a little and a lot

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

back to school

wahoo! a new post! sorry for the delay, adoring fans. i guess my mom is right--life will never be "normal."

so school's starting back up. some of our memphis kids started this past monday. i had plans for making a "quick" trip to target on monday night, forgetting the day's significance in terms of the school calendar. in the words of julia roberts, "big mistake. HUGE." but as i bottlenecked into the overcrowded "back to school" section which happened to be near the dog food aisle to which i was headed, something happened. i started to envy those kids. here i am, 3 months out of graduate school, declaring my extreme joy of being liberated from the bondage of education forEVER and...

well, i started smelling the pencils. and i saw huge mountains of college-ruled paper, blank and unwrinkled. i saw children rushing to pick out lunch boxes and folders. and i got jealous.

it got me thinking. i know i'm "out" of school for good. even in my envy, i have no desire to go for the phD. (sorry sallie mae!) but who said that i have to stop learning? i know that's cheesy...it's something that you'd see above a picture of a bookworm (with wire-rimmed glasses and a mortar-board hat with tassles) on a 3rd grade wall: NEVER STOP LEARNING!

something i've really enjoyed about being "released" from formal education is the fact that i can learn what *i* want/need to learn at my own pace (or in other words: until i "get" it). i can read the books i've been dying to read. (see column to the right) i can put my book smarts into practice as i learn by experience about ministry, loving people well, being a means by which God works...

so without further ado, i present to you...
things i'm learning in "school" this fall:

1. boy am i selfish. since when did my time become more valuable than everyone else's? what gives me the right to huff impatiently in line at the grocery store or tail some slowpoke in traffic? (i was taught in graduate school that you must ALWAYS cite your references, so...source: my extremely selfless boyfriend, who always gives others the benefit of the doubt.)

2. sometimes people can use God to make *themselves* important. i am trying really hard lately to make sure that's not me. am i trying to "sound" religious? do i have to be in charge? does being a Christian make me feel exclusive? (source: matthew 7; donald miller)

3. i should make it a regular practice to do something that is bigger than myself. right now, the source and project is training for a marathon. holy cow. six miles sounds like a lot to me (an hour of running!) and it was what i ran for my FIRST long run last week! somehow, at the end of this whole process, i'll be running 40 miles collectively in 1 week of training so that i will be prepared to run 26.2 miles without stopping in one morning! i'm not trying to make myself sound good here...i am a WIMP. (ask nick--he's training with me!) but i just love the idea that doing something consistently will stretch me and strengthen me so that i can do something extraordinary.

those are just a few lessons on my life syllabus for the fall.
as i enter the post-school era of my life, i hope the education continues.


Anonymous said...

I am interested to see how your experience in training pans out. Enjoy the books... I am taking no novels classes this semester, so perhaps I can get my act together literarily.

amanda said...

did you by chance go to auburn?
your name sounds vaguely familiar.
if so, War Eagle!

AV '98

amanda said...

good deal training for the marathon! i did the rock n roll arizona in 2004 and it was the most grueling, yet rewarding sense of accomplishment. i finished, but not without a dozen emotions running through my head.
the key to training is LONG RUNS! my brother, sister inlaw, and I didn't do enough of them!

Anonymous said...

Jesse, I love what you wrote! You are always so challenging, inspiring, and at the same time honest. Hope your training goes well! love, kd

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