Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be True to Your School

These days, I spend most of my time like this:

I have many fascinating and brilliant things to write about (stop snickering), but lately I've been so swamped with three kids and three classes that I just can't get to it. Seriously, I'm so sleep deprived that I developed what I call a "slutter" - a slur and a stutter mixed together. You could arguably add "slut" in there, but that's another story from another time period.

For the most part I love being in school and wish I could be a professional student (unfortunately Robbie curls into the fetal position whenever I say the word "Ph.D.") I'm in no hurry to graduate, but when I have insane weeks like the past couple weeks, I find myself obsessively checking how many classes I have left until graduation. The answer is always the same: too many. 

I spent the first half of grad school at a seminary on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. I loved commuting there for intensives every January, but the commute - combined with major changes that the school made after the recession hit - became too much for me last year. I transferred to an ecumenical seminary in Detroit that I was already attending as a guest student. 

Hyde Park could look rough if you went too many blocks in any given direction, but for the most part it was a gorgeous, affluent campus. Many of my classmates affectionately called our seminary "Hogwarts" after the old gothic building and the old rumpled staff. 

Now I go to school in an old church in downtown Detroit where most of the neighborhoods are rough. I'm only one of a couple non-Christians, which can be frustrating and lonely sometimes. But there are a lot of things I love about the seminary: the energy, the activism, the racial diversity...the groundskeeper whose name really is Willie. 

Last Saturday after class I took some pictures of the Heidelberg Art Project going on next to the school. The shoes represent people living on the street, but you can find better information about it here.

Typical of the area - one abandoned, one beautifully renovated.

While I was at it, I took some pictures of our school. It's no Hogwarts...but it has a magic all its own. 


  1. Your school is beautiful! I think it's brave of you to go to seminary as a non-christian. I can imagine it would be lonely.

  2. we obviously have lots in common and should hang out, if only i wasn't out of state 4 days a week and you didn't have three kids :) your pic is what i look like most of the time too, only it's a cat on my lap! and i'm practically the only non-Christian in my psych & spirituality concentration too...lonely. someday school will be over and we will both find our niche!