Productive time in Philadelphia

It has been a remarkably productive/positive week for me out here on the Right Coast.  This is surprising in some respects, particularly given that it is spring break in Harvardland, and I would have assumed the week would therefore have been more or less forgettable in the wonderfully relaxed sense that a break often is.  And indeed it has been.  At the same time, I have managed to make headway on some big stuff, have gotten some good news and have achieved some pretty neat things.

To begin:  Harvard loves to do things like, lets say, make your final draft of a senior thesis be due the day after break is over.  So naturally, the expectation of many of us last-years is that our break will in fact be a mad dash to fill some paper with meaningful thoughts.  Now, I like to think of myself as someone who plans ahead, and I did for a great deal of the paper. However, after my first draft I generally let the thing sit around and collect dust while I pursued more “pressing” issues.  I had received lots of feedback but hadn’t followed through on any of it.  I was worried therefore that I might find myself living by the light of my Mac out here at midnight in PA, frantically typing and thinking and freaking out about the meaningful/meaninglessness of what I have to say.  Instead, the revisions were relatively straight-forward, and in many cases I have found myself to be generally pleased with the way I am writing.  I finished most of my first round thoughts on the revision on the train ride down to Philadelphia, in fact.  I will go back again before I turn it in on Monday, but it is safe to say that the thesis is under control.

Other good news: right before I left for Philadelphia, in fact while I was at work hours before stepping on the train, I received word that I have passed all of my ordination exams. Yippee!  I was excited to know that those are a few less hoops to worry about, and I feel confirmed in my confidence coming out of polity in January.  One step closer to a real job!

A and I had planned to run a 5K out here in PHiladelphia, today in fact.  I had been worried because I pulled a muscle in my hip and have been a bit on the limpy side when it comes to running.  Thankfully, I was feeling sufficiently restored to actually run the 5K…. only it turns out that both of us did so well that we won our age groups, and got medals.  A made it zippy with a 21:56 time on the 5K, and I rocked it out at 22:05.  He was beaten by a lot of 20-year olds, and I found myself losing the women’s overall title by three minutes to a fourteen-year-old.  Man she was fast.

Job-wise, I interviewed for a CPE position out in Philadelphia this week and it went quite well.  I didn’t really take CPE very seriously when people first told me to consider it, but I am thinking that it could be a really important and meaningful opportunity, especially given the denominational job search.  Which isn’t to say that the job search isn’t going bad–there are a few things out there, I just recognize that it is going to take time, and CPE is definitely far from the worst thing I could be doing with my time and energy.

Friend-wise– caught up with two friends I haven’t seen in a while, Ne and Shawn.  Both were fun to see, and of all things Ne asked me to be in her wedding party, so now I will get to see how it is from the other side.  I have never been in a wedding, so my own and hers will be a new frontier for me.  With Shawn, it was fun to catch up, talk, enjoy some tasty fries and beer and talk about living in Philadelphia next year.  He is an awesome dude, along with his really cool wife, and I look forward to being in the same city with them next year.

On the wedding front, A and I stopped over at a few shops on Jewelers Row to check out wedding bands.  It was kind of fun, mostly just checking styles and pricing, but I liked watching A look at rings.  I want something relatively basic, and he does as well, but the guys wedding rings are so diverse in terms of options and it was really neat to check them out and see what A is into.  He actually found some really cool styles, and we will probably be buying our rings come May.

There’s lots going on, really, and I am just happy to look back with fondness on the last week.  It is nice to be able to spend time with a wonderful person like A, and to visit with my friends out here in PA.  I miss them all when I am in Boston ( and I miss my boston friends while in PA), so it was great to catch up.  I go back tomorrow, 35 days and counting until classes end, so there isn’t much time left to make my mark in Boston.  I am starting to feel the horizon, and I can’t wait to see what is beyond it, but I also want to enjoy the time I have left where I am.

Spinning ever so quickly

Life has been the equivalent of a big, heavy, rubber ball bouncing down an increasingly-steepening slope for the last weeks.  Sometimes I feel like I am up in the air, and then “WHOMP” I come bouncing back earth-ward, forced to reconcile with the reality that there is a lot of stuff down there to deal with.  And if I am honest, it isn’t so bad, bouncing down that hill, counting down the days until I get to a flat, grassy plain (Summer, August, a future with a job, whatever you want to call it).  

