Friday, May 30, 2008


Today is my day off. First time in a year I've had a situation where I had a whole day off. So I went to physical therapy (and the associated orthopedic surgeon) and went shopping. Found two pairs of very cute shoes at TJ Maxx. I've discovered I can't wear the high heels anymore. Ah, well, it wouldn't make anyone think I'm tall for me to wear four-inch heels.

PH is taking me out to dinner tonight. He'll ride in the MS150 this weekend, a training ride for his Race Across America, which starts on the 11th. So he will be gone for two weeks starting on the 6th, and I think that's the longest we've ever been apart. Two weeks of Slimfast and Netflix, I think.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Things

Today is my first day at my summer field internship at Saint Diverse. An apt name, since it is diverse in all ways. Single priest on staff, so I'll get to do lots of stuff. I'll even get to preach five Sundays and three Wednesdays.

Unlike Saint Middle School, where I do Field Ed during the school year, Saint Diverse is just a few miles from home, about 15 minutes in rush hour traffic. Given that gas is now $4 a gallon, that's a good thing. Saint Middle School is 40 miles away.

It's such an interesting thing seeing how different priests approach the work and the liturgy each in their own way. I spent a couple hours this morning with my supervisor, learning how he does things and why he's made the choices he has. I'm fortunate to have such thoughtful supervisors.
It is still odd to be away from school. I just ordered some books for the honors thesis - preliminary summer reading. I've started laying out the beginnings of my summer pastoral care project. I feel like I should be doing more, but with the sermon prep, the summer project, and beginning the reading for the thesis, I probably shouldn't worry about it.
Luther was, in his early life, afflicted with an overly developed sense of scrupulosity. I fear I've got tendencies in that direction, too.
PH is riding the two-day MS150 in Capital of the Confederacy this weekend, a training ride for his participation starting June 11th in the Race Across America, a 3000 mile event going form San Diego to Annapolis. He's part of a four-person team and they expect it will take them 7 1/2 (!) days. I am riding neither 150 miles, nor 3000, just trying to get in a 45 minute walk every day in hopes of continuing to lose weight - I've gotten stuck on a weight-loss plateau and I know that only exercise will get me past it.
So that's the news around here. I've got Vestry Meeting at Saint Diverse tonight - always an interesting way to know what the dynamics are in a parish.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Yesterday, I attended Litigator's college graduation out in California. His hasn't always been the easiest of roads - it took him 5 1/2 years to complete his degree - but he is doing wonderfully, and I am so proud of him. Since I very much wanted to be at the graduation at Big Old Seminary today, I flew out to LA very early in the morning yesterday and took the red-eye flight back last night, arriving at Big Old Seminary at a quarter of the hour when the ceremony was to begin.

About that early flight yesterday - it was scheduled to depart at 5:45 a.m., so I set the alarm on my watch for 4 am so I could take a shower and have a healthy breakfast. I slept through the alarm and awoke with a start (and a moderately loud "oh, @#$@" that roused poor PH) at 5:11 a.m. Don't know how I did it, but I did make the flight, running down the concourse with my sandals in my hand since it was faster than stopping to put them back on after going through security. The rest of the flight out was uneventful, although it took a while for my heart to stop pounding. I was looking forward to getting to LAX, meeting up with StrongOpinions, whose flight was set to arrive 15 minutes after mine, picking up the rental car and heading to Litigator's place. SO, however, missed her flight, so I sat around LAX for two and a half hours - and it really isn't an airport which is friendly to those who wait for an incoming passenger. When we went to pick up the rental car, there was a line of 70 people (no, I am not exaggerating here) waiting. So we got up to Litigator's several hours later than planned, but still in plenty of time to go to the graduation. His school (of Communications, Media, and the Arts) graduated something around 700 students. Names indicated heritage that was Latino, Armenian, Hawaiian, Italian, German, Georgian, Chinese, Filipino, French, Japanese, Swedish, Irish - you name it). A large percentage of students were the first generation in their family to go to college; an equally large number worked while they studied. A very exciting and impressive group of young people, and it was wonderful to see Litigator amongst his friends, who hold him dear as we do.
This morning's graduation ceremony at BOS was less than a tenth the size. Our Presiding Bishop was there, receiving an honorary degree, as was a former BOS graduate who is now Primate of Sudan, who also received an honorary degree. The address to the students was given by a beloved professor, a very gifted speaker and homiletician - our class will be hard pressed to find a speaker as wonderful. If you want to read the address it can be found here:
It was wonderful and sad to bid farewell to the seniors, who enriched our lives in ways both spiritual and more mundane. They will strengthen the church and the larger world, just as the young people I saw graduate yesterday in the California sun will transform their world.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In the Liminal Space

