new year

Seminary can be a lonely place, as I am beginning to discover at the outset of my third year as an MDIV.  Unlike (or who knows, perhaps a lot like) many seminaries, Harvard Divinity School consists primarily of students pursing the Masters in Theological Studies, a two year masters degree that prepares one to pursue doctoral studies most often.  It also means that the 30 or 40 MDIVs who enter will find themselves amidst a radically different crowd their third year compared to the class they started with.  In my experience, this means that as many as 70-80% of the faces that I knew my first two years are no longer with me, leaving me to wonder how it is possible that I might ever find a stable community of fellow journeyers on this theological journey known as MDIV.

OF course, this is merely a holding tank; seminary is not intended as the place you end up at, merely a means to a future end.  still… can’t help but wondering whether things might have been different somewhere else…



I feel like i am in some sorta slump… probably related to the fact that school starts tomorrow.  I spent all weekend doing small things–reading the paper, riding my bike, cooking.  In many respects an awesome weekend, now that I think of it; just that I feel that there is so little that is noteworthy that is on my mind lately that I have had trouble thinking about what to blog about.  There’s some obvious stuff-the news is full of interesting stuff related to politics–but given the popularity of all tags relating to the election, I think I might opt out of that sort of blogging for now.

And since I am pretty much putting “critical thinking” on the backburner until school heats up again, I suppose that leaves me with “what did you do today” sort of stuff, which isn’t appealing to me to put to the internets.  It sucks a bit to feel like I have little to say, but it is also the case that I feel pretty good about what I have done, save the lingering absence of A, which is palpable at times.  It stinks missing people you love…. takes the wind out of the sails a bit to know they are far enough away to be distant in a geographical and semi-permanent sense… not like I can go to philly whenever i want.

I certainly hope i can turn my brain back on soon and think something interesting; until then, I think I will stick to the simple stuff that is keeping me going in the erstwhile.

Its Skyping Time

One of the (few) advantages to being separated from a loved one for an extended period of time is the creativity by which one goes about finding ways to keep in touch as much as is possible.  I doubt I am alone in being one of those types that will go to any length to find the ideal means of keeping close contact with the people that I love.  Of course, it is also the case that I love my parents and siblings, and yet it was only when my boyfriend left for Philly for good that I really set to the task of finding the ideal means of keeping close.  Part of me feels pretty bad about that; another part of me was excited to realize that technology these days makes it easier than ever to keep in touch with not just A but also the rest of my family.


So I set to the task of exploring my options, and when it was all said and done, A and I settled on two forms of communication that we hadn’t explored previously: a private blog and Skype.  The blog has been interesting— whereas previously we clogged each other’s email boxes with random stuff, now we can exchange interesting finds on the internet as well as thoughts on particular issues that we choose to think about together on that sight.  We have pretty much stuck to random stuff and reading the bible so far, but it has been nice to have devoted space for that.

The other option, Skype, is one that I think may prove to be the real find of this whole experience.  For starters, I love the overall look of the application–it is really trendy and user-friendly.  In addition, the quality of the connection is awesome.  I was seriously impressed.  But I think the best part of the whole experience was that of all people, my bro Ken who is in his first year of college, was the one who helped set me off and with whom I first skyped.  I gotta say, it was pretty dang awesome.  I don’t think my brother and I have had the chance to have a conversation like that in a while, and I totally credit technology for this one.  Not only did we get to talk, but I could see his face for the conversation, which felt about as personal as you can get when you are a country away from someone.  

Furthermore, I was surprised to realize that my parents are on skype too!  Who knew?  Its just a guess, but I think I am going to get a lot of mileage out of this program.  But I can only do that if I find out who is on skype… so are you a Skyper?  Leave your skype ID in my comments on this if you want, and perhaps we can chat.


It’s been an interesting/low-key week.  Since A left on Labor day, i have been busying myself with feeble attempts at reading for my thesis and making contacts with various folks regarding stuff for the school year (aka: thesis advisor, potential field ed, supervisor for work, etc.).  Mostly, however, I find that my comings and goings have been largely uninteresting, to say the least.  Ever since preaching my first outline-based sermon last sunday, life has seemed, well, blah.


There have, however, been a few things of note that I suppose I could recount.  I have, for example, acquired a new bike:

In addition, I have moved my persnickity cat from her summer residence with my good friend D to my new digs, which appears thus far to have been largely successful.  The cat is not only comfortable in the house but there has been (fingers crossed) no smelly problems like last time, when she chose to pee/etc on things that I find to be valuable and important, like my bed.  So hopefully that will remain unchanged in the next few days.

I have read a few books-  I am currently reading “Untamed Hospitality” by Elizabeth Newman, which follows up a quick read by Lupton on Christian Development and Urban work.  Lupton was an average read– I am really enjoying Newman, however.  I think it is going to take a while to finish, but the prospects are good.  It is helping me mostly to sort out exactly what I am getting at and moving towards when I grasp at linguistic straws in an attempt to explain my thesis’ trajectory.  Hopefully when i meet with my advisor this afternoon at 2pm (!) I will have sorted that out a bit more.


What else?  Watched Palin last night…. she proved to be a good speaker.  I was surprised to find myself empathizing with some of her words… aside from blasting the dems, she was eloquent and even funny.  Didn’t expect that.  Still waiting to see what the News-y folks have to say about her (i have noticed that there is more favorable coverage of her this morning on the NYT page).  We shall see how the dems respond.

Finally, A is coming back today for THIS… whoopee!