I Am Jack’s Complete Lack of Surprise

On 1 June 2010 I started my MA in Theology and Culture at Concordia University Irvine, CA. Thus begins a four year jaunt into the lifestyle of the grad student.

The other day when I was reading an article in my running magazine (Runner’s World) I came across a section where the author was commenting on how he trained for a triathlon during grad school because HE HAD SO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS.

What?

Since starting my degree in June I’ve read at least 700 pages of text, written another 30-40, taken several quizzes and submitted six assignments…all in 38 days.

Meanwhile I have this lovely little wife to spend time with, a dog to take on walks, two jobs to close up, a VBS to run, a niece to watch on the weekdays, a social life to be concerned with, a move to prepare for, a trip to Peru to plan, my own physical training (which, oddly enough I am taking up the idea of training for a triathlon) and oh yeah, my spiritual discipline of prayer, devotional reading etc.

Not to mention my blogs, which have gone sadly neglected for over a month.

I am still searching for the balance that I hope will come. One week I focus more on studying, only to the detriment of my relationships. The next week I focus on friends only to fall behind on my studies.

For right now I think on a quote from my colleague Jacob Youmans when he said, “Sometimes, to stay in balance means saying ‘no’ to great opportunities.”

I also remember the axiom, “Living things first” or “People over programs.”

Maybe these good words will help me find the balance I so earnestly desire and my life so desperately needs.

For now, the posts will probably become rare, endangered little animals trying to find a safe habitat in my slightly hectic life. That is, at least until we move to Texas and I have an opportunity to reorganize my life and set a new schedule, that prayerfully will be settled with a new balance.

In the end, I am not surprised things got busy. I knew they would. Everyone I know who is in grad school ( or was in grad school)  shares that masters work pushes your schedule as well as your mind.
After all, a masters degree not only expands your knowledge base, but should hopefully exhort your practical skills and set you up for the Holy Grail (or maybe not so holy) of a PhD.

Although I’m not surprised, I didn’t exactly “know” what was coming.

Or maybe I am just using the degree work as an excuse to lag on some things…who knows?

But as for all that extra time that author had in grad school, I am wondering what program he was in…

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “I Am Jack’s Complete Lack of Surprise

  1. Pingback: Can I Call This Research? « Recreative

  2. Mark

    Ken,
    When you get setleed in Texas, you’ll also have to balance thinking like a pastor against thinking like a grad student. Being a pastor, after all, is the end-goal of the journey you began on June 1st. Being a grad student is merely one challenge along the way.

    But I can tell you that it is possible – and it is rewarding too.

    See you next week.
    Mark

  3. recreative

    Oh yes Mark, there is that too. Just one more thing to balance. 🙂

    No, that is one thing I enjoyed in university, balancing in tension the practical and the theoretical while I studied to be a DCE and worked as a jr. high/high school youth worker. It was holistic training.

    Thank you for the encouragement that it is possible and rewarding. I look forward to it.

    See you next week indeed!

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