To be a senior.

13 Sep
I think I’m finally adjusting to the fact that I AM a senior.  As part of my Children, Youth and Family degree concentration, I attended the CYF retreat this past Friday into Saturday.  Suddenly, I was in the leading group that was facilitating a discussion about how to navigate graduate school.  The other seniors and I were the ones that were called upon to lead closing worship.  In our internship debriefing session last week, the academic dean called upon us – the seniors – to be leaders.  To set an example for the juniors and middlers.  I AM a senior.
I’ve been back in classes for nearly a week.  One more three hour class this evening on youth culture and consciousness and then I’ve been through each class at least once.  I’m slowly adjusting to the idea of being back in class and can say honestly that, as a senior, it’s different … in good ways.
My preaching lab group met for the first time today.  (Preaching lab is the time in which the larger preaching class is broken down into groups.  It’s in this group – this lab – that we will preach and receive feedback.)  In this first lab, we decided who was preaching when, what type of sermon we wanted to preach, and then had a chance to talk about our preaching experiences on internship.  It was helpful to exchange experiences, to talk about the way this one thing worked and see your neighbor nodding his/her head because he/she had experienced something similar.  Class is a great opportunity for us to come back together and debrief, share, and grow from each other.
It’s also great to be a senior in classes with internship behind you because you can better guide your learning.  I think I have a better lens to recognize busy work, assignments that I know won’t be helpful for me when I am out in the parish.  I can better take control of my own learning, knowing what assignments/readings I should focus on and those on which I know (err, at least think) have little value to me as a pastor.  My classes – a few of them – are more practical, more hands-on, more experiential than the theology/hypothetical classes of previous years which were hard for me to place on a grid of ultimate value/importance to ME as a learner and as a pastor.
All that being said, I think this will be okay.  I’m still not in favor of spending my nights doing homework and reading but so far, classes are going well.  I know I’ll enjoy some more than others but here’s hoping it will be – here’s hoping I make it be – an educational semester.

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