Two interesting things happened at graduation.
The first was while the guest speaker gave his address to the graduates. It was, in many ways, a typical graduation ceremony address. Motivational, inspirational, challenging and broad. During the first half he told a beautiful story about the power of dignity and how the simplicity of treating an individual with grace can change lives. The second half of his speech challenged those of us graduating to pursue big dreams and take risks. To take what we have learnt and to apply it to our lives with vigor and immense energy. I liked what he had to say and the way he said it.
…while he was speaking I was acutely aware that I could hear my baby girl crying at the back of the auditorium. She was doing her ‘I am exhausted and need to sleep but I can tell that something really interesting is going on and I don’t want to miss it’ cry. Probably very distracting for everyone else, but for me it was heart-wrenching and distressing. It took all my self-control to not stand up, run down the aisle and get her. But it made me realise that there is no ‘next big step’ or ‘big risk’ to now take, unlike most of my fellow graduates who were pursing new jobs and new adventures. This is my life. My husband and little girls are it. And that loving my family is all about pursuing big dreams and living life with enormous energy. It was nice to realise and it is something that I embrace with delight. I have spent so much energy attempting to discover and define what I am meant to do with my life, that perhaps I have actually missed the point. The point is that innate and deep response in me to run to my baby girl when she was crying. So I am sure that the rest of the ceremony was very interesting and inspiring, but I don’t recall much of what else happened. I was to busy contemplating how good life is and how lucky I am to be surrounded with such good friends and be apart of such an extraordinary family.
(Oh, and the second interesting thing that happened at graduation was that I won the Academic Achievement Award for the post-graduate and masters programs!! So kids, the lesson is, hard work does pay off!! Who knew?!)
Today I graduate. Today ends a massive chapter of my life. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have studied and to A for making it work for our family. I wasn’t going to officially graduate (ie. robe up and go to the ceremony) but A convinced me to do it. He said it was important to celebrate and to acknowledge. I appreciate his sense of occassion, even if I don’t feel it to be necessary. But I do want my girls to see me graduate. I want them to know I accomplished something, that I value study and education and that they were a part of that.
As I write this PlaySchool is on in the background, bubba is sleeping in her rocker and my 3 year old who has been sick and miserable all week is snuggled on the couch drawing. I just organised for my dear friend to come have tea and crossiants. I am attempting to read Dante’s Inferno for Book Club. World Figolli Day is just round the corner. And life is good. So this chapter goes on, and it is sweet, and I am glad.
(image for here)
It is a little bit hard to comprehend that study is over. Not just for the semester, but the entire degree. Well, actually, I am waiting for my final essay mark but if I fail that, I was more over it than I knew, or the uni has gone strange. It feels pretty good, slightly surreal. I feel like I’m holidays. Honestly, I am already looking at further study options but husband is strongly suggesting a break (we are negotiating how long that is…).
So study is over and a new challenge awaits…which leads me on to this…
I know things have been very quiet here of late. But I have a great excuse. We are having a baby!! And while that is not a reason to not blog, the unbelievable exhaustion and intense morning sickness is. This little baby is making very sure that we are aware of its presence.
I am very excited about being pregnant again. Admittedly it is much harder work 3rd time round, no sitting on the couch watching copious amounts of DVD’s this time! It’s all swimming lessons and kinder runs and washing/cooking/cleaning as normal.
Baby is due in December and I cannot wait to meet this little treasure.
Hopefully as the nausea and exhaustion ease up a little soon.
So the exam is over and I did okay. With exam’s my sole intention is to pass – which I did, and I am happy with my efforts. So the ‘exam’ box can be ticked. Good.
Now we just have 5 days of intensive essay writing to get through. I am usually a lot more organised with essay writing, but after having the flu for 2 weeks I am way out of schedule and am desperate to get words on paper.
