10.8-11.15: STEPHEN SCHEIDELL
"I've generally had two rules. First, never write an autobiography. Second, never turn down a friend who asks for something not inconvenient. I suppose the latter won this round".
I guess I could say I met Stephen in our Philosophy of Suffering class in college. He was the kid who would sit in the front left corner and make sarcastic (and admittedly often poignant) comments to the class, but most directly aimed at our professor, who had physical disabilities and was mostly paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident. Normally, this would be seen as cruel behavior. Inappropriate and shockingly not politically correct, mean even. But Stephen himself is no stranger to the obstacles of being given a different set of cards than the rest of us. He was born with arthrogryposis (as he says below, "Google it"), and in short his joints and muscle tissue just don't work the same as most people and he's become adept at life in a motorized chariot.
Now, obviously this is not Stephen's whole identity, but it has informed who he is and what he chooses to direct his mind power towards. And because of that, he is able to offer a unique perspective concerning theology, philosophy, and even music, which he's known to dabble in (bandcamp.com/scheidell).
Those biting "cripple jokes" aimed at Dr. Talbot were, in fact, always fired directly back at Stephen and usually resulted in the two getting caught up in their own humorous world taunting each other relentlessly and providing more of an insight into suffering than we could read in our texts.
I met Stephen in our philosophy class, but I became friends with Stephen because he's one of those rare people you can be honest with. His bullshit perameter is nearly nonexistent - he neither has time nor interest in it. He'd rather make himself and I laugh from his self-deprecating humor than waste time on facades, which is why I asked him to record some of his days for us in his time in seminary down in that God-forsaken land of Florida*:
*I have permission to say these things.