It’s late spring, early summer in Edmonton- things are just about to come alive. Our friends, Mark and Laurel, have returned to life in this familiar land, and tell tales of reverse culture shock, but joyous reunions and delightful lattes at Transcend. Friends in Edmonton tell of new restaurants and cool places such as Queen of Tarts on 104 St. popping up all the time. One day, Edmonton and its great people will be ours to return to.
Where we find ourselves, it’s late autumn, soon to be “winter.” What is nice about autumn in NZ is that it lasts about 4 times as long as it does in Canada… trees have been decorated with leaves in shades of golden and scarlet for over a month now, and many are still hanging on… It’s lovely to have this romantic season of sweaters, warm beverages, and strolling beneath warmly colored trees stretched out long enough to really take it in.
This was the tree outside my classroom window, about 2 weeks ago, in all its autumn glory. While the coldest of temperatures aren’t among us yet, the mornings and evenings are definitely more brisk these days. Precipitation is increasing. And I find myself in need of a new pair of boots to get me through this next rainy season.
This current year of school has been going extremely well for me. It’s seriously been a 180 degree shift from the two terms I taught last year… My students are truly stellar young people who I feel so blessed to go in and teach every day. Very kind hearted and caring, I am truly blown away sometimes by the character and kindness that they demonstrate towards each other. I’ve got quite a few artsy and creative ones too… this is all to say that we get on really well with one another. It’s been a good year for the kids too… It’s been really neat to see the growth that students have made so far this year and celebrate successes, both big and small, that happen along our journey together. Having wrapped my head around what teaching in NZ involves a bit more, things feel that much more comfortable and I can soon look forward to doing some things “again” as I approach one full year of teaching in NZ.
I have a feeling that this will be the school year I will always look back on as my favorite year of teaching. But there could be a better one to come… I suppose you never know.
Brendon’s studies are going really well for him. For those of you who are interested in what exactly Brendon spends his time on these days, I’ll let him give you the details.
My days as a student are going well, I suppose. Although I am new at being a Ph.D. student, I can report that it is a lot of reading. And mostly just that at this point. I have been completely immersing myself in the world in which I will spend the next few years of my life. This involves reading (and re-reading) pretty much everything James McClendon has ever written, which is fine with me cause I enjoy his writing. Not having specific assignments and hard deadlines at this point, it feels a bit odd. It is just up to me to keep working, which as some of you know would be a near impossible task for me about five years ago. But it is going alright. I have been chosen to speak at an upcoming conference on the theological interpretation of scripture which is a hot topic in theology these days. So that has been where I am putting most of my time the past couple of weeks. The title of the paper I will be presenting is somthing like: Embodied Metaphor: Towards A Lived Theological Interpretation. The basic thesis is that we should read Scripture’s language, and specifically the guiding metaphors, and allow them to become more than just linguistic… recognizing and utilizing their ability to shape how we understand and experience our current experience and context. When this is achieved, it will issue in a way of faithful living.
So that is what I am working on and it is good. Send me an email if you have any questions or want to talk more about it.