible, I am better prepared to argue against misconceptions used to perpetuate homophobia in Catholic spaces. In other words, I am being provided with the tools to affirm my identity, even in spaces that tell me that who I am is wrong.

I'm fortunate to have grown up in an affirming environment where my identity has always been validated by my parents and peers. However, I recognize that not everywhere I go will be as accepting, and may even be invalidating. Initially, I didn't quite understand why or how the core could benefit me, aside from completing credits needed for graduation. The small, but powerful thing that the core has provided me with, is this ability to defend my identity by means of textual analysis. This skill, which I am continually practicing and perfecting through the core, is what can lead to positive change regarding the way LGBTQ+ people are treated in religious spaces.

I've come to realize that whether it's the walk to Patriot, a lazy Sunday afternoon outside of IC Chapel, or a core class that might seem arbitrary, these things matter in ways we may not initially realize. These things may not be life altering events, but they do make up our every day experiences. Sometimes, the things that we do every day can seem unimpactful, that is, until we take the time to see that the little things are bigger than they seem.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out the other My View of MSMU blogs this week!

Kayla Cooper