Sunday, February 04, 2007

Back in the Semi-real World

I've pretty much processed being back in the States, and being back in Eastern Standard Time.

Getting back into the rhythm of seminary life, however, is a different thing entirely.

True to form, our profs have assigned several hundred pages of reading for this week (yes, I know, it's only bad if I try to read it all). I've just come back from 24 hours away in the woods for the Junior Class retreat, so I'm feeling a compulsion to get a ton of reading done tonight.

Here's what I've learned.

1) Read the assigned Scripture. Make notes on the readings on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

2) Skim the other articles and see if anything leaps out. Otherwise, don't worry about them.

3) Start outlining written assignments as soon as I get them, knowing that the prof will undoubtedly give further guidance that will modify the outline later on in the game.

4) Do the work, but trust that the Holy spirit will descend at the appropriate time to fill in the gaps.

5) Know that this is not a measure of my worthiness for the priesthood, it is simply equipping myself for the work.

6) Pray.
I'm working to live into this.

The retreat was a wonderful break of thoughtful quiet time and fun friendship with my classmates. It was deep in the woods and I was crabby getting there, because it was so far away, but I was glad we had gone there this morning as we saw a pair of bald eagles looping above us on thermal drafts. Of course, the younger crew stayed up way late. I, being an old fart and a morning person, crashed a little after 10 p.m. Just as well, since then I could awaken at 5:30 and watch the sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay.

Good news on the various and sundry practica: I got accepted into my first choice for Clinical Pastoral Ed (chaplaincy training at a local hospital) as well as my first choice for Field Ed (working in a parish). Feels good to get those settled. I'll be doing CPE at the Children's Hospital in DC and Field Ed at a new church plant about 35 miles away.

I'm about a third of the way through my paper for the Qatar experience. It's going slower than I'd like, and I'm worried I'll get swamped by the other classes before it is done. I can tie myself into knots better than anyone I know...

And PH is downstairs crowing because his beloved Chicago Bears have returned the opening kickoff with a TD. It's going to be a long night (and that's before I start working on our taxes).


reverendmother said...

Awesome on the CPE and FE!

Sophia said...

Congrats on CPE and field placement! I still have to work out field placement but managed to get a CPE spot in a major hospital here in Manhattan. I'm pretty excited b/c there are a lot of seminarians in the city so spots are hard to find.

Sounds like you have about the same class survival strategy as I do. The key seems to be to know what is important. However, right now I'm stuck out of class with an injured foot (long story) so I'm getting lots of reading done. Ugh.

I have to say I was one of the late people on our junior-middler retreat. Like 3 AM both nights late. That's not unusual for me - my classmates joke about how I should start a group to do Compline in the oratory at 1 AM.

Best of luck with your semester!