Skip to main content


It is a windy day today. This afternoon I took a long walk which included stops at the grocery store, the bank, the pharmacy, and the dry cleaner. At one point I thought I was going to lose a pair of pants as the wind lifted the plastic dry cleaner bag above my head, but I managed to get everything safely home, including my hair.

Things have been moving quite quickly in the past few days - it feels like a bit of a whirlwind. On Tuesday I submitted a thesis on behalf of a colleague who is no longer living in Montreal, and while I was printing out the multiple copies at the library and annoying a few people who were queued up after me, I received an email that let me know my own thesis had just been approved by my second supervisor and was good to go! The next morning I did one last proofread of the 114-page document and headed to school to print my own copies and hand them in to the various offices. Today, I just received news that the formatting is all okay (no changes) and that I now have a tentative date for a thesis defence at the end of June. After weeks of working, writing, and then waiting, everything seems to be happening very quickly.

On the one hand, things moving forward quickly is good, but on the other hand, I am all too aware that the impending completion of my master's degree means that many things will come to an end. First of all, there are people whom I have grown quite fond of, and I am not sure how much contact I will have with them in the future. As well, the very enjoyable and satisfying experience of serving on what I believe might be the best graduate journal committee ever is winding down. There is a bittersweet aspect to crossing this finish line.

Aware of this, for most of this final term I have determined to enjoy every minute of the experience, knowing that all too soon it will be over. I tried to relish every class I taught as a TA, every conversation I had with a student, every lecture I got to listen to, and every essay I had to grade. I made a point of appreciating every meeting or brief conversation I had with my supervisor. I took more time to hang out and interact with a few of my colleagues who had become good friends over the past years. I tried to take mental snapshots of this incredible time in my life so that I would not forget the richness of it, even in the midst of hard work and late nights.

Aside from all the other things I have learned at university, this might be one of the most important lessons: that today is to be savoured, never rushed through or wished away, and never complained about to the degree that it loses its sparkle of life and I lose my gratitude. Let me always take time to savour the tiny details and simple interactions, these rich moments that make me feel very much alive. They will never happen quite this way again.

This is the last photo I took with my wee Nikon Coolpix 7600, my first digital camera, before I sold it last week. Good times!


Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…