Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Last Day of Seminary Class (New Testament)

Yesterday as I drove home from work, I thought about all the changes that have happened just in 2021, and for a brief few seconds, I couldn't breathe.  I should know better than to let my brain go down this path while I'm driving.

Then I parked the car, came inside, had some homemade mac-n-cheese for dinner, and settled in for my New Testament seminary class, the last one of the term.  

I see this as a metaphor for what life has been like lately.  The pace of change has been dizzying, and the types of changes have been even more staggering.  For a brief moment when I let myself think about that, it's like getting too close to the edge of a mountain path with a steep drop off, and I back up quickly.

This morning is not the morning that I want to move closer to that edge, so instead, let me focus on this last week of seminary classes.

I have been grateful for the solid internet connectivity in our condo building.  It has made me reflect on the poor service that I settled for (thanks, Comcast!) in our old house.  Back then, I said that at least I had reliable internet at work, and then, this year, we had 3 weeks of no internet at work, followed by a mifi hotspot, which is fairly reliable, but not as good as in the condo. 

This semester of seminary would have been much more difficult without reliable internet.  I've been amazed that I could attend class, meet in small groups, access the library resources that I need, meet with my advisor--in short, that I could live in all the online ways we live now.

There was a 2 week time in early November when my computer was sloggy after an automatic update.  That time gave me a window of insight as to how difficult life is without a decent computer.  My computer has gone through this cycle before, and I never know how to fix it.  After a week or two, it sorts itself out, a most unscientific and unsatisfying answer.  I know that at some point, it's likely not to sort itself out.

Even with the sloggy computer, I could still participate in Zoom classes, although my image was about 3 seconds behind my audio, so I'd speak and then my lips would move.  I found it distracting, and I was so relieved when the problem went away.  It wasn't a result of slow internet speed, since it happened both at work and at home.  It was clearly a computer issue.

My classes have been a combination of Zoom meetings for virtual classes, complete with small groups, and recorded lectures.  The recorded lectures are rich and full, but I prefer the Zoom meetings.  I am now on my 3rd legal pad; yes, I take notes by hand on paper, even as I'm accessing it all electronically.  It helps me concentrate on the presentation.

However, I do see the advantage to electronic notes--much more searchable.  Would the advantages justify buying another laptop, so that I can take notes on one computer while information is flowing from the other?  The thought of lugging another laptop everywhere I go exhausts me.

I am not done with class, not really.  I still need to write my papers, which I'm doing on the laptop.  And today is the first day when we'll have brand new students on campus.  So let me finish this reflection now.  Maybe when I'm truly done with class, I'll do another look back.

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