Back in the School Saddle Again

It seems like the fall semester has just continued to bleed over into the spring… With all the holiday busy-ness in the mix, it really does feel like finals were yesterday. Now here we are, gathering in Dubuque for our second J-term (4th intensive). We’re all a little farther behind than we’d like with the pre-load work, but at least now we have some idea what we’re up against… after getting hit by the Greek II bus last January.

I think the thing we’ve come to appreciate most about these times is that misery loves company. In a good way I mean. Scattered across the country, doing school from a distance, it’s easy to feel as though I’m the only one who isn’t getting all the reading done, or not really understanding that chapter that was so chewy, or struggling to keep up on assignments. It’s easy to think that everyone else’s family is super-supportive and not facing any hiccups in life.

But the reality is that we’re all students in a non-traditional seminary context- continuing to work part- to full-time jobs, running households and serving in churches. Our families are engaged in all the stuff that every family is- for good or bad. And we’re trying to fit in Master’s level work into those lives. Running into each other online is still not quite the same as seeing one another in the library or elsewhere on campus. A stiff upper lip is much easier to maintain in a posting than face-to-face.

I’m so very thankful for the times we have to pour out our hearts and encourage one another to press on, to be real with one another, and to trust that God knows how hard we’re working, even when no one else sees (or understands) what that effort requires.

So it’s back to the books this afternoon (and hopefully a quick nap) while my cohort trickles in to our home away from home in time for dinner.


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