It Is Finished: Thirty-Three

By the time Jesus was 33 years old, he saved the world. When he was thirty-three, he died. But he couldn’t just leave it at that, he had to come back from the dead, too. I mean I could die, but it wouldn’t save the world or create a new religion. And I certainly couldn’t come back from Death!

What have I done in my thirty-three years? I have attended approximately twenty-seven years of school, written over three hundred papers, taken around 70 finals, and produced some really bad poetry and some fairly decent creative nonfiction. I mean if I think about it, I have achieved quite a bit, but it seems a little pale in comparison. So I have Jesus envy. What of it?

I must say that I enjoy school, and I enjoy learning, but I am ready to be finished. I am ready to teach, and I am ready to research the things I enjoy.

Right now, I’m pretty excited because three of my friends and I got accepted to do a panel at a conference (PCA) in San Francisco. We are talking about fat. Yes, interestingly, there is a whole group of scholars, fat studies scholars, who study the way fat people are portrayed in literary texts, popular culture, and art. My part of the panel is about the TLC show “Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic,” and I am discussing the rhetoric of disease and how fat people are fetishized via the television camera.

This school year has been busy for me because I have already presented twice. Jim and I presented our presentation about gay and lesbian students in college classrooms to the BSU English Faculty, and I read a piece of creative nonfiction at our graduate creative writing conference, Penscape. Finally, next semester, we are going to PCA, and Jim I are taking our presentation on the road. We have been asked by his alma mater to present to their English faculty. I submitted to PCM (our local graduate conference), but I don’t know if I got in or not.

This school year is busy for me, but I think I am finally able to say that I am doing what I love, and writing about the subjects I love. I only wish I could find a way to include more of a Christian aspect in my papers for class. I think my faith is so close me in ways that other subjects are not, that I have a difficult time writing about it. I want that aspect of theology to be present in my writing, but it is difficult to get it to come through. I think I may see about taking a class long-distance from another university about theology and literature. I know they are out there, but they are so challenging to find. I need that aspect of me to be whole and intact, and I think that is frequently why I feel so detached from my faith—I separate myself from it while I am writing. I can always recognize Biblical language, Biblical concepts, and Christian theology in texts, but I think I may shy away from reading texts that way because I will have to defend my faith. Surely, I will learn a way to talk about Christianity in a way that distances it from my personal faith, and is simply intellectual. I don’t know. Today’s my day off. Dammit…

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