23 November 2014

Entering the Home Stretch

I think that I missed a week on this blog.  I'm going to blame the fact that it's November - approaching the end of the term with papers due, dreary weather, and short days.

Since I am up to my eyeballs in papers these days, I thought that I would let you know what I'm working on between now and the end of term.

Due This Week:
Pastoral Foundations, Intense Reflection - This is a 1000 word reflection on anything.  In class, we were talking about and reading about loss, grief, and mourning.  I got thinking about contemporary Canadian rituals for mourning (? and the lack thereof?).  I first of all came up with a definition for ritual (the intersection of symbol and action) and reflected on my own experiences both after Grandma died and then after Mum died.  I then threw the question out on Facebook and was astounded by the response generated - I was able to incorporate some of the themes that came up there in to my paper.  And finally, I did a bit of research to determine the purpose of mourning rituals, and reflected on how a pastoral minister might be involved with both formal and informal rituals with people.

Pastoral Foundations, Glossary (part 3 of 3) - We have had 3 Glossaries due over the course of the term, each consisting of 5 terms (we have to come up with the terms too) and our definitions (3-ish sentences) as they relate to pastoral ministry.  This time around, my terms are "trauma," "vulnerable," "shame," "grief," and "hope."

Due Next Week:
United Church Worship, Advent Service - We had to choose the lectionary readings for one of the Sundays in Advent this year (I chose Advent III, December 14) and design a full service including either communion or a baptism (I chose communion).  I've started working on this - I've got my sermon outline done and the music chosen.  I'm a bit intimidated by writing my first communion liturgy for this.

Biblical Foundations, Short Paper - We are to pick a passage of 10-20 verses from anywhere in the Old Testament, write an exegesis (what is the passage saying), describe the historical context of the text, and then reflect on contemporary resonance of the text.  All in 5-7 pages.  I chose Jeremiah 32:1-15, but when I proposed this to the professor, she was worried that by only working on the first part of the chapter, I would miss the "punch-line."  She has encouraged me to work on all of Jeremiah 32 - all 44 verses.  Here's hoping that it's manageable.

Due the Last Week:
Research Foundations, Research Proposal - This is a continuation of something we have been working on all term.  We have already had to pick a research topic, write a 2-page introduction to our topic, and prepare an annotated bibliography (4 books, 4 journal articles).  Now we are writing the 10-page research proposal for a qualitative research study including the research problem, theoretical framework, modified literature review, Sample Selection, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Validity and Reliability, Ethical Considerations, Researcher Bias and Assumptions, and Practical Implications.  After all of this, I'm almost wishing that we actually got to do the research!  My topic is "The Effect of Working in Palliative Care on the Spiritual Understanding of Health Care Professionals."

Theological Foundations, Essay - 2000 words on a topic of our choice, either chosen from a list given to us by the professor or negotiated with the professor.  I am writing on "Feminist Critique and Reconstruction of the Trinity."

As well as these 6 papers that remain, I also have one group presentation (December 4) in Pastoral Foundations, and an oral exam in Biblical Foundations (to be scheduled for December 1-3).  And then on December 9, the term is over!

No picture this week - I couldn't think of anything interesting to snap related to all of these papers.  If I could train the cats to manipulate a camera (i.e. if they had opposable thumbs), they could take a picture of me sitting at my desk since it seems like that is all I do these days!  At least my desk chair is comfortable :-)

An appropriate photo opportunity came up this evening, so I can't resist.

Lily, helping me with my next paper.


  1. Good grief.
    Your holidays will be so well-deserved! Sending you love and prayers as you deftly make your way through all of these assignments - I know you'll do swimmingly with all of them!
    Dada s

  2. Thank you Dada S! The countdown continues - 2 1/2 papers left to write...