Because life is a series of edits

Summer Plans

In Church, Education, Family, Friends, Places, Places & Spaces, Seminary, Sports, Young Ones on May 24, 2008 at 6:46 am

My friend, Ed, asked for a post on what summer holds. Here it is.

1. I’m one of seven Westminster teachers taking 28 high school students on Summer Seminar to South Dakota for two weeks in June. Over the course of a 12-day trip to and through the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, students will explore the theme of “shalom” (restoration) through three, two-day course cores in literature, ethics, and science. The culmination of the course will be a writing project that integrates a travel journal, a guided project (literary analysis of readings, poetry, photography, etc.), and their understanding of the Christian worldview (I’m in charge of this “integration” part). Should be fun.

2. Speaking of Westminster, I’m hoping to take a half-day a week to work on my teaching. I’ve kept a semi-detailed calendar of what I covered (either intentionally or unintentionally) each day this past school year, and I’d like to give that some evaluation and attention in order to figure out what I actually taught and how to do it better. Armed with some honest feedback from my students and revised scopes and sequences from the Bible department, I want to put some good work into how to teach as a more effective translator.

3. In addition to thinking about teaching, I’ll be participating in a class offered by Covenant titled “Spirit, Church, and Last Things” online this summer. After my experience with Ancient & Medieval Church History this past semester (good class, but I wasn’t as consistent as I wanted to be in keeping up), I’m not all that thrilled about online learning, but you do what you’ve got to get in the classes you need to finish a degree.

4. I’ve got piles of books from a variety of genres that I want to read. Personally, I’d also like to get back to more devotional reading and journal writing as, for better or worse, the blog has taken over the time I have in the past done both, and I can feel the difference in heart and hand. There’s just no replacement for meditative reading and writing, but I’ve not done much of either for a long while. Oh yeah, I’m also supposed to be writing/finishing the first draft of a book this summer.

5. I’m working on some leader development training and initiatives for Memorial for this summer and fall, and hope to do some planning/recruiting for those. Unfortunately, this is an area that got bumped to the back burner this past school year because of my first year teaching, but I’m glad for the request and opportunity to still be involved in this way a year later. I think our family is also going to start attending a small group over the summer, which should be interesting (I’m not really much of a small group guy).

6. While I’ve not really gained any significant weight, I’d like to shed some pounds and actually get back on an exercise regimen of some sort. For whatever reason, I just enjoy exercising my brain much more than I do my body. Guess I’m just too Neo-Platonic for my own good.

7. We may get some tickets to a couple Cards games in July – just when it’s hot enough to really be miserable. I imagine I’ll do a fair amount of yard mowing, grilling, and sweating this summer, not to mention cursing the I-64 construction still going on (it will be interesting to see how increased tourist traffic during the summer months affects things; so far, we’ve managed, but it’s getting old).

8. We’ll also make a few weekend trips to the farm over the summer, as there’s nothing better than sitting with a cold glass of iced tea out on the back patio listening to the corn grow. I’m sure there will be pictures.

9. While buying a house and moving is, I suppose, still a possibility over the next couple of months, the further we get into summer, the less excited I’m going to be about it. Obviously if the bank warms to our terms soon, we’re not going to walk away from things, but we’re not exactly going house-hunting either.

10. Of course, the best part about summer will be being home more with Megan and the girls – playing in the backyard, going to the library, reading books, renting and watching a flick, seeing friends, and just being a family. We’ve tried to keep formal activities for the little ladies to a minimum, so we’re hoping it will be pretty laidback. I want/need to read to them more at night (Megan’s been handling most of that all school year), as I don’t want to miss the window here – they’re all just growing up so too fast.

In a nutshell, that’s our summer.

  1. Great plans. Thanks for the list!

    I think you’ll find Spirit, Church, and Last Things to be engaging material. Nevertheless, I agree that the difficulty of motivation/discipline for an online/distance course makes for a less-than-ideal course.

    On the other hand, there will be a lot in there that will challenge you– I’m thinking especially about the “Church” part, based on a number of our conversations, but the rest is rich as well. There may be enough in there to keep you focused.

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