Posts Tagged ‘college’

Clearing My Mind

April 12, 2012

I am back in school as a student after a fifteen year break.  I am taking a graduate course in philosophy and the majority of the grade is based on one assignment.  I have been thinking about this paper since the beginning of the semester and have done some preparation for its’ writing.  This past Monday, I planned to spend the day at the library, meet with the instructor, and thought that I would be well underway when the day was finished.

After the day was spent as planned, I had a million, jumbled thoughts rattling around in my head.

This was not good.

Tuesday morning came, and I was still wrestling with the information that I had gleaned from the previous day.  I had thought that I knew where I was going with the paper, but now I was no longer clear about a specific direction.

Still not good.

I went for a run Tuesday morning.  I try to run three times a week, six miles each time.  I run primarily for health reasons.  There is a history of heart disease in my family, and I would like to stay healthy.  On this run, as I was bouncing along the gravel shoulder, my thoughts bounced into place.  I had an idea, then an outline, and now I feel better about what I am going to write.

That is much better.

I thank God for bringing the ideas together in my head and for the peace that came with a chosen path.   I thank God foremost, but I do believe that He used the process of running to clear my mind, and to bring some order out of chaos.  Of course, I still have to put the thoughts down on paper, but at least I have a clear idea of  what I am going to do.

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Bike Lanes

April 3, 2012

When I was a young adult in college I rode a bicycle year-round for transportation…in Minnesota.  It was quite an experience.  I’m glad that I survived.  Riding at night in snowstorms was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done.

While visiting my son, who was attending my old college, I noticed that they now have specified bike lanes in downtown Minneapolis.  What a wonderful thing that is for the bicycle rider!  I used to zip along between the moving traffic and the parked cars with not much room to spare.

Currently,  I am taking a course at a university that is over an hour away .   I am considering going back to school  to work on a doctorate, and am enrolled in a class to see if I can handle being a student again after many years, along with my normal schedule.

At this university town, I again see bike lanes.  They are a little inconvenient, because they did not make the road any wider, they just made the car lanes a little more narrow, and marked off the bike lane.  I am OK with that, I want to encourage people riding bikes safely.

What I am not OK with, is that on two occasions already this spring, I have noticed bicycle riders riding on the other side of the one way street, not using the bike lane.  This irritates me because there is a lane marked for bikes, the road is already more narrow, and now cars must slow down, or go around a biker who is not using the designated space.

I am happy to share the road with bicyclists, but they should use the space provided for them.  I sure wish that I had a bike lane thirty years ago.  I would have used it.

Jack-of-all-Trades

March 8, 2012

My father was a very handy man.  He enjoyed working on things and constantly had some sort of project underway.  I would frequently help him work on a whole variety of things.  I was a first-class gopher.  Go-for this, go-for that.  Hand me this, hand me that.  You get the idea.  Anyway, my father would refer to himself as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.  The idea being: that he dabbled, and was proficient in, a lot of areas, but did not consider himself a “master” of any of them.

As I matured, my skill-set turned out very differently from my father’s.  Oh, I know how to use a hammer, or a wrench, and I can manage some things around the house or garage, but my skills are nothing like those of my father.

I am a minister, and a teacher.  Currently, I am the pastor of a church, teach at a community college, lead a campus ministry,  am enrolled in graduate school, maintain a blog, teach ministry classes, mentor a young minister,  exercise regularly, help around the house, and try to have a life.

Perhaps I did learn something from my father.

I am not specialized, but generalized.

The problem with doing so many things is that you cannot devote as much time to any of them as you would if you were doing fewer things.  There is only so much time after all.  So the question becomes; do you continue to spread yourself around, doing what you can do, or do you reduce your commitments, and focus on doing fewer things, better?

That is a question that each one must answer for themselves.

Back to School

January 19, 2012

I had my first day, back in class as a student, yesterday.  It has been almost fifteen years since I graduated with my M.P.S.  I am taking a philosophy course as a non-degree graduate student.  The class will be studying the works of Descartes.

Everyone in the class is younger than me, including the instructor. There are fifteen students in the class.  Only one of them is female.  I don’t think that any of them have seen their thirtieth birthday, most of them are younger than twenty-five.  Not that age matters, but, it does affect the dynamics.

