I finished the paper for my church history course relatively on time... I turned it in on Tuesday afternoon. He graciously allowed me an extention; but I was able to work over the weekend, and I was so close to finishing that I felt it was important to just get it done and be able to lay it to rest. I enjoyed working on it, and there was much more that I could have done. However, I think it is important to remain caught up in my classes as much as possible and also to make time for myself. I am feeling the need for time for other things... I've pushed myself so hard this semester in the interest of starting out with good study habits, and in some ways I think that I've pushed myself too hard. I didn't have a choice this time: I was trying to "catch up" much of the time because i began with books still unscanned and without some of the structure that I needed. I think that next semester will go more smoothly in a number of ways if for no other reason than that I have some idea about strategies I can use to organize my time and what I need to do in order to succeed in courses like these. I know what I'm getting into, how the courses work, how I learn best, etc. In this respect, perhaps the first semester is one of the hardest just because it is so full of unknowns.
When I spoke with one of the people who served as a reference for me, she suggested that I take only the pastoral theology course during my first semester in order to determine whether I really wanted to do this. I'm glad that I didn't follow her advice. I would not have learned what I, personally, needed to know in order to determine whether I could succeed in seminary. This course has been relatively easy for me in comparison to a course like the church history course. Certain content is difficult for me. The language of certain texts is difficult for me. The teaching method of certain professors is difficult for me. in order to learn how to work as a seminarian, I needed to be exposed to all of these things and reflect on how I handle them. I couldn't do this by taking only one course.