Hi friends! Time’s flying and I’m in the middle of my second trip to Iowa for an intensive as I seek to complete my Masters of Divinity degree in the distance program at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS).
Last semester, I completed a Theological Research class, a Spiritual Formation class, and Foundations of Worship during the August Term and Old Testament and Missions/Evangelism during the semester (distance learning). That turned out all right.
This semester, I am taking Spiritual Formation and History and Confessions of the PC(USA) during the January Term and I will take New Testament and Presbyterian Polity during the Spring Semester (distance learning).
Things are going well. We’ve had some adventures here. I arrived in Iowa on Saturday (January 3) at supper time. Around midnight, I got in the passenger seat of classmate Krista’s vehicle and we drove to Moline to pick up Jennifer when her flight landed at 1:00 a.m.
Jennifer had an interesting time getting to Dubuque. Starting on Friday night with her original flight, and then several attempts at other cities that would get her close to Dubuque, every flight got canceled. Just when she was setting up a permanent living space in the Denver Airport, she got on a flight to Moline. Krista commemorated this with the following sign that greeted Jennifer at the Moline airport:
On the way back to Dubuque, it started snowing:
If you’re reading this, you might get used to weather related observations. There is a lot of weather in Dubuque, Iowa. In fact, let’s just get this one out of the way:
I have taken several photos of the weather app on my phone this week.
Finally, come Sunday night, most of us had made it to Dubuque, and come Monday evening, all of the first year distance cohort (minus Evelyn, who is not able to join us this time) had finally, safely made it to Dubuque. Everyone got scarves!
Living in a hotel is interesting. When you volunteer to cook dinner, there are limited options. Our standards for where it is acceptable to prepare food are lowered here. For example, a rather popular place to cook and prepare food here is the bathroom. I gave that a try on Monday. The result was a Hawaiian Chicken that is now known as “Bathroom Chicken.” Yum, yum!
Class is going well. As I mentioned, I’m taking my spiritual formation credit with my wonderful Spiritual Formation Group and I’m taking a class with Dr. Gary Hansen on History and Confessions of the PC(USA).
My mother has pointed out that it appears coffee is very important in my spiritual formation. I do consume a lot of coffee normally, and it seems to be a much higher level of consumption when I’m in Dubuque. First, coffee is hot and it’s pretty cold here. Second, coffee has magical powers to keep my eyelids open, which is pretty important when one is in class and Chapel 7-8 hours a day.
On Monday, it snowed.
(Yes, that photo is jarring for many reasons. I think the camera on my phone was shivering when I took this.)
We bundle up when we go to class. Or anywhere else. Especially those of us from slightly warmer climates. It’s cold here.
Ben from Georgia
Carolyn from Florida
Our classes are interesting and fun, for the most part. I’m very much enjoying the things we are learning. There are breaks that include dance parties, prayer and song, and other shenanigans (like this selfie with John Calvin).
Jennifer and John
I’m working some on my bubble and block letter techniques, but at least I’m keeping it relevant.
I think John Calvin is pretty impressed.