I graduate on April 30th with my ThM. I will no longer be a student. Perhaps at some point in my life a PhD will seem like a good idea. But it is not practical now so I can safely say I’m doing being a student for, what I assume will be, a long time.
I have been teaching online since roughly 2010. Since then I have taught several in-person and online classes for undergraduates and seminary students at a variety of institutions. I also recently taught a FLAME class (the Wesleyan version of non-accredited ministerial training). But this summer I am doing none of it. No teaching. No grading. No studenting (that’s not a word, but it should be).
The thought of taking the summer off from being a student and being a professor is both thrilling and terrifying. I’ve been working on my ThM for nearly a decade and have been either a Grad Fellow or adjunct professor nearly that whole time. During that time my dad passed away, I miscarried, given birth, switched jobs several times and moved three times…once across the country. In the last year I became a full-time pastor, finished the requirements for my ThM, and moved to a nice little city along the shores of Lake Michigan. I live a mile from the water. I cannot imagine a better time in life to take a summer off and “only” have a full-time job as a pastor.
My daughter has never known me when I’m not in school or not teaching. My husband has felt the effects of my education and teaching for 11 of the 13 years of our marriage (I started my MA shortly after our first anniversary and took one year off between ending my MA and beginning my ThM…I also worked three jobs then.
I’m looking forward to enjoying my life, not just my accomplishments. I am looking forward to spending time with my family, to going to the beach ALL THE TIME, to wanting to read again, to being creative, to resting, to not having all of this hanging over my head and weighing me down. I am looking forward to a break. And it begins, officially, in 2 days.