Category: School

We finished seminary!

At approximately 3:00 AM last Friday, Ben and I finished seminary. Here are our 3 AM faces:

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The final week was total madness. When both people in the household are working and finishing grad school at the same time, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be Crazytown USA! Make that the semi-annual Crazy Parade in Crazytown USA. Every day we would go to class and/or go to work, finish up at work around 5 pm, come home, slam some dinner, and start studying. About 10 PM we would take a break to get Starbucks coffee, which would keep us going until anywhere between 2 and 4 AM. I don’t know what it is about Starbucks iced coffee with milk, but if I drank that at 11 or so, I wouldn’t feel sleepy AT ALL until 4:00 in the morning. Insanity. Delicious, caffeinated insanity.

After waking up Friday morning we pretty much rolled out of bed, did laundry, packed our suitcases and headed to Williamsburg. Thank goodness we had had the foresight to book a weekend getaway there about a month earlier. We stayed in the always fabulous Powhatan Resort and just chilled out. We took a LOT of naps, had amazing breakfasts on our outdoor patio, went shopping at an outlet mall, went swimming, took walks, and hung out in the historic downtown area (my favorite place!).

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It was beyond awesome. Kind of felt like another (short) honeymoon. It was so nice to be able to focus on each other instead of on our darn, darn laptops. Or any screen, for that matter.

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It was great to be able to recharge and reconnect with our weekend in Williamsburg. Since then we’ve been struggling a little to get back on a schedule that feels normal — having a couple of weeks where we habitually drank coffee at midnight and stayed up til 2 or 3, followed by a weekend where we slept whenever we wanted, kind of confused the heck out of our poor bodies. Plus there’s always some residual crankiness to deal with. But things have been improving every day, and I think we’re almost back to normal … whatever that is.

Today we got some of our grades back, and it looks like all A’s for both of us this semester! We’re happy, and grateful to finish strong.

This weekend is graduation. And by “this weekend” I mean “this weekend”! The whole weekend is pretty much one big event. Friday night is our baccalaureate service, which we’re both speaking at (gulp). Saturday morning we have a practice and an open-house party at the seminary president’s house. Sunday is the actual graduation day and after that we’ll be going out to dinner with Ben’s family. My family can’t be here, but as a graduation present they bought Ben a new suit and me a new dress, so we will be proudly rocking our new sponsored outfits! :-) I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures … for this, my very-last-ever graduation. I think. ;-)

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Theological tomboy

In the latest twist of irony that seems to accompany my life, this past weekend my church held a women’s conference. Many women from the church went to nearby Williamsburg and (I hear) had a great time. Except I wasn’t there, because I was at the regional conference of the Evangelical Theological Society in Lynchburg, VA. With a roomful of dudes. Lots and lots and lots of dudes.

That’s the thing about being in seminary as a woman. You had better get used to being around men all the time, because that is the reality. While part of me thinks that this is an unfortunate reality, part of me has made peace with it. I would still love to see more women studying theology. Meeting a woman who has studied theology or who knows Greek or who understands this hugely important part of my life at all, still gives me a huge rush because there are so few of us. My friend Annalisa has been such an inspiration to me because she is a thinking, studying, writing, seminary-trained woman. It’s awesome to meet women like that, but there (in my experience at least) are not a lot of them.

But anyway, the reality of being a female seminarian surrounded by men is still reality, and it’s OK. It just makes me feel like a theological tomboy — running with the boys when all the women are at a ladies’ conference. And I’m fine with that. I just happen to fit into more than one community — the community of Christian women, and the seminary/theology community — and I enjoy being a part of both.

I had a lot of fun going to the ETS conference. My professor and a few of my classmates, as well as Ben and I all rented a cabin in the woods outside of Lynchburg. We heard several lectures from the highly-respected Greek scholar Dan Wallace, as well as attended a lot of presentations with the long, wordy titles packed with theological jargon that you’ll only find in academia. Oh, academia. I love you so much. We also had some great food (which fortunately did not include sushi because my last experience with sushi Lynchburg was disastrous — do not attempt) and participated in the stereotypical heated theology discussions. It was pretty classic.

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Sorry about the blurry pic — that’s Wallace in the center. My Greek professor, Keiser (on the left) studied with Wallace.

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The cabin where we stayed was close to Appomattox Courthouse. Which may or may not be pictured here – we weren’t sure and nobody really cared. Hey, we’re theologians, not historians! Just kidding … the truth is, we didn’t want to pay money to actually enter the historical site … buncha cheapskates. :)

Writing equals torture

I’m trying really hard to finish a sizeable paper. Have been working on it (or other homework) day and night for a while now, and my brain hurts.

As much as I like writing things like to-do lists, and blog posts, and fun things like that …. I hate writing research papers. I like research, but writing it down is just torture for me! I don’t know why that is. Does anyone else feel like their soul is being sucked out of their body and pureed into a melancholy milkshake when writing research papers??

Sigh.

I will comfort myself with Calvin & Hobbes cartoons. They make everything better.

On a positive note, I will have finished one of my grad courses in (hopefully) a few short hours! Or, at the latest, tomorrow. I can’t wait.

the nerds will inherit the earth

I’ve always been really into school, ever since I was a little kid. I think my parents would confirm that one. As evidence, may I present Exhibit A.

Check out the totally matching twin action there! I love those workbooks in which we are fastidiously coloring large circles (pie graphs, maybe?), and I also just noticed those pencil boxes. Look at that. I totally remember that bright green one I had. It’s weird to look at photos like this one because if you look closely you see familiar objects that take you right back to being a kid.

