Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ramblings Along the Lines of: Whatever Possessed Me?

If I were not in seminary, which is to say, if I were still employed and, instead of a tuition bill had a paycheck and a two-week Pesach vacation coming up, I would be planning a trip to Prague, rather than reading The Lovely Daughter's blog and emails with such longing -- longing to see her, to participate in her discovery of a new life, to enjoy a beautiful city pretty much off limits to Americans when I was her age.

If I were not in seminary, I would not be memorizing reams upon reams of facts that vanish from memory within hours (minutes?) of the requisite test, be it Greek or Bible or History, and preclude my spending time sifting through materials and ideas that have some meaning for me and would, presumably, lodge somewhere in my mind as a consequence of having been considered rather than jammed into short-term memory for the purpose of meeting someone else's expectations.

If I were not in seminary, I would be re-engaged in church leadership, or perhaps traveling to South Africa to work on hunger issues as one of my friends will this spring, or be headed for Zimbabwe to work on a school and library as another has done three times.

If I were not in seminary . . .what it all boils down to is that I am living the life of a 20-something with the body, mind, heart, and experience of a 50-something. I am used to producing and sharing and giving and achieving, and it seems that all I do right now is absorb and occasionally spit back.

Yes, I exaggerate, for the benefit of the exposition. (Lovely Daughter: Mom, your stories always have more in them than actually happened. Me: Well, sweetie, you want to hear a GOOD story, don't you? One should not feel too constrained by facts.) Yes, I still have church classes and programs to plan and teach; yes, I am involved in things here at school; yes, I am working on field ed possibilities for next year that will enable me to get out and live a life closer to the one I used to have.

Hmmm. Now that I have vented a bit, it occurs to me that perhaps we need some way here for us - ahem -- older seminarians to gather and process our experiences.

Wonder just who should address that possibility?

(Oh ~ the image ~ the famous
Prague astronomical clock, as photographed by my sons a couple of years ago. I can live vicariously, I suppose.)

9 comments:

mompriest said...

Yes....Ok....but actually I have found that those weird facts actually do reappear whenever someone asks the "right" question which stimulates some random neuron in my brain and POP up comes this random, seemingly forgotten "fact"....

see...it will all be worth it...even missing an opportunity to visit your daughter in Prague...

sigh...

Ok, maybe not that...but all the other

Lisa :-] said...

...and maybe you've unearthed a need that you can address. Not that you don't have enough to do already...

LawAndGospel said...

If I were not in seminary...In the fall here at LTSG, several of the Mature ( not old) members of the class, seemed to be focused upon what they had given up to come here. Interestingly, several of the pipeliners pointed out what they have given up- the chance to do what we have already done. Nno maximum income potential for them, no trips around the globe like many of us have made. I too have been dismayed by the inability of my brain to be like it once was
( guess I never really noticed when I was doing variations on the same theme in my first career). I am wistful about the "I remember when" aspects of seeing the majority of my classmates. But..for what I gave up I have gained immeasurably. And I do not have to go out out on the internet for stories for sermons- because I can change the names to protect the innocent and use the stories of my life. I for one would gladly participate in an exchange of experiences. I would even be willing to host it at my place on a certain day of the week ( just not to conflict with the RevGals on Fridays).

Kathryn J said...

The clock is stunning.

Someone with an imagination and appetite for life will always have a long list of "If onlies". I can fill any day three times over with even humdrum plans let alone those involving travel and feel that you are a kindred spirit.

Seminary will pass. You will return to that life and there still won't be enough time to do everything you want to do.

Mrs. M said...

The grass is green everywhere, love. I can certainly respect all these yearnings, though.

Mark Smith said...

You've heard of (and experienced) delayed gratification, right?

This is similar. It's delayed contribution. You're storing up wisdom and knowledge and will be that much better when you are done.

You're a big spiritual/theological battery - on the charger at the moment. They'll put you in the bunny later.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I like Mark's bunny analogy.

It's a brave thing to go back to school to become a pastor. And very hard. Because the school is designed to teach minds not yet fully developed. And when yours already is fully developed, it's hard to go back.

There should be different seminaries for older students that give credit for life experience and teach to the older students modality. Because I believe that we DO have a different modality at a "certain age".

Lovie said...

Oh Robin! I think about you everyday. And, yes, it sounds,trite, but hang in there. I wish it were deeper and more intellectual, but that's it; HANG IN THERE!
leenora

Gannet Girl said...

Thanks, you guys, for the support.

I know, of course, exactly what (who) "possessed" me. But sometimes it's a bit overwhelming.