However, a little side issue of all this study emphasise, is the reality of trying to get a lot of study done when you have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. The girls are generally busy, active little girls that need fairly constant stimulation and supervision – unless they are watching a movie. Movie’s are normally a treat and are used for special occasions (and let’s be totally honest, ABC kids is often used when the bathroom needs cleaning and when I don’t want the girls in the kitchen if I am using the stove top). But generally the tv is off more than it’s on. Except for this week. I need to get this essay done, and by the time the girls are in bed at night, my brain is basically on overdrive (or off), so I need them occupied while I try to write. Mother’s guilt is an incredible thing. I know that one week of more than usual tv watching is not neglectful nor will it damage them developmentally – but I feel so guilty about it! It is crazy. It is the constant voice in your head, ‘do this, do that, do that better’. The internal pressure that mum’s put themselves under is unnecessary, unhelpful and mostly unfounded. We can be our own worst enemies.
So while I sit here writing this and waiting for a NT Wright document to download, Mary Poppins’ is in the background singing with animated penguins and the girls are smiling with delight. I think the girls are going to be okay!
I have an exam tomorrow morning. I am very keen to get it over and done with, even though I would like a few more days to study (study is confined to after the girls go to sleep and when I do, so usually between 7pm – 8pm!).
The exam has a number of components, but one of them is being able to summarise every -yes, every – book in the bible. There are a lot of books in the bible!! I have actually enjoyed studying for this part of the exam. It is a useful tool to possess and will come in handy (I hope!). Getting a bird’s-eye view of the books has been quite fascinating and has breathed new life into some of the books, giving them a new slant I hadn’t seen before. For example, Deuteronomy – covenant renewal, Ezekiel – God is sovereign, Titus – the proper traits of the church and, Philemon – forgiveness and brotherhood in Christ.
Maybe I should try studying instead of writing this…off I go!
(7 days to go! In case you were wondering!)
Avoidance hasn’t even been the name of the game in regards to study this semester.
In fact, I think plain old ‘over it’ has been. And it’s not like I’m not enjoying the lectures, it’s just been a long slog. Part time study is hard work. I wish for the days when I had the time and energy to focus on study. But the end is nigh, and I must choose to focus!
So all that being said, my last essay is on the topic of ‘the covenant’ and tracking the theme of the covenant through the Old and New Testament. Lovely! (as much as I try to deny it, the fact that I would use the word ‘lovely’ in regards to an essay topic is glaring proof that I’m a nerd!). I am enjoying the topic, it is chunky and relevant and a lovely reminder of God’s unwavering commitment to humanity. I have also discovered that NT Wright has some fabulous things to say on the topic, which is making research fascinating and has probably sent the essay in a direction I hadn’t imagined it would go.
This essay is my final piece before I end my Grad Dip, it’s hard to believe it is finally over. But (baring a fail) in 24 days, it will all be over. Horray for that!
Last November I enrolled to do my final subject of my graduate degree (in missions). I enrolled with great excitement knowing this symbolised the beginning of the end of a long slog of part-time study, most of which I have loved, but honestly, am now quite ready to have finished. So imagine my intense frustration at finding out that I have already done the class I’ve enrolled in (they changed the name and no one picked up on the fact I had done it under the previous heading) and my only option is to do a basic theology class. I want/need to finish this semester and am unwilling to drag this thing out any further. So I am stuck doing a first year class. I have nothing against the class per sea, apart from the fact that the text book could actually have been written by Mickey Mouse (och!) and the point of studying (for me) is to challenge myself and push myself – a basic class won’t do that. Even the Librarian laughed at me when I told him what text books I needed and told me it was okay, I could catch up on sleep during lectures!
I know this sounds very self-involved and that I am suffering from an extreme superiority complex – I promise you – I’m not. In the last few years I have been lucky enough to study Urban Missions, Pauline Theology, Creation Care, the History of Mission – all very focused, specific and involved subjects, which is what you want at a Graduate level. ‘Biblical Studies’ (my new class) is ‘a basic overview of the Old and New Testaments’. Who knows, maybe getting back to some of the foundational stuff will be good for the soul. And perhaps it will cause me to push harder and go deeper because that’s what I’m use to. I think part of my frustration is that I had hoped to finish on a bit of high – doing a big, chunky subject I could really sink my teeth into. It is going to be an interesting semester!
To balance out my frustration, I have been flipping through this beautiful blog called House of Turquoise,and I feel much better!
(Note to self: in the presence of frustration, taking the time to recognise/acknowledge/value that which is beautiful brings a degree of balance and peace…hmmm).