Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Work Comes Due (in a Good Way)

Yesterday was exhausting in a good way; in many ways, it was the kind of day that I had hoped I would have when I was back in South Florida, thinking/dreaming/hoping about living on a seminary campus.  Let me try to capture it in words.

--Yesterday was a day of work due, so one of the first things I did was to read my sermon out loud to make sure it would fall in the time guideline--we would be cut off at the 7 minute mark.  Mine was fine, and I read it well, so I put it aside.

--My genogram project was due by 1:30.  I did the genogram part over the week-end, but I wanted one last reading and proofreading of the essay.  Plus, I decided that if I had a conclusion section I needed an introduction section, so I created that.

--My spouse and I had our daily video chat.

--I read my genogram essay one more time and turned it in.  I also wrote a 1 page reading reflection for the same class.  I had thought I would wait on that one, but I had an idea about one of the readings for this week, so I seized the day.

--I went to chapel.  It is Creative in Residence week, so our creative for the week, Rev. Dr. Travis Helms preached.  He's a poet, and the sermon was beautifully poetic.

--There was a meeting on campus (Board of Trustees? some other group that gives oversight?), and there was lots of leftover food.  I grabbed a lunch box and a piece of cake.  That kind of thing should not make me so happy, but it does.  Some people took several boxes, but I wasn't sure that would be O.K.  Later though, when I discovered that the food was actually quite tasty, I wished I had taken an extra.  This morning, I'm wishing I had taken pastries, although those usually disappoint.

--Travis Helms gave a poetry reading at 12:45, but it was unusual.  We sat in the front behind the altar in a group of chairs in a u shape.  The poet read one poem, discussed it, and read another.  Consequently, we only heard about 5 poems--but the discussion was superb.  We talked about Jericho Brown's approach with lines from past poems.  It was really cool to hear about another poet's experiment with this approach.  Helms takes stanzas from old rough drafts, and he also keeps track of observations on the Notes feature on his phone which gives him a starting point each writing day.

--I had to leave for my 1:30 Pastoral Care and Counseling class.  It was a compelling class where we discussed our genogram projects and then went on to talk about issues of gender in a counseling context.

--I am surprised by how the leaves have changed and fallen in the half week that I was in North Carolina.  I decided to go for a walk.  I kicked piles of fallen leaves (not the ones that humans raked, but the wind-driven leaves), but then I felt slickness and decided to stop.  I didn't want to go to preach my sermon with a busted-up face.

--I decided to practice reading my sermon again.  Then, a curve ball:  our professor wrote us an e-mail reminding us that our sermon needed to include the New Testament text.  I rewrote a bit, experimented a bit, each reading went worse, and then I looked at my watch.  6:10!  Time to get ready for class.

--I went to class, and our teacher drew our names out of a pile to decide who went when.  I was second, and it went REALLY well.  Undeservedly well, considering that I change my approach half an hour before class started.  Thank you decades of teaching for the training that you've given me.  Thank you drama club years of practice before that.

--I also enjoyed hearing the other sermons.  At some point, I'll write a longer blog post about writing the sermon and the in-class experience.

--After class, I typed the changes into my sermon manuscript and submitted it.  Whew!  My heavy-duty/wonderful day came to a close.  But I did have trouble falling asleep.

Today will be less structured, but I've still got lots of work to do--that will be my status for the next 8 weeks.  But it's a good kind of heavy-duty schedule, the kind I had hoped to be able to experience, back in those days when I was back in South Florida, thinking/dreaming/hoping about living on a seminary campus. 

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