Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Loneliness of part time post grad

I've been working some long days lately. So I'm feeling quite tired. I'm also feeling a bit isolated and alone. I think this is partly the effect of my work-study balance, which eventuates in a lot of solo desk-time. Unlike the full-time grad student, I don't enjoy a full campus life. I rarely go in to my college, meet with my supervisor twice a year if I'm fortunate, and generally have very little interaction with students or faculty. I can't afford the time or money to get to any conferences. So the 2.5 days I allocate to study get spent with me at a desk working away at close readings of dead authors, with little summative expression.

In the nominal 3.5 days I work for my church, I set aside 8 hours for sermon preparation. I realise this isn't a particularly large number, but likewise, it also raises my private intellectual work hours up another full day. So basically I spent 3.5 working days at home, studying. Much of the rest of my time gets consumed in good things – running small group, sunday church service, ministry at the local juvenile detention centre. All good, all relational. But I still feel the weight of most of my week spent at home, at a desk, in front of a screen, producing little, communicating little, appreciated for it little (I mean, who is really pleased that I'm here mastering Patristic Trinitarian Theology?).

Anyway, this rant is not really going anywhere. So I'll end it now. Back to Augustine....


Nick Norelli said...

I'm really pleased that you're mastering patristic Trinitarian theology. Would that there were more like you! Your study is not in vain, I'm sure it will have great benefits for the body.

Roger Pearse said...

Me too. I wish more Christians took the time and did so. I'm delighted to see that you started with Adversus Praxean, and have gone through the obvious texts.

I know that I shall never have the time, so I'm glad that someone has.

That said; we all need other people. If I did what you describe, I'd find myself without a scrap of motivation. You need to find a way to interact with others with the same interests.

At least some other Christians must be interested in patristic theology on the Trinity. Why not enquire in the ETS?