Yeah, "liminal" is one of those seminarian words, isn't it?

So this is the week between the end of school and the beginning of the summer internship. I'm trying to chill, but it isn't coming naturally.

The day began with a trip to Physical Therapy, to continue dealing with my rapidly aging shoulder and computer-mousey elbow. Done by 8:30, and I headed back home.

At home, I began to tackle the desk, which looks like the paper volcano erupted. My first pass through was to find all papers that were shreddable, since they had the big Shred-It truck on campus this morning. Got rid of a bunch of old stuff and it felt cathartic. I need to go back up there and seriously clear and file and organize, but I felt like taking advantage of what a gorgeous morning it was, so I went for a 45 minute walk. The first honeysuckle is out, and the sweet luscious smell was better than Prozac.

So now I'm back from the walk, getting ready for my Healthy Choice lunch (I'm trying not to look at the ingredient list) to brace myself for the desk. I expect it will take me all afternoon, but that's okay. For the first time in a very long time, I don't have anything else to do.

I have a plan of attack to start off the honors thesis, but it won't be this week.

Just waiting for the Netflix movies to show will be complete.

Friday, May 16, 2008


All exams are done. All papers are in. To wrap everything up with a bow, I had my candidacy interview with the Commission on Ministry today and they said they will enthusiastically recommend me for candidacy.

A surprising moment: I went to the chapel to pray and calm myself for a few minutes before going to the candidacy interview (some of the interviewers have the reputation of being snarky, so I was a tad worried), and my advisor happened to be there. I really appreciate her great gifts as a teacher and a scholar, but she isn't the warmest, fuzziest person in the world. She came over and said, "You've got the candidacy interview at 1?" "Yes" And she put her arms around me and gave me a big hug, and said "It will go very well. Don't be afraid." It was twice as sweet in its unexpectedness.

I guess this makes me a senior, and a candidate. Remarkable - it seems to have gone so quickly, although in the midst of it, it sometimes seemed interminable.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some Churches have Church Cats

Our seminary chapel has a raccoon. Actually, now we have several raccoons. Apparently, a female raccoon set up house in one of the window wells, then gave birth to seven baby raccoons (what are they called? Kits, maybe?). One of the sacristans spotted them, at which point the mother raccoon ran away. The groundskeepers removed the little ones from the window well and put them in a box with a towel in the bottom, then put the box in a sheltered place near where they came from. They are quite beautiful and their fur looks exquisitely soft. I hope the mother comes back soon for them. Otherwise, heaven only knows how long they'll survive.

Speaking of surviving, tomorrow is exam day. Systematics in the morning, Ethics at night. Oh, my!

The day starts off with a bang. I'm on chapel team this week for Morning Prayer, and on Thursdays we are permitted to do "experimental" services. So we will be having a bluegrass Morning Prayer, at which I will be officiant. I have no idea if this will be successful or not (twasn't my idea, but I'm game for it). I do know that it will help put the stress of the exams in perspective.

And if that doesn't do it, I'll go check out the baby raccoons again. Or eat some chocolate. Or both.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Little Things Keep You Going

It's the little things that keep me chugging along in this crazy final week of school.

I took a break this afternoon and got my hair cut. I now look like a reasonably well-groomed grown-up again, rather than a bag lady.

