Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fr. James Update

"On the road again..."

First of all, let me apologize for the fact that other than an occasional video, I have posted almost nothing on the blog for the last two or three months.  To say that life has been busy would be a gross understatement.  I'm thankful to Clint for keeping the blog going almost single-handedly.  Without his posts, this blog would be virtually inactive.

Like Clint, I have felt much like the proverbial hamster in the spinning wheel these past few months.  Beginning in early June, my work schedule shifted to four 10-hour days with Fridays off.  This is truly a mixed blessing.  Yes, it's great to have Fridays off, but the long days on Monday through Thursday leave me with little time or energy to do anything but work, eat, and sleep.  And on Fridays and Saturdays, I end up mostly doing a lot of errands that I don't have time to do during the week (or watching kids while Jennifer does some).  I also try to spend extra time with the kids, whom I barely see on Monday-Thursday.  This is a satisfying and worthwhile endeavor (the kids, not the chores!), but one that leaves little time for blogging.

Another thing I have been busy with is preparing for my karate brown belt test, which will be the week of August 8.  To prepare for this test takes a great deal of time.  I have to practice and perfect everything I've learned in karate over the last two and a half years.  Plus, I have to get to the point where I can do 200 situps (four sets of 50 with only a minute's rest in between sets).  This is something that I think I can achieve, but it has taken much work...and time.

Finally, there is the big thing.  I'm about to embark on an undertaking that some (including myself) think is a bit insane.  At the end of August, I will begin work on a Master of Arts in History.  "Why history?" you say.  For most of my life, History has been my favorite subject...you might even say my passion.  20 years ago, I actually applied to some Masters' programs in History, with the intention of eventually becoming a college history professor.  But I ended up going to seminary instead, and the rest is (if you will pardon the pun) history.  But since then, I have read dozens of history books each year for fun.  My life has settled down a bit, and I finally decided that if I am going to do all this reading anyway, I might as well get some credit for it!  If I finish the program, I may try to teach one or two classes a week at a local community college.  And if I REALLY lose it...maybe I'll do PhD work.  But one thing at a time...

The MA program is 100% online, so at least I won't have to go anywhere to attend lectures.  But it will still take lots of time.  I will, of course, continue to work my "day job" with the school district, and I will continue serving as the second priest at St. Joseph.  I'll do my work for the MA during the evenings and on weekends.  Needless to say, I'm going to be VERY busy...possibly busier than I have ever been before.  Fortunately, the professor of one of the classes I will be taking this fall let me see the reading list for the course. I ordered all of the books and have been busting my tail trying to get through most or all of the reading before the semester starts.  I figure this will give me a fighting chance to get at least a few hours of sleep a night!  All of this reading, of course, takes time.  That's another reason I have been so slack about posting on the blog.

I always have grand plans for the blog.  I think of idea after idea for not just posts, but series of posts.  But then life gets in the way.  No offense, but for me at least, church, family, karate and school trump the blog.  My family and I are about to go on vacation for a couple of weeks.  I hope to share some photos and info about our vacation like I did two years ago when we went to the Smokies.  This fall, I hope to share some insights from my reading and from my classes in general.  I hope...I hope...I hope...

But realistically speaking...

Clint, do you have anything to post this week?

Please forgive me.  May God bless you all.

3 comments:

elizabeth said...

it is good that all the things mention are more important than your blog. Good to hear from you! Prayers for your family's vacation! :)

Clint said...

Have a great (and safe) trip! Yes, I will scrounge up some stuff for the blog...

James the Thickheaded said...

Father bless!

Have a great trip, and good luck with the history. I like Shelby Foote's comment that we need to put more of the story back into history... and he did what he could. Pray you'll get the chance, too. Maybe writing history (as opposed to teaching)?