In a week where seminary classes are underway, and face to face classes that I teach are underway, and online classes have been underway, and another massive hurricane has come and almost gone, let me record some observations, instead of creating a coherent blog post about one subject.
--I have done the first two seminary writing assignments and turned them in. My seminary is now using Blackboard Ultra (instead of the older version of Blackboard), so it all feels both familiar and unfamiliar.
--It has been cool to see familiar faces on the seminary class zoom calls. Some I've only known through online classes, some through onground, and some both.
--Yesterday I went to the quilt group at the church near my Lutheridge house. We had a salad potluck, which was much more varied than it might seem. I was surprised by the variety of the salads. I made the pasta salad I've been making since I first came across it in Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook. A pound of cooked pasta, some cut veggies (bell peppers this time), and a vinaigrette of 1/3 C. of balsamic vinegar and 1/3 C. of olive oil, plus dried basil and dried oregano. So tasty! Yesterday I had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
--So far, my seminary reading has been more interesting than I thought it would be--it's been much older theology and church history, which doesn't always thrill me. As I read about the early church leadership and how canonical texts were chosen for what would become the Christian Bible and what heretical movements were squashed, I was surprised by how much of it I already knew.
--Hearing about my classmates' internship sites made me happy for us all--such a wide diversity of placements. Our professor reminded us all of the importance of self-care and to remember that we are at our sites to learn, not just to be used as cheap/free labor.
--Hurricane Idalia does not seem to have spewed as much harm as we might have feared, but it will be interesting to see what the final damage estimate is. Extreme flooding doesn't leave behind as much camera-ready footage as wind damage.
--I got an e-mail from my chair to the English department at Spartanburg Methodist College about what we need to do if we need to be absent. It was so reasonable. I was saddened at how refreshing I found the tone, how sad I was that for so many years I have worked for other schools that suspect people of slacking off and shirking if they call in sick and/or arrange an online module when they are away at a conference or taking care of other responsibilities.
--It is wonderful being at a small, liberal arts college in South Carolina, wonderful to see all the activities that are taking place. In addition to sports, we've already had auditions for a play, calls for an art show, an ice cream social, a movie night. And that's just what I see in posters that are up on the walls of the building where I teach and announcements in e-mails.
--I've been hearing so much about the death of higher ed; this week, I've thought, maybe it's not true. And if it's maybe not true for that institution, maybe it's not true of others, like the mainline Protestant Church.