There comes a time in every seminarian’s life when she asks herself, “What the heck am I doing at this place, sitting on a hard chair in a cold library, reading arcane stuff, when I should be out there DOING something for someone?” It’s like being on Mile 13 of the California International Marathon in Sacramento, California. That’s when one does some quick math–while one is running across Sunrise Blvd.–and realizes that 13 is only HALF of 26 miles.
At times, all this work seems pointless. I suspect, however, that those times come precisely when we are faced with an avalanche of the more daunting tasks, the ones that make us feel slightly panicked, because someone is going to find out that we really can’t handle this work, that all those half-formed ideas in our heads for papers are not yet gelling into whole ideas that we can turn into a paper and turn in.
THAT TIME IS NOW.
Yes, we’re at the end of the semester, and no matter how hard I have been working this semester (and I have been doing the reading), I still have a LOT left to do. I have dispatched all the little papers and assignments for two classes, Systematic Theology I and Principles and Practices of Preaching.
But I still have the following:
a 10-page paper for Anglican History and Theology I on a topic of my choice. (In my case, the theology of John Donne as reflected in his poetry. He’s not as Calvinist as they say….) by Dec. 10.
A 25-page paper (that’s not a typo. 25 pages) for my Doctrines of God seminar on a topic of my choice. So I’m writing about the work of feminist theologians (who prefer to be called theologians who are bringing up gender issues) and their work on metaphors/models for God and how they affect our world. I have been researching this baby for about six weeks now. Sigh. Due Dec. 13.
A final exam in Systematic Theology that covers about 600 pages of readings by Karl Barth and Karl Rahner. Dec. 14
A 5-7 page paper for Anglican History and Theology I (yes, again) on something like what Anglicanism means to me that incorporates a lot of the sources from the WHOLE semester. By Dec. 17.
Some kind of reflection paper and mid-year report for my internship practicum. I don’t even know when that is due and what’s supposed to be in it.
Do you see why I might be sitting on a hard chair in a cold library, thinking, “What the heck am I doing at this place, studying this arcane stuff, when I should be out there DOING something for someone?”
Yup. Send chocolate, please. At least 65% cacao.