My brain is ping-ponging back and forth between all the tasks I need to do, but before I actually buckle down and do any of them, let me record some reflections before I lose them. As always, we'll see if there's a thread that holds them all together.
--My spouse went back with me yesterday to do the set up work for the Return to Bethlehem living Nativity village. He said, "Aren't you also getting a certificate in Theology and the Arts? Shouldn't you be getting class credit for this?" Sadly, no. But I did want to record this idea--perhaps next year I could get an independent study kind of credit for working on this project. But regardless, I will do it next year if invited. I really enjoyed it, although at times I felt like I was spending more time hunting for working staplers for various groups transforming theatre flats into 1st century huts and houses.
--On Tuesday, I got an e-mail from a department chair to the whole online department to tell us that some of our Spring 2024 syllabi were not in compliance. The school has adopted a Simple Syllabus that has elements that legislation requires--or maybe it's an attempt to avoid lawsuits. It's not onerous, but it requires me to think much earlier than I'm used to. Those classes that need syllabi in compliance don't start until late January. So I spent part of Tuesday morning getting those syllabi ready.
--Yesterday I went to the grocery store early. We wanted to create a pot of chili before we left to do Return to Bethlehem work, and we needed an onion. On the way home, the sunrise was fiery. I thought of the red skies at morning, sailors take warning rhyme. I thought that maybe we would get more snow than was forecast. But no, we only got a fleeting shower of mostly rain with some flakes. I wasn't disappointed, since we were out on the roads, and I didn't want them to be treacherous.
--I got student evaluations back from Spartanburg Methodist College. In the past 10 years, I've taught in a variety of places, and I haven't gotten evaluations back in a very long time, if ever. My SMC evaluations were favorable--not even one student complaining bitterly. I know that if a student felt I had done a terrible job, they'd have weighed in. I also know that just because everyone is pleased, that doesn't mean I did a fabulous job. But I'm glad that students were satisfied.
--On Monday night we added a Howard University professor of New Testament to our prayer list; something dreadful had happened, and she was in a critical state in the hospital. By last night, I found out that she had died. I did some researching this morning, and I feel this profound sadness. What an amazing woman and scholar, what a loss.
Lots of reminders here, about the fleetingness of it all, about how we may not have as much time as we think, of savoring what is here and now because it's all very fleeting.