This post probably would have fit with last month's NaBloPoMo challenge topic of "Growing Up." So, if you want, dig back through April and find an entry that seems "Sweet" and switch them.
This morning I signed up at a fun book swapping site, Frugal Reader, in order to swap some books and get more that I'd like/need. It's an interesting idea to make a Wish list of books you want, then list ones you have that you're willing to give away. Frugal Reader gives you credits you can use for books. For more information, please see the site.
While making my wish list, I went through the bibliographies of many seminary papers I wrote, and listed many of the books I'd used for them. A little background might be in order here: When I moved into my little RV two years ago, I sold over 40 boxes of books, and now I miss most of them. In reading some of those papers, as well as some email conversations with a good friend who's a philosophy professor in Canada, I discovered I missed more than the books.What I miss most is the intellectual challenge of those three years, conversations in and out of class, and reading many, many books. During the past five years since graduation, I've settled for much less than I feel comfortable with. Not a comfortable feeling, so now it's time to do something about it.
When I visited Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa two weeks ago, I talked with the Director of Admissions about auditing classes. Today I filled out the forms required, chose several possible courses in both Summer and Fall semesters, wrote an application check for $60, and stuck it all in the mail.
I'm becoming more and more active here lately with the UU church in Bartlesville and A Third Place Community Center/Living Room Church in Turley. In doing so, I'm finding it's too easy to get involved in congregation politics to the detriment of concentrating more on ministerial work such as perhaps teaching an adult class or two, occasional preaching, and beginning a program of small group ministry. Perhaps it's because I graduated from seminary five years ago and haven't used the skills and knowledge I learned, but I sometimes feel a bit unsure of myself in beginning this work again. Therefore, I feel doing some catching up by auditing courses will be excellent experience. At the very least, it will be a chance to use my brain again and perhaps even have some good conversations with Paul up in Canada. I'll never match his intellect, but at least I might be able to talk about something other than cooking, sewing, or gardening, as fun as those things are.
So, please wish me luck. This definitely belongs in the "Growing Up" topic last month. However, I think I'm also being sweet to myself. And that's what counts.
P.S. Either it's me or this blogger is doing strange things tonight. Every time I try to format with bigger print and different colors, I lose everything. So, for once we'll have to settle for unformatted.