When I wasn’t scribbling in workbooks (I was homeschooled), I was usually drawing …

Yeah, I know – awesome, right? The bedhead and pajamas are because the moment I woke up in the morning I would start drawing pictures at the antique school desk by my bed. I loved to draw. That sketchpad and Prisma-Color pencil set (with a built-in stand!!) were some of my most treasured possessions.

Another thing I liked doing when I was a kid was “playing school.” My twin and I would search through the house for the biggest, heaviest, most impressive-looking books we could find. We’d find some dictionaries and such, and my dad had some biblical Greek language-study books that we’d use because they fit our “big, heavy, impressive-looking” qualifications. Then we would pretend to teach each other out of the books.

Fast forward to now, I’m in my mid-twenties and still as nerdy as ever. I still love school. I’m in my last year of seminary, and my favorite thing that I’ve studied by far has been biblical Greek. I SERIOUSLY LOVE IT. It combines my love of languages and linguistics (my previous master’s degree was in teaching English as a second language) with my interest in the Bible, and it is so fun, interesting and super challenging. I’m currently taking second-year Greek, called Exegetical Methods, and guess what my dad sent me to help me with my studies?

Yup. Those same big, heavy Greek books that I played school with as a child.

Oh, the irony is so delicious.

And would you believe I rolled out of bed this morning and immediately started studying Greek in PJs and with a serious case of bedhead? (Which you won’t be seeing a picture of. You’re welcome.) I guess I haven’t changed much in the last twenty-or-so years. Except I don’t look quite as cute right after waking up. ;-)

finals week.

Coffee. Flashcards. Repeat.

(Not pictured: Me wearing saggy baggy husband clothes; dish piles; laundry piles; book piles; etc etc etc. I have some dignity.)

This same week happens every semester, and I kind of dislike it. So why do I keep going to school? Right now I can think of a lot of reasons to stop, immediately. But I will probably forget them all soon after this week is over, and fast forward to next fall, I’ll be in classes again. It’s like an addiction.

But I can’t think that far ahead right now. For me it must be only flashcards, research, writing, study, with occasional breaks for eating and sleeping and asking myself questions like this one:

Crazy days, good days

As you can probably tell from the dearth of posts these days, my life is pretty much nuts.

Camp.

School. (Finals are close.)

More camp/work.

People.

Life.

It’s all piling up and it’s been kind of tough the last couple of weeks, but I’m making it. God is good and I’m not insane yet. ;-) One nice thing about going through challenging things is the way Ben and I pull together through it all …. we’ve been through a bunch of stuff together over the past 3 years of marriage plus 3 years of dating + engagement, and it seems like at this point we’ve built a good team. We know each other well by now and work hard to support each other — Ben especially is amazing to have as a buddy/teammate. I’ve had some very rough moments and he’s always there to tell me the truth and give me a hug. Or even buy me a book when I’m laying in bed and crying because I thought I made a huge and potentially terrible mistake at work which it later turned out I didn’t. (The book was great, BTW. Highly recommended if you’re a nerd like me)

Usually the first things to go when the schedule heats up are my domestic pursuits, much as I love them. Ha. Not that I enjoy cleaning really at all, but I do enjoy having a clean house! And when my workday leaves me completely and thoroughly drained, I don’t really feel like vacuuming. Or like cooking. Tonight I didn’t have much in my fridge in the way of dinner material, and I didn’t have a clue what to make. I ended up with an orzo-with-sauteed-mushrooms-and-spinach -and-lemon thing, and also bruschetta. And also — for the sake of full disclosure — eggs. Yes, eggs. Poor Ben …. he’s usually very into my cooking and loves to eat everything I make. But tonight he was giving his food some weird, unhappy looks. Actually, it tasted good (to me at least), but there’s no doubt it was WEE-IRD. So I took pity on him and suggested he eat the leftover clam chowder I made last week — an offer he gratefully accepted. :-)

OK folks, I’m out — gonna get myself a good night’s sleep. :-) I’m pretty excited about that. I have a Greek quiz in the morning, as usual. But the great news is after that one I only have 2 more left in this semester! Booyah!

Thanks for reading as always ….. hope to be back here soon with something cool & awesome. Like making goat cheese on a stick. I seriously cannot stop thinking about goat cheese on a stick!!!

What are you doing for Leap Day?

So …. it’s Leap Day.

First of all, I’d like to say happy birthday to everyone out there who has been waiting 4 long years to blow out candles and eat cake and ice cream. I don’t usually wish happy birthday to people I don’t know, but if you waited 4 years for a birthday, that basically makes you a hero or martyr or something, and you deserve every happy birthday wish you get. If I were you, I’d be psychologically messed up from trying my whole life to figure out how leap day/year even WORKS, cause it is dang confusing.

Anyway, I have a question: What exactly is one supposed to DO on leap day? I really have no clue how to commemorate this day before it disappears again until 2016 (yikes!).

How are you spending your leap day? Leaping? Anyone? I have yet to hear from anyone who actually LEAPED on leap day, and I am VERY disappointed.

I am spending mine writing a paper. All. day. long. I am very, very sick of this paper and I never want to see it again. OK, can we make a deal, paper? I’ll send you off tonight and you’ll never darken my door again.

The avalanche of school assignments lately has me feeling sleep-deprived and kind of discouraged with this semester. And after this paper is done (today), I still have a Greek mid-term to knock out before Spring Break. Sigh, I need a pick-me-up. So if anyone wants to buy me a massage and an Amazon Prime membership, I’d be eternally grateful.

Thank you.

Goodbye.

P.S. Don’t worry, I’ll be happy tomorrow after I get a full night of sleep. :-)