Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm finally here!

Well, I’ve been in Boston since Monday and I finally feel settled enough to devote some time to blogging so here’s my first Seminary Ketchup!

  • Sunday went a lot smoother than I thought it would, or feared it would. Uhaul called us on Friday to let us know that the equipment we had “reserved” was in high demand in our area and they weren’t sure where they were going to send us to pick it up. Fabulous. I had to be at church by 9:30 to preach and the Uhaul place didn’t open until 9:00. I had visions of dropping my SO off to get the truck and then racing to get me to the church on time. I don’t know if it helped or not, but my SO played the clergy card and told the Uhaul women that our pickup location better be close cuz I had me some preaching to do! Lo and behold Uhaul called us back on Saturday and said they had a truck available that afternoon and we could pick it up a day early at no extra charge. (Yes, this is UHAUL we’re talking about, the company where ‘customer service’ and “hey, it’s not my problem if we ran out of trucks lady” are usually synonymous). They also set our return date as the 2nd rather than the 1st so we actually got a 4-day rental for the price of 2. Of course, our return location got changed at the last minute and we had to spend even more time negotiating Boston’s confusing roadways to get the truck back……one-way-streets, rotaries, commercial roads with steel dividers down the middle and right exits that make you go 5 miles out of your way before you can make a turn to get to something on the other side of the road….when New Englanders say “you caan’t get thaare from haere” they ain’t kidding!
  • I did my final preaching stint on Sunday and was overwhelmed by the generosity of my home congregation. Our pastor organized a seminary-send-off ritual in which I was presented with gifts and the entire congregation did a laying on of hands. The gifts were amazing: a bicycle chain bracelet, to remind of the past that brought me to this present; a framed blessing that my Pastor received from her pastor when she went off to seminary, given to me with the hope that one day I will have someone special in my congregation who is seminary-bound to pass it along to; and VERY generous gift check donated by members of the congregation which will pay for a good chunk of the many, many books I’ll need to buy for school. Thank you to you all!!!
  • My SO and I packed up the Uhaul on Sunday afternoon, and threw the cats into a panic as they were locked in the bedroom/bathroom while furniture and boxes were going out the door (Kitty Brain: we’re not moving again!!!). We hit the road at 7am Monday morning and found surprisingly little traffic – thank God for Staycations!
The conversation on the way up:
SO: It’s going to take us forever to unload this truck by ourselves (we had help loading it).
Me: Nah, this is a seminary, it’s a place full of givers - people will see us with our truck and naturally offer to help – I know I would!
SO: What world are you living in??

  • We got to Boston just before 10am and proceeded to spend 2 hours unloading the truck…by ourselves. Quite a few people walked by and said “hello” but no one offered to help. Welcome to the real world mocat! Lesson number one: Even aspiring pastors can be putzes. Oh, and did I mention that my apartment is on the third floor and there’s no elevator? Actually, I’m glad I’m on the third floor. It’s quieter and more private with no foot traffic going by. In fact, I think I ended up with the best unit (for me) in the building. I’m on the top corner so I have neighbors on only two sides instead of four, and there’s a lovely bunch of trees right in front of my windows so I have privacy and a great view. I’m also on the quad side rather than the parking lot side, which means it’s quieter and I get the morning sun instead of the blazing hot afternoon sun (of course I may be singing a different tune in the winter!). My building is on the left in the photo above, my unit is on the corner behind the trees.
  • I spent the last two days puttering and now have my apartment set up to my satisfaction. I’ve posted some ‘before’ shots of the mess below, I’ll take some ‘after’ shots tomorrow and post them so you can all see my humble abode in all it’s glory. ;-)

  • Another reality check: In ten minutes I dropped $450.00 in the bookstore – for four classes. Each class has 4-7 books on the required texts list, and one class has an additional 9 books on the ‘partially required’ list – which means I’d be spending an additional $250 on books in which I may be required to read only one chapter in each. Uh-uh, not gonna happen. I’m going to take my resident hall representative’s advice and take the “partial” books out of the library.
  • Reality check number three: My Systematic Theology class has an 8 page syllabus, and another 8 page list of books by theologians of every possible stripe of which we have to choose one to read concurrently with our other 15 required books. We have four assigned papers, an in class presentation, and discussion groups that we need to meet with on a regular basis outside of class. The class has 54 students in it, and ‘class participation’ is a good chunk of our grade (I’m used to being the only one in class who participates so this should be interesting as we all try to out shout each other). Our first paper is due the second day of class.

As my SO says: Welcome to Grad School!

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