How to Have a Graceful Experience: From Professor Mike Yocum

By Zeke Snell

Q What do you like most about Grace?

A I’m blessed to work with so many wonderful people: the president, fellow teachers and administrators. I think they’re so great to work with because everyone is in the same position spiritually, for the most part. We have the same goals in presenting our faith to students and to the world, and I think that’s what makes them so great to work with. I also love the students. They have unique experiences they bring into the classroom, and I get to learn from them every day.

Q Is there anything you would change about Grace?

A Aside from a hot tub in my office, it’s always nice to have more stuff. A larger theater for the many groups that perform here at Grace would be great, then we wouldn’t have to turn away audience members simply because we are out of room. But that’s just a nicety, not a necessity. We have all our necessities, just not some of the niceties.

Q What is something you think all Grace students should know?

A All Grace students should know that they don’t know everything. Even I don’t know everything. When I was younger, I felt like I knew a lot. The older I get, the more I know. The more I know, the more I realize there is to know. It’s a conundrum: the older you get, you know more, but you feel dumber because there’s so much more you don’t know. As Grace students go out to experience life away from school, they will realize life is not always what they expected. We should always be looking to grow, to stretch and to never ever assume we know it all.

Q What irritates you the most when you see a student do it?

A It drives me crazy when I see students chewing their nails; it’s bad for your nails, it’s bad for your teeth and it just looks bad. What really upsets me is when I see a student who feels as though they need to fix others or the rest of the world. You really may not have enough information to make fixing others a reality and you shouldn’t assume you do so early on in life. So I suppose biting your nails and jumping to conclusions irritate me most.

Q What makes you happiest to see a student do?

A I’m always excited to see students who have made the conscious decision to not take the cheapest, easiest way out when it comes to their education. We know that it would be less financially stressful to go to a community college or some other public schools, but the benefit of a Christian college that is encouraging you to live a life that honors Christ is inestimable. You just can’t put a price on that.

Some kids are going off to college because “it’s fun.” I’m certainly a big fan of fun, but often students can lose focus and make poor decisions if they are just going to a state school for “fun.” Grace College kids aren’t perfect. I was a Grace kid, and I’m not perfect. No one is. But the prevailing attitude of faculty and students is to encourage one another to live and walk in Christ. State schools don’t have that attitude. I do think we need Christians in those state schools, but we need to make sure those Christians are prepared for the hardships of those places. But I’m happy to see students here at Grace because it’s a benefit to them.