At lunch, a friend was babysitting the little two year old boy with whom I spend my Tuesday afternoons. He's the son of one of my professors, and is the coolest kid. He looked up and saw me and said "Hey, it's Mibi!" Pretty good for a just-turned-two-year-old. And gratifying that he hasn't been traumatized by our time together...although it was a wee bit embarrassing when he wanted me to sing "I don't want a pickle, just want a ride on my motorcycle." Bad music of the 60's lives on in my feeble brain, and I'm passing it on to future generations.

The trio sang the prelude at Morning Prayer today. "Lift Thine Eyes" from Mendelssohn's Elijah. It went remarkably well given how high the piece is and how early it was in the morning. What with the brutal rainstorms, we had rather low attendance, but those who came seemed to like it.

Last day of classes today. A three-hour Systematics lecture...OMG. My brain was pretty fried by the end of it. She had to make up a prior class that she had missed, and I'm glad we covered the material, but I needed to get a black coffee and a KitKat bar to make it through the second half.

We had a special noonday Eucharist in support of the victims of the cyclone in Burma and the flooding in Namibia (we have fellow students from both countries)...and then there was the earthquake in China. It feels like the planet is falling apart. When the NPR reporter on the scene gets weepy doing an interview, you know things are bad. We pray for those in pain, either physical, emotional, or spiritual. God be with them.

Several of us ladies are going to the Ritz Carlton for high tea next Tuesday to celebrate graduation or moving up a's a necessary mental health activity and cheaper than therapy, but not by much.

Time to write the sermon that goes with my Ethics final paper...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No More Teenagers

As of 12:07 am, I will have no more teenagers. StrongOpinions, my youngest child, will turn 20 then. She called up this evening to tell us she is now officially a junior in college, having completed her exams successfully. Given that she took a semester off, that's pretty remarkable.

Than again, she's pretty remarkable most all the time.

Happy birthday, SO!

PH just reminded me that I have been raising teenagers for almost 25 years (I raised two stepsons as well as the three kiddos that I birthed).

Perhaps what's truly remarkable is that I've survived it!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Checking Items off the List

The sermon for Trinity Sunday to be delivered in Homiletics class on Friday is done. It's not a work of art, but it'll preach.

The Systematics project is done and delivered. Bless the dear sainted professor, she felt badly that our prior project was not graded prior to our doing this last project, so she is counting the last project as a portion of the exam, and reducing the number of essays we have to write on the final. This is a majorly good thing.

The honors thesis proposal and all its associated paperwork are done. The documents are signed. The pre-registration for Fall '08 is signed and delivered to the registrar.

I have an appointment for a haircut on Monday so I don't look like a shaggy dog at candidacy interviews.

I'm more than halfway through the Ethics paper. Most of the back half is stuff I enjoy doing, like outlining how I would teach the subject of the thesis to my parish, and sketching a sermon on the subject. It finally feels like this will get done on time.

I need to study for the Systematics and Ethics finals, but that feels strangely manageable.

And candidacy interviews are entirely in the hands of the Holy Spirit, so there's little I can do except be well-groomed and well-medicated (just kidding).

Friday, May 02, 2008


So I've got 9 pages of notes thus far from my readings for the Ethics final paper, which has a limit of 6-10 pages. I'm not done reading for it yet - that means maybe another three or four pages of notes to be written. The good thing is that once I get through the note-taking phase, I can turn this porcine verbiage into a silk purse, or at least a pleather purse, within the length limit fairly quickly.

It's just that tomorrow I have Fat Club first thing in the morning, icon writing at noon until 2 or 2:30, Saint Middle School contemporary service 41 miles away with set-up starting at 4, then taking PH out for his birthday dinner at 8:30. That pretty much kills Saturday.

Sunday I've got Saint Middle School all morning, leaving the house at 7:15 and getting home probably around 3 pm. If I have four cups of coffee, I probably will be able to put in another 3-4 hours of work afterwards. Next week is a bear. I still haven't finished the Trinity Sunday sermon for Homiletics on Friday. Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Oh, and I've got to develop the revised version of the honors thesis proposal so I can get it approved by my advisor and the Dean and register for next fall's courses by Wednesday night.

And then, of course, I need to study for exams. One more week of classes, then reading days and exams, and of course candidacy interviews.

I can do this....can't I?