It appears that the class will be primarily discussion oriented.  We will read, and discuss, the works of Descartes.  Yes, there are exams and some papers to write, but primarily, read and discuss.

I think that I am going to enjoy this class.

Beyond Myself

January 12, 2012

I like to plan.

I like to budget.

This spring is going to be something new.

I don’t have a plan.  I not sure how it is going to work, but,  if all goes well.  I will be signing up for my first graduate philosophy class tomorrow.  I have no idea how I am going to find the time to attend class, and do the work, while still fulfilling my duties as pastor and college instructor.

Still, I believe it is time.  I have wanted to pursue a doctorate in philosophy for a long time.  I am not getting any younger, and there does not appear to be a better time coming on the horizon, and most important, I just have this feeling inside of me, that it is time to start.  This first class, I will be considered a non-degree graduate student, since I have not yet actually been accepted into the program.   That works for me.  I will test the waters before making a larger commitment.  I am trusting that the Holy Spirit is guiding me, and that God will help me complete the tasks before me.

I’m just not sure how it will work.

Philosophy and Religious Faith

November 22, 2011

I was asked by a student the other day whether or not I had problems being both a pastor and a philosophy instructor.  I told the student that, actually, for me, they work together very well.  They both address similar questions.  When studying philosophy we examine alternative approaches and answers to questions.  This enhances the understanding of the complexity and range of the issues that are addressed.  As a pastor I propose answers to those questions.  This can provide a solid foundation from which to deal with the complex questions of life.  A solid foundation, with a breadth of understanding, is a good thing.  I have greatly enjoyed being both a pastor and a philosophy instructor and believe that I will continue to expand my knowledge and understanding in the years to come.

Adjustments

June 27, 2011

Today is the first day of the summer classes.  I enjoy teaching, but the summer session is a serious encroachment on my schedule.  We meet four days a week for three hours. From the time that I leave home, until the time that I return, it is about  four and a half hours each day.  The problem is that I already have trouble finding the time to get things done.  Now that I will have less time available, I will need to make major adjustments to my daily schedule.  I do believe that there is enough time to do what God wants me to do.  I will pray for guidance that I will use my time wisely.  It is like budgeting money, which I am very good at, now I will have to budget my time.

Summer

May 31, 2011

I remember summer vacation as a child.  It was wonderful.  Sleeping in, riding my bike, playing outside, going to the local pool.  It was great!

As an adult, things have changed, but I still enjoy summer.  In my situation, I have two jobs.  I pastor a church in a small community, and I teach at a local community college.  There is no break from being a pastor, but there is a break at the school.

It is really nice to have a few weeks when I am only responsible for one job.  I will be teaching a summer class in July, and the fall semester starts in August, so June is my summer break.

I am looking forward to it.

Chi Alpha’s First Year

May 10, 2011

The semester is coming to a close.  Finals are next week.  The first year of Chi Alpha at the community college where I teach, is coming to an end.  I have appreciated the opportunity to share in the lives of students, to pray with them about shared concerns, and to spend time in the Word of God together.

Last fall it was an idea that took shape, and became a reality.  We found interested students, began holding meetings, received official recognition, and learned a lot in the process.

It’s a start, and I hope that next year will be even better.

24 Hour Run

April 11, 2011

Well, I did it.  I have signed up for a 24 hour run.  This does not mean that I have to run for 24 hours, but that I will have 24 hours to complete as many laps as possible on a 400 meter track.  This will be done by a combination of running and walking.  (Actually, they permit crawling as well, but I hope it doesn’t come to that!)  A friend of mine from church has participated in this event for 22 consecutive years.  It’s his fault!  Actually, this past winter I was on a 10 mile run on an inside track when the idea of participating came into my mind and wouldn’t go away.

I just want to give it a try.

I am also going to use it as a fundraiser for the Chi Alpha group that I work with at the college.  I will seek people who will sponsor me per mile completed.  My goal is 100 kilometers, which is about 62 miles.   I have upped my weekly mileage, bought some new shoes, and am looking forward to the experience.

I’m actually kind of excited about it.