Ah, the joys of fall… cool, crisp mornings, brightly colored leaves, sweatshirts, first day of school… Who am I kidding?! The only one of those we’re fortunate enough to experience out here is the first day of school!
And so we, Fuller’s lowly seminarians, have embarked on yet another year of learning (and debt accumulation and crying and forgetting what the word “sleep” means).
If my calculations are correct, this was my 19th first day of school. If I had 100 first days of school I don’t know if I would ever get over my nerves and fear at the prospect of starting again. What am I gonna wear? Where am I gonna sit? Will I know anyone in my classes? What will my professors be like? Are they really as mean/crazy/difficult/intentionally humiliating/nice/lovely/wonderful as everyone says?
Well, so far so good. All of my stressing seems to be for naught. It’s definitely going to be a tough quarter, but what quarter of grad school isn’t tough? And for the money I’m paying (or borrowing), I’d like to get the full impact… or so I say on day 2 of week 1, ask me again day 2 of week 10!
I’m a learner by nature. I love to file away facts and info and all manner of ridiculousness in my noggin. So when I get to make learning my full time job, at least for a couple years, that works for me. So I’m not always diligent and I do sometimes complain but overall, this is an amazing opportunity, one most people in the world could not even imagine. And to be surrounded by like minded people who are just as intent on learning and acheiving what you are striving toward… doesn’t get much better!
One of my professors yesterday talked to us about stewardship. He was justifying his incredibly long reading list and explaining why he was so strongly opposed to the idea of reading as little as possible in grad school (and I would bet in life generally). It makes good sense. We have been given such a rare, beautiful gift. “To whom much is given, much is required” comes to mind. I pray that God gives me, and all my fellow students, the grace to really pursue what he has called us to. Not to simply pursue our calling or vocation as important as that is, but to pursue the depths of what it means to be a student. To pursue what he has called us to right now, not a year or five years from now, but to pursue what he has placed before us today, whether that be a research paper or a book review or a silent retreat. This is not, must not be, merely a means to an end.
Ten weeks… that’s all I have to absorb all that I can about the three courses I’m taking. I guess it’s time to get back to the 122 chapters of Augustine’s Enchiridion…