i have a confession to make…
i like florida. didn’t think i would, in fact, it was the aspect of amu that i was least excited about (well, and of course the monahan wars, but TAC and my mentor have taught me that some level of politics/bs is to be expected on a fairly large scale amidst any academic community - inversely proportional to the size). but have been loving the cloud life going off at all parts of the day (weather!), the late summer gathering into dense darkness every afternoon over the eastern skies, the flash of storminess that litters bows across the heavens and draws such an awesome contrast to the calm, clear goldenness maintained over the western gulf; the cracked and rushing sounds of the scattered deluges serving background to discussions on the anawim spirituality of remnant Israel or the unified surging of the inner Trinitarian life. i’m thinking fumare must be disappointed that thus far hurricane season has not borne their erstwhile predictions of amu’s physical doom true as yet, but hope springs eternal. i even like alligators, though that pleasure has only extended thus far to the yumminess of ‘gator bites’ - think sweet chicken. now the temperature of the ocean, not so much (not very refreshing), nor the ‘noseeums’, as the microscopic gnats that frequent oceanside are called down here. read gulf coast cannot compare to the pacific coast. but the temperatures are dropping to the perfect level that draws back the snowbirds, and morning walks with trogdor are cool and quiet and ready the day’s unfolding perfectly.
the grad program is keeping me ridiculously busy though, and blogging is obviously low in the priority list. i have to buget time to sweep the floor. classes are: ‘theology of revelation’, ‘the Trinity’, ‘Old Testament’, ‘Colloquium’ - kind of like seminar, reading plato, aristotle, plotinus, the moderns etc.), Latin (because i suck and am out of practice - my teacher though rivals Wiker for making it actually a very wonderful and stimulating class) and ‘von Balthasar, Lonergan and Aquinas’ taught by the endearing and uberly, germanly, erudite Fr. Matthew Lamb. i am overwhelmed with the material, in a good way. most days i skip lunch and just stumble into the chapel for noon mass, unable to speak, let alone eat (especially after the Trinity class). but fourish years after the last time paper writing was attempted, i have at least found that i can still, somehow, write what is considered a good one, even when the subject is Kant.
have to give it up to TAC, it has made what is difficult nonetheless much easier - or more fruitful - at least from what i have gathered from my fellow students’ experience and struggle. it also has slight drawbacks, the need to pump out papers at a ridiculous speed for one, but also that my professors have a tendency to expect more of me (technically though not really a drawback but a stimulus), one in particular continually looks over to me and prefaces the background he is repeatedly having to give with, ‘you know this of course, with your training’ as if an apology is needed that he’s even having to go into it. (he looks like horatio hornblower, it’s devastating, also in a good way : ) finding that a bit unnerving as i never feel like i took all that i could have taken from the program. but even my somewhat slacker gathering is proving solid rock under my feet. and i’m doing my best to reflect well on our alma mater. but man, nothing makes you feel grownup like finally reading your Thomas in latin : )
am uber grateful for it all, and will try to blog more about some of the neat stuff i’m encountering - but first have to fairly perfect a steady pace of receiving it all and outputting accordingly. (now that i finally have internet at home might help too.)
i had given up the thought that further studies were practically doable, and this whole thing that has worked out so well has unfolded fairly unexpectedly. now i really want to make the best of it, and to put the kind of focus to the task at hand that had so often escaped me in the last few difficult years of trying to reorient. things are never perfect, but they sure are full and challenging.
i’ve got that going for me, which is good…