Take Three

How avant-garde is this? I wrote my last post of the year the day before the last day of the year, and my first post of the year the day after the first day of the year.

No, I don’t know what that means, either. Anyway, happy 2013.

Let’s hope I get my dates right in the near future, though; I’m about to start taking grad school classes again. As in, like, tomorrow. There are due dates and things, and vast amounts of reading, and I am a slow reader (which is why, if I follow your blog, I rarely comment–because I only have time to read it every so often. Sorry about that. Don’t let that stop you from commenting over here, though), and I just looked at my syllabi again today and thought I might have a panic attack. Only, in a good way. You know. That way that panic attacks are good. (What?)

I had an orientation last week and we were talking about how adults learn differently than kids, and that this is evidenced at least partly in where the motivation to do well comes from. When you’re a kid, if you care about things like grades (which I did, as a kid), that’s what’s going to motivate you. When you’re an adult, the motivation has to come from within, I guess.

I suppose all that’s kind of obvious, but when I saw it up on that guy’s PowerPoint presentation, I suddenly understood why I went from being a Grade-A student in elementary school, high school and college, to quitting grad school twice and switching courses of study three times. The third one is the one I start tomorrow, though. I don’t plan on quitting that one. I guess I didn’t plan on quitting the other ones, either, but I also didn’t feel particularly compelled by either of them.

I loved my good grades as a kid. I wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t athletic and I wasn’t popular, so being smart was my thing. Now I want to get good grades because I want to graduate (finally) without endangering the skin of my teeth, but at the same time, I’m taking classes because I want to take them, not because I have to.

This is kind of new, for the adult learning phase of my life. I started my first seminary degree–in counseling–because I had gotten disillusioned with not having a “real job” while I was off trying to introduce people to Jesus in London, and I thought this was a job I would be good at. But what ended up happening was a bunch of dismal counseling courses, a couple of dismal counseling experiences (where I was the one being counseled–supposedly) and feeling like there was nothing in this area for the demographic I wanted to help (refugee children), and I didn’t know how to develop something.

Then I went to the University of Starbucks. (Just kidding–it isn’t really a university, but I was there for longer than most people attend undergrad programmes.) After that I got a job at Now Church and someone said I should really get some more training and someone else said I should really just do the full-fledged seminary/pastor thing and I thought, Well, I do like studying the Bible, so I started up again. That was a few years ago. Those classes were okay, but the location of the school was not, and the schedule was not conducive to that of a full-time church worker. I figured I’d still finish the Master of Divinity degree . . . somewhere . . . sometime . . . because I thought maybe that was really something God wanted me to do for some reason, even though I wasn’t getting many tingly feelings about it or anything.

There is a seminary that has a satellite branch in my very town, and for some reason I was incredibly resistant to studying there. Maybe because it was a satellite branch. Maybe because, before it was acquired by the larger seminary, it was started by my grandfather and a few people I know and my mother was the administrative assistant, and even though I think my grandfather and my mother are two of the most wonderful and impressive people I know, it kind of feels like homeschooling. (I’m not knocking homeschooling, homeschoolers. But it does kind of seem a little over the top for a 40-year-old.)

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These pencils. I don’t even like using pencils.

So, and you know if this if you’ve been reading since this time two years ago (which you probably haven’t been, but one can dream), I checked out other seminaries. Boston College and Boston University and Princeton. And that seminary with the satellite in my town. Guess where I’m going?

And guess what else? I’m not getting and MA in Counseling, or an MDiv, but an MA in Theological Studies and I’m super stoked about it. I’m reading about Biblical authority and inerrancy and where those ideas come from and if they’re legit and I’m fascinated and ready to learn. My first class is tomorrow night and even though I’ll be bringing Mack and my Nexus, I feel like I should be sharpening some nice new number 2 pencils.

Ask me about it again next week.

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8 thoughts on “Take Three

  1. I’m very excited for you. I might have the opposite story. As a kid, I merely made high school because I couldn’t care less about grades. It took me four years of flunking college to finally go to university (different thing over here) and now I delight in taking on new subjects and getting good grades as a result of that. I hope you enjoy your scary syllabi and I feel your commenting pain. I barely ever read any posts over 500 words (which is the reason I try and keep mine under 300).

  2. There is something so wonderful about still being a learner, even when grades don’t seem to matter (as much…there are some habits that are hard to shake). Peace and blessings in your new adventure!

  3. Wonderful post.Wishing you success and happiness,you will succeed .Jalal

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