Monday, November 5, 2012

Forgive Me Dearest


I am so very sorry about the delay in my writing to you and I won't be able to catch you up on everything but I wanted to talk anyway. I have recently gotten a job at a wonderful organization that works with homeless families, mostly young mothers with children. The families stay the night at churches and synagogues in the area and the center provides a safe place for the kids to go after school. I am working with the kids and also helping organization, honestly I'm just trying to do whatever they need.
This past week was the start of Godspell rehearsals which are going very quickly because there is a huge time crunch. I am singing two songs and play the "Sonia" character who is the "sexy" one. I have really only been cast as the old lady and motherly figure, so this a huge difference. It will be a challenge along with the two songs which are "Day by Day" and "Turn Back, O Man" which are both VERY low in my range. They are a ton of fun though and I'm excited to be part of this show.

Well that is all I have time for today as I am at the end of my coffee. I hope you enjoy some pictures of the area surrounding me!

Talk to You Soon,


Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Days in September


The past two weeks have gone by so quickly that I almost cannot believe that it is already October. I have now had to turn the page on my Big Bang Theory calendar, leaving Leonard and Penny in September and enjoying the four guys in female superhero costumes. Besides my calendar changing, lots of other things have changed as well. Most recently I have changed my hair and cut it short! I am loving it and the ease that it brings with my daily routine.

Going beyond my look, I have also had lots of new experiences, including visiting a Mosque, which is the religious space that Muslims worship in. It was truly enlightening to be part of a service that was so different from my own. It was filled with deep thoughts and prayers that you committed your entire body to. The men and women or as they like to refer to themselves, the brothers and sisters of the Mosque could not have been nicer to us. We were welcomed with open arms and lots of hugs from the women who were thrilled to share their tradition with students who are studying the Word. After the service they fed us the most delicious fried fish, brown rice and some sort of greens...mmmm. While we ate we sat in discussion with the speaker from the service who wanted to assure us that he wanted union and cooperation with other faiths to try and help the city of Philadelphia. By the way, all of the students who visited the Mosque and stayed for this conversation were women and there was no animosity or shift in the topic due to that fact. We were spoken to as students who have a love for ministry and throughout the day I always felt completely respected in that.

In class I have still been finding my passion in biblical studies and the Old Testament. Today I am speaking to my OT professor to discuss my program and how I can tailor it to this passion. I find the OT has so much to offer and it gets looked over so much, but it is rich with stories and deep thoughts about faith. One thing that I have noticed in the OT is that nothing is easy, but that is how life can be and the men and women that we put on a pedestal are still just people who make mistakes and are not perfect. I love this aspect of the OT and I cannot wait to learn more. My class has just gotten out of the Pentateuch (Genesis - Deuteronomy) and this week we begin the former prophets. I am also taking on more work with my Hebrew class so that i can have a solid foundation for later graduate work. I have a study group that I go to and usually pack my lunch in a wonderful Tiffin box:

 Water goes well with afternoon studying.

 The lunch of Hebrew champions!

Beyond class I have developed some great friendships with women here. I needed a little more female companionship and I definitely found it with some of the women on my floor and even a friend off campus who has a son my age. Seminary definitely crosses boundaries in who your peers become and it truly adds to the experience. I am LOVING it! Getting off campus to study with a friend at her house and eating my first homemade Philly Cheese steak! It was delicious by the way and a soft pretzel that is also a Philly special. Or possibly getting in the car to get Taco Bell and along the way home stopping to buy a dress and cupcakes. The friends that I am making here are very different than I have experienced, but wonderful all the same.

Also in these past two weeks I have celebrated a milestone, FOUR years with my wonderful boyfriend. It was the first anniversary that we have been apart, but it was still wonderful all the same. I had a lovely Skype date with him where I laughed more than I had in a long time. He can always make me laugh. He also sent me a fantastic gift, here are some pictures from opening it:

In this package was a beautiful card, Reese's (my favorite candy), Lindt Dark Chocolate, Synder's of Hanover pretzels, spices that he snagged from me and is returning, a roll of quarters (for laundry) and finally...he burned me all three LOTR movies (extended editions), all of the special features and all three soundtracks! It was a truly wonderful gift! 

Well I will conclude here and send you more updates in a couple weeks and who knows what news I will have then!

Talk to you soon, 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Beginnings

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” 
― C. JoyBell C.

Dearest Family and Friends,

Well here it is, the blog I promised to keep you all updated with my new beginnings here in Philadelphia. The posting will try to not only keep you updated, but also remind you that I am never far. This is just talking over coffee, only I will be talking more and I cannot share my pot of coffee with you right now. Instead I will share my experiences and I hope to hear yours as well. Well, here goes...

I moved in to my little apartment just over a week ago and I am mostly settled into my space. There have been a lot of changes here, especially the fact that I don't have to wear flip-flops in the shower because I not only have my own bathroom but it comes complete with a bathtub! Pictures will be coming soon when I fill my empty walls, which are currently driving me crazy. I'm enjoying living on my own, but in a wonderful community. My door is always open and my room has already been dubbed the hang out hub of the hall. It helps that my closest neighbors are all guys in their twenties and so there was not much competition. My favorite part of my new digs is the beautiful window with glorious sunshine and great view of the campus. The sun is helping with my fresh cut white daisies that I keep near the window. 

Outside of my room lies the campus with incredible classes and absolutely wonderful professors. My classes are as follows:

Intro to Old Testament
Intro to Hebrew
History of Christianity (with a prof that used to work at VALPO!)
Thinking about God
Intro to Public Theology

After my first week I am already finding the coursework more than challenging. There is more reading than is conceivable, but that is not the problem. The problem is...I want to read ALL of it! There are not enough hours in the day or enough sanity in my mind to read all of what is required and recommended. The classes themselves are truly inspiring and the professors feel as though they have an incredible passion for what they teach. I don't have a favorite class yet, but I have a feeling it will be my Old Testament class. Most of the classes have a plenary (which is the main lecture) and then small discussion groups to really dig into the material. 

Beyond the classes I have also been exploring the social life here at seminary and it began with a wonderful two for one night at the Monday night haunt called Mcmeniman's. It has progressed to a drive to the Apple store for a friend with two dead computers where I saw some of the most beautiful bridges and wonderful restaurant with delicious flat bread pizza. My entering class is very small, but we are already finding our place on this campus. 

Well, I have procrastinated my homework enough so here is my first entry in my weekly posting. I hope you will join me for coffee next week. 

Talk to you soon.