Saturday, August 27, 2016

To Nap or Not to Nap... (After 16 days at Seminary)

View of storm from the Cumberland Plateau
Today's one of those Saturdays where I would have loved to sleep in. In fact, I truly need to catch up on sleep because now that seminary orientation, Quiet Day, Matriculation, and the first week of classes have all come and gone, I am a bit sleep-deprived. Last night featured lots of fun and new friends together for a fun community cookout and big birthday party too!
All Saints Chapel in Sewanee
Nevertheless, it was not to be. My new neighbor's music was loud and constant from 6 AM onward. So, by 8 AM, I had decided to leave and drive to Manchester, TN to explore a bit and pick up a few more necessary items at the Walmart there. 
I found a couple of farmer's markets while there and bought a few things: muscadines from a nice man playing the autoharp, honey & lip balm from a local beekeeper, and lemon bread & a peach fritter from a nice grandmother .
St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Manchester, TN
I found the local Episcopal church, St. Bede's, and decided that I'll attend there tomorrow morning! After exploring the town and finishing errands, I cam on back and straightened up the apartment, fixed my sink drain, sprayed some more for bugs and spiders (I have a feeling this is going to be VERY regular up here!) and dozed a bit after starting the crock pot on a delicious roast for later. 
I'm loving being here! Everyone is so nice and our 2019 class is full of super smart folks. The choir has begun and the director, Kenneth Miller, is outstanding, both as organist and rehearsal technician. It's going to be great to sing for him. I'm really very happy about that as I was worried that I'd be picking apart every choral thing and feeling like I'd want to jump up and fix things. Those feelings will surely arise every now and then, but I'm happy that Professor Miller is excellent :-)
I also love all my other professors. EVERYONE is BRILLIANT. Wow. It is truly and deeply humbling. I'm a bit worried about getting behind already because the vocabulary and amount of assumed knowledge and reading history is MUCH higher than I expected. I bought a book on an "Introduction to Theology" and will be buying a dictionary so I can try to catch up behind the scenes on some of the basics which every one else seems to have already. There are more than a few students in my class who majored in Philosophy or Classics and they all are very well-read. Even though I have a D.M.A. degree, the learning curve is STEEP right now.
Chapel of the Apostles, Sewanee School of Theology
Chapel services are plentiful and well-arranged. Sermons have been terrific and thought-provoking. I've gotten to read and be a chalice bearer once in a noonday Eucharist and that was both exciting and a little scary since the community is new to me and everyone is both listening and watching intently!
I have two work study positions and they are:
1- sing in the choir! (YAY!)
2- social media and photography! (YAY!)
Here are some albums I've taken already:
1- Seminary's Quiet Day and Matriculation 2016 (none from during the service from me)
2- Jonathan Myrick Daniels Pilgrimage 2016

Last night, a fellow student's suggestion (Garrett Boyte) of raising funds for Episcopal Relief and Development to be given for Louisiana flooding was realized in the weekly community cookout. My rector in NOLA at St. Paul's Episcopal asked his friend Jude Tauzin from Tony Chachere's if they could donate anything and they sent a GIANT box of spices, jambalaya mix, and koozy's. 

Garrett made a ton of delicious jambalaya, another student in my class, Forbes Mann, made tasty boudin balls, and I made chocolate walnut pralines! Over $1500 was raised because lots of folks came out, the seminary's St. Luke's Mission committee agreed to match raised funds up to $500, and the Dean got us to the level we needed to have them match! It was a great success!

It HAS been busy indeed. It's hard for me to fathom that I've only been here since the evening of August 11th! Only 16 days and SO MUCH HAS BEEN GOING ON!
Please keep me, my fellow classmates, and our tremendous faculty and staff in your prayers! 
A beautiful misty Sewanee morning

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