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Back in School

Since I taught a summer session, I’ve been back at school since August 3rd, but today was the first day of being really back in school, which is to say that it was the first day that I could sit at my desk and say, “Here we go. What I see is what I get for the next 15 weeks.” And that, despite the fact that I’ve been in an academic rhythm of life for more years now than I’ve been out of it can still be an overwhelming pronouncement to make. For some reason, I always forget how drastically the act of going back to school throws off my whole rhythm of life. Consequently, I don’t plan ahead very well. I don’t do very well tackling my to do list during the lazy, hazy days of summer, and I always have grand illusions that I can quickly push through it when school really starts again. That is until I walk to my mailbox and find forms that need to be distributed, start to iron out start of the semester wrinkles, and field the homework questions that come pouring in. And, those “interruptions” while overwhelming are ultimately ok because they’re not really interruptions. They are my job; they come with the territory. But, still, they do make me want to hide under my desk with a flashlight just so I can concentrate on any given task for more than 30 seconds.

Tonight, I had good support though. I went to dinner with a good friend so we could discuss chapter one and two of Awakening the Quieter Virtues. And, our discussion about the chapter on discernment, reminded me of one of the lessons that I’ve retained from reading the still highly recommended book The Rest of God. I’m making it my goal to ask over the next couple of weeks as I settle into the chaos of academia once again to frequently ask “What is this time for?” instead of “What time is it?”

Also, I might check in with this Lifehacker article about to-do lists a few more times, which appeared in my mailbox as if on cue this evening and which might just be approaching the level of brilliance.

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