Well, I have almost survived intensives! I have 5 more assignments to turn in by mid-Feb., but I think it's doable. Maybe. I also start my 2 classes Feb. 1st. But I'll spare the to-do list.
The classes I took were challenging to my intellect and spirit. The faculty were wonderful, and it was so great to live with 3 of my classmates, talk all night, drink wine, study, brainstorm, and generally live like college students, which I've never really done.
For our learning convocation, we discussed Transforming Knowledge, by Elizabeth Minnich, as well as challenged ourselves to be creative and risky in learning about people. I forced myself into an extemporaneous preaching class, and was glad I did! I went to a CPE workshop and a RSCC prep workshop, two multi-cultural meetings, and goodness knows what else. It was non-stop.
The first full week, I took Religious Humanism with Bill Murry, and was lucky to be in a class filled with dynamic folks. Wonderful, far-ranging conversations on history, contemporary ministry, faith, pastoral care and more. I am excited to write my final paper for the class, which is a whole service. You wouldn't believe how many books I added to my wish list during this class!
The middle weekend, I took Lee Barker's Religion in a Post-Denominational Age. Let me tell you, I learned a lot about modernism, post-modernism, post-etc. while I was there. I had no idea what I didn't know about philosophy, social science, and theology. I was inspired by the class to forge ahead with taking risks, accessing my creative side and getting back in touch with my musical self.
Last week, I took Problems in Public Ethics, where we discussed abortion, military intervention, torture and other such light topics. We got drilled on our moral authority, received important tips on being media-savvy, and more. It was intimidating, interesting, and stretched my brain and courage.
I got home last night after a full day of travel. The first leg I got to fly with a classmate, which was awesome, as we have a lot in common and are going to be in a small group together for spring semester.
Everyone in my house was still alive, including all the animals. It's been wonderful to see my people and my dog again. It's wonderful to sleep in my own bed, and it was great to go to work at my absolutely fabulous congregation today and be reminded of how freaking creative and awesome they are.
This week will be catch up and prep for scholarship apps and taxes, fun with the kids, writing assignments and getting back into the groove.
I miss all of my Meadville folks already. The conversations, the hugs, the coffee, (I mentioned the wine), Jimmy's, borrowing Internet, lunch at the Commons, staying up all night talking (love you roomie!), shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's (Love you Chicago!), visiting my sister and watching The Hangover and buying gorgeous boots at Lori's, Starbuck's on the corner by my apartment, snow, wind, rain, the library, First Church and just everything. Those who I didn't get to spend enough time with - we will meet again!