Friday, October 31, 2008

Just another day in midterm hell . . .

It's October. It's mid-term season. I've had even less sleep than I was getting -- so you know I'm worn down and a little cranky. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. this morning to write a 5-8 page paper for my Unlearning Violence, Learning Non-Violence Class. I had to critique a movie that had elements of violence and write a lesson plan from the movie that I could use with youth. I chose Save the Last Dance. Although I have seen it probably more than 20 times, watching it for critque is different. I found myself falling asleep on it last night, hence the decision to get a few hours of sleep and wake up at 3:30 to get the work done.

And that's what I did. Turned in the paper, via email by 9 a.m. It was due at 9:30 a.m. I didn't make the class, but probably wouldn't have stayed awake through it anyway. I did drive all the way to the campus to hand over the hard copy only to realize it didn't save to my thumb drive.
Thanks to the inventors of email!

My mid-term Old Testament test is behind me and I'm still wondering what were all of those questions and essays were on that exam! Let's just say, I've been praying seriously for God's grace and mercy. Not sure if my explaination of the Holiness Code will hold up. (Hey Lord, it's me down here, don't forget to look out for a sister!)

Now, it's on to paper #2, the 8-10 page literature critical essay. Still got to finish the second book for that one. But that won't be happening tonight. I'm going to sleep.

Such is the life of a seminary student.
Thank goodness mid-terms are almost over.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. I've realized something: It's not a good idea to have me or anybody flip the lights in class to watch any documentary of the sort. Why? Cause I'm going to sleep. Never fails these days, lights off = me knocked out. The sleep demon falls on me kinda like it used to in church -- right when the preacher begins to preach and by the time the message is over I'm fully awake. I probably need to have an exorcism!

2. Remember when I said seminary is just a microcosm of the larger world we live in? Well, I just learned how much like the world it is. Can you believe one of my peers popped a brewski during one of his classes and another told me how she would down glasses of Sherry before getting into her theological discussions? Wow! I mean I eat snacks in my class all the time, but I've never thought to bring a Smirnoff to go with them. Hmmmm.

3. I'm off of my reading strike now. For a few weeks there, I just stopped reading. No reason other than I just felt like it! Now this week I'm paying for it. But hey, sometimes you just gotta make a stand.

4. I gave my first speech at Emory last Tuesday and it went extremely well. I almost cried and so did the audience. I even got a possible internship out of it. Seems Harvest UMC in Bradenton is interested in having me intern there this coming summer. I'm praying about it. And in the meantime, I still am hoping to land a spot on this evangelism tour to the Bahamas in January.

5. I ended up getting an "A" on this paper I wrote for Urban Ministries. I didn't think I did that good of an analysis of the book we had to read. But I'm certainly going to take it. Now if I could just land a similar grade on this 8 -10 page critical literary essay due next week.

6. I found my hats!!!!!!! Hallelujah! My hair is a mess and I'm still looking for a hairdresser.

7. I hate I'm missing my homecoming in Charlotte this weekend. Oh well, I guess Morehouse will have to do.

8. Since when did convenience stores sell white tee's, thermal socks and shoes and boots? I remember there was a time you could buy a pair of pantyhose, which was great for the woman who had a run in her stockings on the way to church, but a whole line of shoes is a new phenomenon. And sitting out on display like in a shoe store at that. I went to get gas at the Texaco the other day and noticed this sign on the front door advertising shoes and boots on sale for $19.99. Only in Atlanta. I wonder if this is just in Lithonia.

9. I haven't hit the club scene in a while, but I'm sure dancing it up in chapel these days. I'm performing in the morning and for this dance, I need stamina. Running and steps are part of the routine. Pray for me.

10. Next Tuesday, mid-term exam in Old Testament. What is a suzerainty treaty again?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pushed to the forefront

I just got one of the biggest compliments Saturday -- a member of the Uhuru Dance Company, here asked me if I would consider joining the dance troupe. Needless to say, I was blown away. I mean, this was my second class and it's not like I was trying to bring attention to myself. I was actually hanging in the back, trying to get back into dancing regularly, be more of an observer than anything. But the invite brought a few things to mind -- that's it's not really neccessary for us to do the work of bringing attention to ourselves or the hard work we do. God, in his own, way, will put us out front and introduce us to the right people at the right time.

That same hanging back I had attempted to do in that dance class was the same thing I have been trying to do at Candler, but to no avail. It seems as though people have been seeking me out to become a participant in this, that or the other. So what I thought would be a year of getting acclimated to being back in school is turning out to be a year of leadership building. I'm now a member of the Sister Circle Coordinating Committee, a member of the Candler Women Coordinating Council, a participant in the chapel's dance ministry, the black student caucus dance ministry and a member of the intercessory prayer team. And this doesn't include the ministry I'm building at M.U.S.T Ministries, the homeless shelter where I minister and council residents every Tuesday. (Whew, that's a lot, particularly when you see it in print!)

