I went to school today to help rearrange the middle school office, which is a wreck, and I am not sure we improved it a great deal. We have those weird curved (around the corner) style desks where there are two desks attached to each other with a corner piece. Six of them do not fit well in one office. In fact, five of them would probably not fit comfortably. We will mostly be on top of each other, which is fine with me since I only have bodily personal space issues and don’t mind one bit sharing communal living space. I don’t mind if people are climbing all over my desk, as long as they don’t touch me in the process.
Going to school today really excited me for the fall. I want to start planning. I fantasize about what my room will look like, about the lessons I will teach, and about the ways I will interact with the students. If I didn’t have so much left to do this summer, I’d want school to start tomorrow. I walked around and just took in my classroom, looking in every cabinet and touching every filthy, kid-handled surface. I dreamed of burning sage and anointing the doorway, but I don’t want the campus police to be called because of the smell of the sage. (True story: One of my friends had the campus police called on him because he was doing an American Indian prayer/smudging in his office, and one of our colleagues thought he was smoking marijuana. They really came to our hallway and investigated his office until they were satisfied the smell came from sage. In their defense, they smell similar, and you can get high on salvia (sage) just as well as marijuana.) I may have to settle for just the anointing. No one will know what that smell is anyway, and the oil certainly doesn’t smell like pot-smoke like the sage does. I plan to spend much more time in my classroom than I spend in my office anyway. And when I am in the office, I will be working on my dissertation. I would love to get this thing finished as soon as possible. I am hoping to finish by May of 2012, which has been pushed back by a whole year because I will be teaching full time in the fall.
I just started reading a couple of theoretical/theological books to work on framing the chapter about biblical authority. Sometimes it seems like the more I read, the more questions I have instead of feeling like I am actually learning anything and moving toward having answers. Will I ever feel like I actually have some authority over my project? Will I ever be able to say to myself that I have read enough, digested it, and formulated my own opinions/theories about these texts? It feels like a long time coming, and like it may never happen.
Another thing that seems like it may never happen is this marathon. Although my six-mile run went really well on Saturday, my ankle still hurts unless I wear my minimalist footwear. When I wear my running shoes, and I have three different pairs I’ve been rotating, my ankle hurts ridiculously the next day. If I wear my Vibrams, I am fine, but the most I have run in them is three miles. Next Saturday, I am supposed to run 7 miles. Three of those miles will be done in the morning in Pendleton at a 5K that Bec and I are doing together. She’ll walk. I’ll run. We’ll finish together. 🙂 I think I will wear my running shoes for the 5K and my Vibrams for the other 4 miles and see how that works out. At any rate, I need to figure this whole thing out before I am up to running 10-15 miles at a stretch.
My Saturday run was one of the most beautiful I have been on in a long time. I started at about 630 with a nice slow walk down to Elm Street to sort of warm up my legs and work out the sleeping kinks, then I ran along the river from our house to the mile marker by Marsh on Tillotson and White River Boulevard and home. I finished by taking off my shoes and walking barefoot down to Elm Street and back. When I started out, the air was cool and there was a slight breeze. The dun had just poked out from above the horizon and the earth was just waking up. Slowly. As I ran, the sun moved up over the trees and the breeze slowed, giving me a humid, yet tolerable, workout. On mornings like that one, it’s not difficult to worship as I run, remembering the Creator and my place in the creation.
I think my view of my place in this world is complicated by the fact that I restrict myself to thinking worship somehow involves a human church, so on Sunday we went to church at Commonway because we had both been thinking this past week about missing church. Typically, we go to the Sunday evening Commonway service, but during the summer there aren’t as many college students so they meet in the morning with the regular service. The morning service has a whole different feel than the evening one. I enjoyed it, but when school starts back up, I plan to switch back to Sunday nights for a couple reasons.
For one thing, had it not been for my friend Molly and one of my students, we would have made it into the church, through the service, and back out without ever talking to another living person besides the surly greeter who didn’t understand why we wanted to share a bulletin. The speaker even made his way down the other end of our aisle, hugging people as he went, then almost tripped over my foot as he was exiting our aisle, but he didn’t even say good morning. Excellent interpersonal skills.
Secondly, I simply can’t stand selling things in church. I have this strong aversion to churches maintaining bookstores and pay cafés in their facilities. I have more of an aversion when the said money-making institutions are open for sales on Sunday morning as you are walking into the church. I have more of an aversion when there are inserts in the bulletin that advertise the sales going on in said marketplaces, and I just pretty much wait for the roof to cave in when the speaker announces the Bible sales from the dais after he makes a point about the importance of reading the Bible.
As churches today go, Commonway is a good one. They work hard to maintain social outreach. In fact, they have people in Kazakhstan doing some social outreach, they are collecting school supplies for students in Muncie, and they are collecting new kids shoes for those kids whose famlies can’t afford them. I can get behind all of those things. The message had a good balance of material for new Christians and challenges for those people have been Christians for longer. And, I love the pastor. Matt pretty much rocks.
Vegan Food Failure #1: Taco pizza. Never try to make a vegan taco pizza without taco seasoning. It doesn’t work. At all. You will end up with beans, corn, tomatoes, and salsa on crust instead of taco pizza. Ew, but I hate to waste food, so I ate it, trying my best not to think of it as taco pizza so it would taste better. Okay, I imagined it was simply pizza, so it wouldn’t taste repulsive. I kept trying to get Bec to eat some of it, but she refused. Smart woman.