Preparing for the short haul: 17 days until the end of the semester.

Admit it.  It’s been far too long since we met here.  Alas, my fault.  But, I am back from a restful and restorative Thanksgiving vacation and with only 17 days left to go before I am a mere one semester shy of my degree (read: 17 days before this semester is over), I thought I would take a moment to regroup, breathe, and prepare with you.  So as I eat this bowl of soup, let me fill you in on the next 17 days of my life.

December 16, 2009.  That’s the day it will all be done.  Yikes!  Between now and then, I have 8 discrete assignments to complete: (in order of appearance) 1 case study, 1 lecture, 1 paper revision for a course in Jewish/Christian Relations, 1 M.Div thesis (no pressure, no pressure), 1 evaluation of my experience as a teaching assistant, 1 paper for ethics, 1 paper for a community organizing class, and 1 (yes, only 1) final exam (Jewish/Christian Relations, if you were curious).  If I counted correctly, that will be 8 tasks, papers, and assignments due in a little more than 2 weeks.  When I say it like that, I’m a little frightened.

Fortunately, this restful and restorative vacation has filled me with a sense of optimism!  I am rested, I have perspective on this 17-day period in my life, and I just know I can do it.  May not do it spectacularly, but I sure as heck can do it.

Also, the theologian in me is peaceful and encouraged by the current liturgical season.  We are in the first week of Advent, which the the season meant to remind the church to prepare a way for Christ in the world, in our hearts, and in our relationships.  I am encouraged to know that I embark on these 8 assignments during a season in which I reflect on the presence of God in my life and actions.  In a small (but significant) way, I am grateful to ponder the reality that I am preparing a way for God.  Whether I prepare a way through the content of my assignments or simply by the sheer force of will I must exert in order to accomplish all 8 on time, I still prepare a way.  It may be small, and it may be unnoticed by many, but I’ve never had much luck finding God in grand gestures and momentous occasions.  I’d rather continue to find God in the small, apparently insignificant moments and actions in my life (and with any luck, in these next 17 days).

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One Reply to “Preparing for the short haul: 17 days until the end of the semester.”

  1. I love your post! The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a killer for students, in terms of academic pressure and health (mental, physical, emotional), and now you have noted the spiritual aspect as well. This is traditionally a time of reflection for Christians celebrating Advent and for Jews commemorating Hanukkah.

    Religious observance always seems to come at an inconvenient time versus the intense pursuits of life, such as final exams. But maybe that’s a good thing. Not because our earthly pursuits are unimportant. Not that we should be derelict in our academic and professional responsibilities so we can “be religious.”

    But like the Sabbath, which comes every seven days to remind us that there is more to life than work (“man shall not live by bread alone”), more to our worth as human/spiritual beings than what we produce, Advent can add perspective to life during final exams.

    Best wishes to you during this Advent season!

    Like

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