Saturday, December 3, 2011

The winding down: a status report

For anyone keeping track:

There's one week of classes left in this inaugural semester of my fool's errand.  After that comes exam week; with all my exams of the take-home variety this term, that's not quite as meaningful but still represents a lot of due dates.  The break between the fall term exams and the beginning of the January term is only a little more than two weeks.  Whew.  I'm going to be really happy when June arrives, as it is really the only extended break in the seminary calendar.  Yeah, I got spoiled on that academic calendar in the past.

After a massive blowing off of steam last night on the part of a good chunk of the UPSem community in the form of Calvin Ball (no, not Calvinball), the last push resumes.  I am reminded again that I am very happy to be among the people I am among.  My last exegesis paper is puttering along, with progress slow but not nonexistent, as I get tangled in the vines of John 15.

After a relatively quiet term I ended up with multiple chapel responsibilities in the last portion of the term, from simple reading of scripture to nagging and wheedling the seminary choir into a processional hymn with handbells (completely stolen from my vague memories of such a hymn as done at First Presbyterian in Tallahassee, I think), to, this week, singing a recitative in Bach's cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61.  The miracle is that I'm in a seminary choir that will sing a Bach cantata; if the experience comes with the misfortune of the world hearing me flail through Bach recitative, it's a small price to pay.  The rush of chapel experiences confirms some things I already knew; I can read reasonably well, and the biggest charge I get in some cases is actually being able to choose hymns for a service.

My wife and I have been singing in the choir at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church for the last few weeks, and will continue to do so through Advent.  It is an interesting experience, musically challenging as we hoped.  After that we will resume visiting other Presbyterian churches in the area, and possibly settle in at a church for the Lenten season when that arrives.  It's a strange way to attend church, but for now it strikes the balance between the need to experience a church community over time with the need to cultivate possible places to do an internship down the road.  Whether this will continue for the longer term I do not know.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with my relations, and will spend Christmas here with my wife's.  That has become the pattern of our lives.  It is a workable compromise.

Miss Piggy is still with us.  She is one incredibly persistent dog, approaching eighteen and a half years old.  The cats continue to rule.  No one with cats is surprised by this statement.

No earth-shattering revelations or ponderous ruminations tonight.  A simple status report is all.  Useful, though, to remind myself of where I am, and that behold, it is good.

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