December has obviously not been very kind to the blog. One could look at the calendar on the right and assume that I’d gotten nothing done, which is far from the truth (just not here). The fall semester came to an end last Friday. The last few weeks have been full of wrapping things up and getting started/ahead on other things. I can’t imagine running a banquet this year (my first time in 15+ years without something like that), so having a break from that has been nice. I spent most of the day Friday at school giving and then grading a final test, so most of my grading is actually done.
The semester went better than I thought it would. We spent the first quarter all online (which feels like a million years ago). After a truncated fall break, we returned to in-person teaching with (in theory) 40-50% of our students in the classroom with us while the others we online. It’s called concurrent learning, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We were also able to sponsor some “all high school” assemblies (running four instead of one because of social distancing). We were even able to bring whole grades on campus (two so far) for a day that served as an opportunity to bring together some of the stuff that we haven’t been able to do ministry-wise. We also had chapel each week, which was made easier by having an amazing chapel team. So while the semester wasn’t perfect, it was nowhere near the disaster that many of us feared. And it definitely wasn’t like this:
So it’s two weeks of Christmas vacation. My first time ever NOT being home for Christmas. It is what it is. I’ll check in on Christmas day while finding ways of staying engaged and busy with stuff. Beyond that, I’m doing a two-day mini-retreat for myself and then planning for next semester. It’s funny: this was the year I had hoped to make some major curricular shifts, but being in a kind of survival mode didn’t allow for that. Now that we have more students coming back to campus, I’ve got to tweak things to make better use of their on-campus presence.
I’m not dreading the two-week vacation as much as usual (I need structure to my time). If anything, I fear not using it well. I had a number of “never again” moments this past semester that I want to make sure I never revisit. It also helps that the weather is a little cloudier, a little rainier, a little more autumnal. Plus there are a few more places to go than what we had on fall break.
I’m grateful to lots of people who helped me get through the fall semester. And as good as the fall semester was, I’m hoping for even better from the spring. Time, of course, will tell.
(image from gocomics.com)