It's approaching three months since last I wrote, and, wow, there are some really new things afoot in my life. Part of the reason that I've been 'quiet' for so long (aside from my habit of infrequent blogging) is that I didn't really know how several possibilities were going to play out. It seemed good to me to wait quietly rather than to announce things that were uncertain. But we're breaking new ground now, so here's my latest news:
First, I finished my work for McM U and moved away from Abilene, TX. I left my well-loved, quasi-functioning car in Ft. Worth, rented a more reliable car, and drove to my parents' house in Atlanta. I was east of Birmingham when I allowed myself to think about the wonderful people who were becoming farther away with every passing minute. I saw their faces, heard their voices, felt their embraces. I knew I wouldn't turn around and at the same time wondered that I didn't. I'd managed to stay dry-eyed until then. (My eyes aren't especially dry right now either!) My poor cat made the trip, too. She did all her crying in the first hour or two. :) But she's adjusting.
I'm visiting my family in Atlanta for a couple of weeks. It's nice to be home for a while - connecting with old friends, hanging out with the family, walking in my favorite park, feeling the pulse of the city again (without necessarily being part of the chaos). But this is just the in-between phase...
My next stop is Oxford, England, where I will begin an MPhil in Eastern Christian Studies in October! I'm in Wolfson College, located in North Oxford on the banks of the River Cherwell. (Anyone as nerdy as I am can take a virtual tour!) I hope to complete a DPhil at Oxford as well. If all goes as I'd like, I'll be in the UK for 5-6 years.
So, that's the big, waiting-with-bated-breath news. Last fall, I applied for a number of graduate programs, most of them PhD's in the States, and heard "No" or "Maybe, but probably not" all spring. All that time, the one I really wanted - this program at Oxford - was sort of MIA. That is, until June 1st, when I found out I'd been accepted. (I'd about given up hope! I was trying to psych myself up for another round of applications! Ugh, the idea still makes me shudder.) Then I had to figure out how to pay for my degree - it's not cheap and I'm not independently wealthy! I talked to some of my mentors at ACU. I waited for two and a half months. A little less than a month ago, ACU offered to help me fund my degree(s) if I'd come back to teach there for (at least) an equal amount of time. "Yes, I'm in!!" (A friend of mine called this "indentured servitude." Personally, I think it's a sweet deal!)
And, so, when my sojourn in the UK is over, I plan to return to Abilene to teach undergraduate and graduate theology courses at ACU. I want to focus my studies and research on historical theology (which engages the development of Christian doctrines throughout history). I'm not exactly sure what topics I'll focus on, but I'm very interested in Christology, ecclesiology, gender, and inter-religious dialogue.
Chances are, with all the new things heading my way, the blog is going to get a bit of a makeover in the coming weeks. I'm hoping to step it up on posting, because I imagine this'll be a good way to maintain connections with a lot of people who are special to me. Maybe this cushion time in Atlanta will be a good time to turn over a new leaf...