August 26th, 2006


summary of last couple of days

Yesterday's tech problems ended up getting solved after an extra hour was spent running back and forth to the computer department, experimenting with someone else's laptop vs. mine in the library, etc. I really was very frustrated, and in the end (as often happens), the problem was very simple to solve. I felt very stupid because I should have known the answer. It's something I deal with every time I travel to a conference. I had to change the DNS servers to pick up automatically.

I was home by 3:30, and Alexis had made a pan of brownies for us to take to the seminary picnic in the evening. I had a raging migraine and had waited too long to take Imitrex. I tried anyway and took a nap. Imitrex didn't work, so I got up at 5:00 and took pain meds, reminded Mom to pick up Meg to go spend the night at the vet, and got chairs ready to take to the picnic.

It turned out that the picnic was held inside the pavilion, so no chairs were needed. I had a great time but was absolutely exhausted by 9:30 PM. I slept for 11 hours straight!

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On that note, away I go to read... If you find yourself off my frids list, please don't take it too personally. I'm clearing out a few here and there, mostly people I don't know well at all and have never had interactions with and communities. If I've commented to you, I'll not be deleting you because I'm following you regularly, albeit a bit behind on many days. If I don't get to your voice posts, I do apologize and will at least read your summaries and will listen when I can.

Another note to some of my friends: please check your friend of lists. A couple of people on my list are trying to friend you but can't comment to you because your journals are friends-only.

  • Current Music
    kitties running around and locusts outside
I Believe

homework reflection

I've spent a very long time reading today... It has been very productive, and I'm getting a second wind. I'm grateful for the second wind because I'm learning quite a bit--both about Turabian's material and about my scanner's benefits. Perhaps the difficulties I had with the reading Edge were a blessing in disguise. The OpticBook 3600 allows me to get a recognition that is very close not only to the original text but also to the original formatting. I had no idea this could be done with OCR. I thought that when the OCR was done, the formatting would be lost.

What all of this means is that I have been able to examine Turabian's examples and see where she has italics used, which also means that I should be able to note things like centering and font changes in samples elsewhere in the book. This is why the reaading has taken so long. Locating the text that is likely to be italicized or contain whatever changes I want to examine takes a few extra seconds. Examining the changes takes a few extra seconds. The extra seconds add up. But I am learning, and it probably takes no extra time than working with a human reader would take. To be honest, it probably takes less time because I don't need to figure out what I am looking for and explain it, wait for the person to figure it out and explain it to me, etc.

I'm glad that I am entering this experience with reasonably good writing skills. Much of the material on pp. 14-72 was familiar to me. I took some notes to clarify things that were not familiar or answer questions where I did not have correct information. These pages were much easier for me to read than the virst chapter on formatting. Formatting is a very confusing and frustrating topic for me. I believe it is because I can't imagine how I will accomplish it independently. I'm trying to remember that there is plenty of time for me to work on learning how to use Word for generating a manuscript.

There is a lot of information that I want to put into braille for a number of reasons. That takes more time... On one hand, I would like to skip this step and work with electronic text, notes, etc. However, this is a very dangerous thing to do. Computerized information is not always reliable. Also, I am a spatial learner. I need to see what I'm working with. My mind always returns to the semester when I spent hours and hours writing out answers by hand to the study guide that my history professor provided instead of simply listening to the books on tape. It was the first time in four years that I made the Dean's list. My GPA was a 3.25--and that's the kind of GPA I would need in order to get into Ph.D. programs. ... I can't afford to slack off and think that I will be ok using audio materials. Somehow, I need to make time to do this for myself.

It is raining, and there is thunder in the distance. Unfortunately, that may mean shutting down my equipment--and stopping my studying for the evening. If I could see, I could continue studying. Since I can't, perhaps I should sleep now and wake up after the storms blow over... I can't help wondering what Dr. B. will think reading this kind of reflection.. But it's my experience; and I do want to keep track of it in detail.

  • Current Music

weird kitty and stormy weather

The cats are going berserk, particularly Sierra. She's actually growling! Alexis woke up and came out earlier to ask what's wrong with them.

I wrote in sjbtheology that we have stormy weather (tornado watch until 3:00 A.M.) and this may mean shutting down my equipment, which means I can't study/work. Perhaps that means I should sleep now and study when the storms pass. ... But I can't sleep with storms blowing and my cat yowling and growling instead of purring at my pillow...

  • Current Music
    Sierra eating (for the moment)
I Believe

thoughts about seminary

I didn't shut down. The storm blew past, and I read...

Twenty-two years ago, I made a life-changing commitment. It is very fitting that today I am sitting down to begin work in earnest toward a goal associated with that life-changing commitment. As I begin one of my first reading assignments, I find myself confronting questions about my expectations of what I will experience during the next few years. I have been thinking about this already during the past few weeks, and some things don't really surprise me. Perhaps because I have taken so much time with my decision and planning, I will not have so much difficulty with the transition as I might have otherwise. However, I am prone to experience a bit of shock as I realize that the standards I hole myself to are extremely high, and they are not necessarily the same standards that others share. This can create some problems for me in relationships with other seminarians who may think that I am too serious, taking on too much, etc. I need to be sensitive enough to be aware when this may be the case; but at the same time, I need to respect myself enough to maintain the awareness that I am the person who must assess whether or not I am taking on too much and that what I take on I do with the knowledge that I will need to work much harder and longer at times than my peers in order to complete the task.

I like the quote on p. 12: "As a seminarian, you can choose to see each area of the
seminary experience as something that contributes to your spiritual
formation and reliance upon God, or as something that is to be
feared and defended against lest it lead you farther away from God.
" I recently had a discussion with a friend from church who told me that a lot of people hide from God in seminary and that she felt that seminary had been detrimental to her spiritual life because of all the academic work required. I've heard some people say the same thing about undergraduate work in religion, even at AU. I don't remember having that experience at all. In fact, I remember that it was challenging and life-bringing--but then I always find things that cause me to question to be challenging and life-giving. For me, there is no life if there are no questions to ask. My faith has been built on asking questions: questions about healing, questions about the Holy Spirit, questions about God's willingness to provide for me financially when my equipment broke down, questions about God's relationship to me when I sinned in an effort to address my feelings of social isolation instead of taking those feelings to Him... Part of what I feared was that seminary would be dry and academic at all times... The days in orientation were good for me. Meeting the professors was good for me. I can't understand the concept of going to seminary and not expecting to be challenged in my faith. I've spent the last year learning that I must shed the idea that pastors have all the answers and everyone else keeps growing for a lifetime. I finally realized how ridiculous this idea was when someone said to me: "You have all the answers. You've been doing this for 22 years!" I thought, "What about the lady who's been doing this for 50 years?"

  • Current Music
    Dad shutting a door downstairs