Friday, October 23, 2009

The Life and Times of an Adult Prospective Divinity School Student

This post will be a stream-of-consciousness as I begin to drift off to sleep. Please forgive the writing.

Crazy busy and tiring week at work and home. Fell even more behind on all items on my application prep to-do list, including studying for GRE.

However, today I woke up at 5am and drove through rush hour to visit a class over at Harvard Divinity. What a treat as always! It was on religious education and children's literature. Basically as I understand it this class explores how children develop their inner lives in part through reading as well as the religious implications of what children read. Here is the description, though the description doesn't, in my opinion, do the class justice. This week's book was The House of Dies Drear. Equally fascinating was that guest author, scholar, and theologian Donna Freitas spent the morning with us in class. I am eager to read her books, especially the recent The Possibilities of Sainthood, (young-adult fiction) about a 15 year old who is convinced her vocation is sainthood...ideally not a dead saint, and another book which I am having trouble locating online but that I thought was called This Gorgeous Gift.

A Master of Theological Studies student stayed after class and talked with me a bit, which I really appreciated. I thanked the professor for allowing me to observe the class, and I went off on a tangent about something the discussion had made me think of, and then tried to reel myself back in. My wheels were just turning like crazy. Then I remembered that I had met one of the other students late this summer at the "Field Studies" office, so I found her in the lobby of the building and reintroduced myself. Finally I headed out.

Anyway, I wish I had hours to tell you all about the thoughts that raced through my head on my long drive home. There were so many rich and interesting treasures to ponder. One thing I decided was that I really want to start a book group for parents of 4th-8th graders at church to essentially explore the same material as this class explores.

I also listened, on my way home, to a very interesting interview with Cornel West on the radio. My mind raced and raced.

I came home this afternoon to a note on the door that my wife and kids had gone to a friend's house due to there being a power outage in our neighborhood (that's really tough in our home since we cook everything from scratch). Went over to see the kids before going into work, but the kids really needed me-- as they haven't spent hardly any time with me for the past few days because of my work schedule-- and my wife really needed time to take care of some stuff such as go back to the house and get organized to go stay with the kids at her mom's house if the power outage continued for the weekend.

The kids were having fun playing with our friend's kids, but by the time I'd gotten there a number of hours had passed and everyone had just had a little much of each other. I offered to leave several times, but my friend insisted we were not an inconvenience and we were too hungry and tired to insist. The kids had fun, but there were many squabbles on and off and by the time we got back home this evening (to power, thank goodness!), I was utterly exhausted. We did bedtime with the kids, and G. and I watched The Office and 30 Rock on the net because, well, I just didn't have an ounce of energy left in me. Which sounds now like a lame excuse. This is the only day I am going to allow for such nonsense. I must study with more discipline because time is running out.

Now I must head to bed because I have to wake up at quarter of 5 in the morning to go take care of a couple things at church and then drive out to Providence for the one-day option of this conference on congregational transformations, for which I thankfully received a scholarship since my professional expense budget was cut to $0 this year.

Then I'll zip home and finish a number of Sunday preparations (ack!). On Sunday I have morning worship and program duties followed by a sex ed class (well, it's not like I am teaching, so I shouldn't take any credit for that), meetings, and a fall carnival. The kids have been invited to three (!) birthday parties on that day, and my son blames my work in the church for not being able to attend all of them. I overheard him tell a friend, "We can't go because my mom is always going to church," which makes me feel like his own faith development is being undermined by his feeling that he needs to compete with the church for my time and energy. I do worry about that a lot. Still, I tried to explain to him that even if our lives weren't complicated by my work that three birthday parties in the same afternoon wouldn't be physically possible. Just not sure he accepts it.

Whew. It's just a lot.

Like I said, sorry about the writing here. I am just so darn tired.


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