As expected, the job/school/wedding trifecta continues to dominate head-space in my life.  Wedding-space has contracted a bit lately (we have a bit of a lull in terms of needing to do things for the present), and school has gladly taken on the space formerly occupied by wedding.  As it stands currently, my final draft of my thesis is due on March 30, which translates into a need for me to finish it.  I would say that I had been working on it quite a bit this semester, but that would be a lie.  Instead, it has sat comfortably on my table, beckoning me to go on and get the heck over with it.  But it is too easy to wait.  So I do.  Honestly, I just told myself that it would be a Spring Break project, so I have left it at that and left it alone.  This weekend, it will shine.

Job-wise, things aren’t terribly time-occupying.  I am inquiring into Presbyterian opportunities for employment, and in the meantime am also applying for Clinical Pastoral Education opportunities in Philadelphia.  Hopefully something will bite.

SO yea… thats my life right now.  it is decent enough… i even like a lot of this stuff that is happening (although i wouldn’t mind it if my thesis were magically done….).

If you read this far, thanks for caring to read, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

Movin’ and Shakin’

Things have been seriously B-U-S-Y this semester, and since I don’t necessarily get graded, or a job, or a husband out of blogging, I have to be honest and admit that bloggin’ hasn’t been a priority for me.  However,  things have indeed improved, for a few reasons:

1) I did the math and I am past the halfway mark for finishing my FINAL semester at HDS, which means I feel like I am on the homestretch these days.  No, I haven’t exactly started counting the days, but the true academic-nerd-girl in me is most definitely counting how many assignments I have left until I turn in my last (at last count, 4 major papers, a book report, and 4 reflection papers.  SWEETNESS!)

2) Wedding planning is going surprising well, which translates into a reality in which I don’t quite feel the need to constantly think about whether it is going to go well or not.  At this point, the food, the sites, the music, the pastor, the cake, the dress are all booked.  There are still some important things to do, like, make the invitations (yes, I am making my own), but that is mostly a matter of knowing how to lay out a page and print without making dumb mistakes.  Generally, it has been fun and I am enjoying the sense that it isn’t cause for imminent stress.

3) there just isn’t much I can do to change the reality that the job search is going to take as long as it takes and there is not much more that I can do than what I am already doing.  Of course, I do have the enormous help of knowing that even if I don’t have a job when I graduate, A and I won’t be destitute, but still, it is frustrating to know what you want to do and not be able to make it magically appear in front of you.  My problem, at this point, is that there just aren’t many open positions in the Philadelphia area, so lately, rather than obsessively checking the job postings, I have been entertaining alternative options for what I might find myself doing in the Fall, or the interim as I like to think of it.  Right now, I am thinking about doing some intensive CPE if I can get into a program in the Philadelphia area, and if I can work it right, I might be able to find a place that would pay me a stipend.  Other options are some grant money I know about, some non-profit connections I made last summer, and some fabled part-time church work that I hear tell is going to be available.  So yea, all of this is keeping me from feeling too immanently worried about my employability.

4) My internship at St. Francis House is pretty straight-forward this semester, and is even fun, which means that I don’t have to spend too much time worrying about what to do with my time… I easily occupy my time between spending it with the women there, my bible study, and the meditation classes I have been leading…. getting paid to lead meditation, btw, is SWEET!

5) I am essentially done with my thesis, which means that, aside from a few tweaks, the big and daunting paper I anticipated would rule my life this year is more or less behind me.  This, of course, is a good thing.  Yes, I liked my thesis, but I am also happy to see it with a big fat “passed” grade on it.  No joke.


So yea, that’s pretty much my life right now.  I am incredibly blessed to have the awesome family and friends that surround me, who are keeping me from feeling too crazy or confused about all the plates I am spinning in the air, and it is great knowing some of those plates will stop spinning and start getting used (aka, my diploma) pretty soon.  I am looking forward to this summer, but I am also loving this moment of calm that I am in right now.