I come to you today with quite the human-interest story. I recently met Billy, a freshman from Bowman, N.D., who experienced an important first this week. The young political science major encountered his first Catholic.
“I really had no idea what was going on,” Billy explained to me over a piping-hot cup of knoephla soup. “I thought just spending some time in a city where I didn’t know everyone’s name would help me grow as a person, but I was unprepared to experience such a culture shock!”
The young man had apparently been working with this acquaintance on a group project, when they began to casually discuss the finer points of their respective worship services.
At this point, Billy quickly realized that his partner was not who he thought he was.
“It was so weird. We clearly agreed on the existence of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, but then he started rambling about something called the Eucharist, and I knew we weren’t on the same page,” Billy said. “I mean, you think you know a guy, and then he goes and outs himself as a Catholic.”
Thankfully, this revelation didn’t seem to cause too much stress for either party. Billy said he saw a news article about Pope Francis on Facebook and decided he was a pretty cool guy. This was evidently more than his partner had expected, and the two remain cordial.
As far as I can tell, this was Billy’s only experience with such a culture shock. I attempted to ask him about potential interactions with any of NDSU’s Muslim or minority students, but as soon as I did, he shouted “I have a really tan friend!” and departed.
It is my sincere hope that he, and all of you dear readers, takes the time to branch out and meet people of different backgrounds. You literally have no idea what you’re missing.