My aunt says it's Proverbs 18:16 being fulfilled: "A man's gift makes room for him and will bring him before great men." Maybe. I am speaking at a banquet Tuesday night to members of the committee that gave me my scholarship. I'm told about 100 people -- that I should get to know -- will be there. I am honored that I am among those asked to speak and share the story of my journey to seminary.

Wish me well. They gave me 3-minutes. And anybody who knows me, knows talking for only 3 minutes will definitely be a challenge.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

God visited Room 252 today . . .

I just experienced one of the most emotional chapel services today since I've been here. I mean it was one of those services where I just wanted to Shout "JESUS!!!!!" from the top of my lungs and run and jump up and down. The spirit was just that heavy, but I held back. My tears didn't. For a few moments, my eyes were like a running faucet. I just couldn't seem to turn them off. And we weren't even in the chapel today. We were in the lecture hall where I take Old Testament and that was the strange part. I felt God there more than any other time I've been in chapel. (Now, I don't necessarily feel him in Old Testament, but he was hanging out in the room today.)
I felt God through the liturgies, through the confessional prayers recited openly and through the singing -- even those in languages I did not understand, but knew were being shared with the same God I serve.

And the good thing about it was I wasn't the only one feeling what I felt. In talking to my other sisters following the service, they too, expressed their urge to jump and shout and call on the name of Jesus in foreign tongues. They too experienced a deeper, more intimate worship with Jesus today.

I think we all agree we needed it. I know we felt better after it, lighter and less burdened.

I hope that won't be the last of those classroom services! Who knows, next time, I just may break out into a full sprint or at least a shouting dance. Let's hope when I do, I don't scare my Anglo brothers and sisters or worse knock them down and run them over!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. Is it just me or does Tuesday's come by really fast these days? Oh, well, now it's here and as usual I'm wondering what to say . . . Oh yeah, I choreographed an African dance piece for chapel today and while it went well, the heavy breathing afterwards reminded me that I'm definitely 37.

2. Speaking of African Dance, I finally found a spot Saturday to get my drum and dance fix on -- I'm hanging out with the Uhuru Dancers in downtown Decatur. If you get a chance, drop by sometime on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., I can get you a pass for a $1 class. What workout can you get for $1? The best thing is that I met a former Tallahassee resident who I used to dance with. I guess I do know a lot of people . . .

3. Got my reflection paper back from my Urban Ministries class and happy to say I got a 4 out of 5, or a "B". I was supposed to do a critical analysis on Intimacy and Mission, the book written by my professor. I got a B because I spoke more on my convictions and didn't include enough information on his book and how his research formed my thoughts. I thought I did a great job throwing in comments from M.L.K. Jr.s comments from a A Letter for A Birmingham Jail. You can bet I won't be making that mistake again -- professor/author work trumps M.L.K. Jr. insight any day!

4. First gas was $3.79, then within a two-hour period, it dropped to $3.69 today. Maybe by week's end, we'll be below $3.50! A girl and her gas-guzzling truck can only hope.

5. Okay, how crazy am I? A friend and I went to Atlantic Station Friday on the MARTA after classes to hang out at the Cheesecake Bistro. We didn't know any other way to get there other than walk across the 17th street bridge. I found out on Saturday morning a shuttle runs to Atlantic Station every few minutes. Now, I understand why people thought we were tourists and gave us a map of Atlanta.

6. When we got there, I got this great art piece, "Eargasim" by David Patterson. And it was $5. You know I love GREAT DEALS! Brotherman said "Economic times are hard, I'm trying to get all I can get!" His pieces are done entirely by pen. Check him out at or email him at

7. How do good people turn evil? What transformations are at work when two 10-year-old boys kidnap a 2-year-old from a shopping center and kill him in cold blood? (That actually happened in England) Those are the questions we are pondering this week in my Unlearning Violence and Learning Non-violent Strategies this week. The Lucifer Effect is the book we're reading to gain some insight.

8. Got two more days until I get my Old Testament test back. Just learned about 60 people got 100s. I know I wasn't one of them. But I'm still hopeful for an "A".

9. Still haven't managed to find my hats in that storage unit. You know I'm going crazy, right? Me, without my hats, just isn't normal. Besides, it's getting cooler by the day.
10. I'm going to bed. It's already after 2 in the morning.