14 December 2014

Reflections on the End of Term

Well… I survived!  I made it to the end of my first term of my M.Div., and I haven't run away screaming yet.

I submitted my final paper on Wednesday (and then returned a stack of library books that I had out for research), had the snow tires put on my car on Thursday, and then spent Friday and Saturday driving back to Ontario.  My plans for the next 3 weeks include visiting family and friends, reading a stack of non-school books, and generally trying to let my brain turn to mush after the busy-ness of the past 3 months.

Overall, I've enjoyed the past three months.  The school is a lovely place - there is a real feeling of community there - we are one family caring for one another, even when we don't always get along or agree.  It is a highly supportive place to be.  The community wasn't the reason that this was my first choice of schools (chosen for a combination of the ecumenical nature and the location); but it is the primary reason why I am glad that I ended up here.

That being said, I'm also very glad that I have my own apartment, and that I'm not living in residence.  It has been a big shock to return to school after 15 years away - trying to live in a residence room probably would have been a bit too much.  Instead, I have a beautiful apartment, a relaxing commute to and from school, and my cats can stay with me.

With every paper that I've submitted this term, I've had a fleeting thought that, "maybe this is the paper that will prove that I don't belong here.  Maybe this is the paper that will prove that I'm a fraud."  I don't mean this in terms of a sense of call - all term long (after I got through the first couple of weeks), I've felt very strongly that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  Rather, it has been more in a sense of an academic fraud.  My undergraduate degree was in sciences (Physiotherapy, to be exact).  It was very much a knowledge-  and skills-based undergraduate degree.  This term, I have written more papers than I wrote in my entire undergraduate degree.  I also wrote my first academic essay in 20 years - last one was in high school English class.  Each time I have submitted a paper, I have done so with a touch of self-doubt that it wouldn't be up to the standard.  That was one of my big fears in coming back to school - I was worried that I would be able to keep up, academically.  But so far, I've received mostly positive feedback on my papers.  They haven't "found me out" yet!

And I have loved being back in an academic environment.  It is a privilege to be able to spend my days reading and writing and learning and generally stretching my brain.  Just think - I have 5 more semesters of this excitement!

And so my books are packed away, and my desk is tidied, all in readiness to begin my next term on January 5.  I loved all of my classes this term - I can't wait to see what next term has in store for me!

(desk and bookshelf, tidy and waiting for me when I get home)


  1. It is such a delight to read your experiences! And never believe that you are not exactly where you are meant to be :)

  2. I agree.......I truly believe this is where you are meant to be! How lucky for us all to join you in this journey ��. Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Christmas Kate ❤️

  3. I'm late to the party, but I have to say that I was shocked to read of your "fear". I guess it's what we do with the doubts and questions that count. I have always been impressed by your humility, in the sense that you are very adept at using your talents and knowing where God comes in. I think that you need to trust that not only are you where you need to be, but that you are well equipped with everything you need for this leg of the journey. Congratulations on your successful first semester!
    With love
    Dada s