sigerson: (god blather)
The course listing for the 2005-06 academic year at Harvard Divinity School is up. As is the course listing for the Boston Theological Institute, and the entirety of the Harvard University courses, which I can audit or crossregister. There are thousands of courses. Dozens of them seize my interest.

Expected course load is four per semester. One of those has to be German.

I have an unquenchable thirst, and I am tempted to jump into the well and drown. I have been shown a dragon's hoard, and told I can only carry what my hands will hold.

It's going to be a good year.

open haus

Apr. 12th, 2005 06:46 pm
sigerson: (god blather)
Today was Open House at Harvard Div School!

I met several people, including one I REALLYREAAAAALLLYREALLY want to study with, and didn't make a fool of myself! I audited a couple of classes, decided some more about what I like and don't in class discussion, and spent a little time in the library to cool my head.

Heard some tough-love stuff about going for a PhD. It takes about six to seven years; it will require both French and German, as well as any language of concentration; its purpose is to train scholars and teachers, not to be something you pick up on the way to being a novelist or a filmmaker or a lawyer. I can take it. Oh, and Harvard admits about eight every year. That could be harder.

Community Tea featured a fun woman named Annie, another named Hillary, some more professors, and an award from the Mexican government to a professor, David Carrasco. And Corona.

I think I'm gonna like it here...
sigerson: (monks whap!)
I Got In.

Both Harvard and University of Chicago have admitted me!
Harvard's offering me serious grant-age and loan-age too!

I got in!

(entry being cut short for sheer volume of celebration)
sigerson: (Default)
Feeling very silly right now. You see, they MAILED the admission decision this morning.

But they DON'T release admission decision information over the phone. I still don't know if Harvard wants me.

So I am waiting for the skinny letter or the fat letter, over the next few days.

In a way, it's all right--the tension of calling was twisting my gut in knots. Now it's something that I just...well...it will surprise me.

Thank you to those who've sent me good mojo today; I needed it, and I'm happy to know you're thinking of me. As soon as I know, I'll post...but that remains in the hands of the US postal service.

Thank you to those who have been infinitely patient with my drama queen-ing; I promise, just a couple days more.

It seems somehow right that today I saw my first spring crocus.
sigerson: (portrait)
"Dear [livejournal.com profile] sigerson,

We are writing to inform you that your application for admission to the Master of Theological Studies program is now complete and will be forwarded to the appropriate committee for review. We expect to mail decision letters on March 15, 2005."


Twenty...five...days...

Eep! Eep! Eep!
sigerson: (Default)
Yo, editorial-types and anyone who's just nosy...

...I'll have a first draft of my personal statement for HDS tonight. Anyone wanna take a peek? Some of it will carry over to my Chicago app, and some won't.

You really do need to inflate your ego to write it. Whee!
sigerson: (Default)
Is unconditional love really a good thing?

I know the answer in one situation. Unconditional love from a God, should God exist, is absolutely good. I can't see how this one could turn bad.

But for a flawed human (as we all are) to give love unconditionally? Is that really a virtue? To love someone and treat them the same even if they're hurting you, hurting others, hurting themselves? Does agape become enabling? Or worse, does loving someone unconditionally make the love so general as to be disconnected?

"I love her even though she cheated--and continues to cheat--on me." "I love him even though he hits me." "I love her even though she writes hate mail to her enemies." "I love him even though he tortures the cat."

Shouldn't love contain some kind of boundaries? Some point where you don't _stop_ loving the person, but _because_ you love them so, you can't stand to see them continue to act this way, so you leave, or you yell, or you turn them in. Or is that an act of ultimate disregard for the person and for the love?

Feh. Maybe I'm completely misreading the notion of agape. Or maybe it's too damned late for me to even begin thinking about this.

BTW, I am not involved in any such situation as those listed above...this is an 11:30pm thought experiment, prompted by the paper assignment for tomorrow. Which still isn't ready.
sigerson: (jiggly)
Two religion-grad-school related events today, one which left me walking on air and whooping, and one which left me grumbling and resolute. Therefore I must vent.

The first: I met with a prof from last semester who offered to write me a letter of recommendation. Prof had lots of good advice, fun attitude, good news about prospects for a career as well as for my own admission into HDS. And a possible job offer for the fall. Or at least a connection leading thereto. I thought I would keel over...especially when prof offered to go over my statement of purpose essay when I write it. Not just woot: wo0o0o0o0o0o0t! I like this person so much. I wish they were in the fields I'm looking at. Oh, and I really do need to start learning German.

The second: Intro survey class this evening. I got a paper back, and it was a B-. I first reacted poorly: "This deserves better! If it weren't such a stilted topic..." Then irritably, thinking about the high tangent-to-info ratio in class. This prof is intelligent, funny, and well-spoken...but the combination of tangents and the necessity of hurrying through material in a survey class is driving me nuts. Finally, I reached the best conclusion. I will kick this class's butt. I will do so well on these papers, far better than a standard 101 demands or deserves. Fooey.

Back in college, I would have whimpered and had a self-doubt attack at a B-. Now I'm just determined to do better and irate about the class. Yeah, I'm definitely ready for more schooling.

Paraphrase of something I heard recently: "You need an ironclad ego to apply to this school. You need an ironclad ego that is justified in order to get in."

In other news, I seem to have wailed on the party too hard last night at game. Thankfully, Rules Guy assists. Sigh...I should just run a bunch of combats till I know the stuff inside and out.
sigerson: (helicopterman)
One of the cool things my fall Extension class professor did was have us read novels for the comparative religion course. Instead of anthropological studies, we got a narrative version of life in a religion--admittedly, through the author's perspective. I thought it was one of the most fascinating ways of studying a culture or way of life, and I find myself wondering more and more about it.

(Specifically, I wonder who taught this prof, and if I can study with both of them.)

I also formed an odd hypothesis. Science fiction is often used (in part) to explore alternate cultural/societal constructs. Starship Troopers' military organization, the Mars trilogy's corporations and sovereignty issues, Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly and drug use, etc. Fantasy, I think, does a similar exploration with concepts of God or the spiritual. Not all fantasy, and it's not exclusive to the genre, of course. But here's some interesting examples:

--McKillip's Riddle-Master series: non-omnipotent God figure, semienvironmental law placed by him to bind rulers to their lands, problem of the passing of God...
--Terry Pratchett, esp. Small Gods: belief, polytheism, the problem of coexistent monotheisms...
--Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind: purity/corruption, responsibility, the legacy of past powerful civilizations, penance
--Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series: overt JudeoChristian imagery, war in heaven...
--Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion, in a very D&D-bound world, exploring what it means to be a servant of God.

It's not universally true, a'course. But it's fun to examine.
sigerson: (Default)
Do I really want to do this?
Do I really want to apply to grad school?

Knowing that it entails: alienation; five or more years without job experience or savings; big debt pile; uncertain job status; stress; terrifying possibility of distance from beloved; other terrifying possibility of being five years in and discovering I hate all this; fear of discovering that I suck; no guarantees of job, money, stability; having to push back other life plans ten years or so; self-doubt; angst; more angst; angst, angst, angst, angst, bacon, and angst; and pudding.

Well, I think the pudding is optional at HDS, at least.

Jeez.

(pacing floor)
(quaffing tea in a preoccupied sort of way)
(being scared again...as usual)


Dammit, I do. I do want this. I do want to learn more and preach and teach and yell and research and think and argue and hear and...well, I don't want to schmooze but I guess I have to, and use my BRAAAIIN!

Remind me of this in six months. And then in six years.

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