A Late Post from September

September 18th

Walking to the Farmer’s Market this morning marked almost 2 weeks of being a student and a part time Office Manager now.  I stopped by Peet’s Coffee and got a small Latte and more yummy vegetables.  They always look so much better at the Farmer’s Market.  The tomatoes are redder, the beans greener and the peaches more orange.  Or maybe it was the overcast clouds and fog that hadn’t quite left yet that were making the colors more vibrant.  Or maybe it was the magic of this place.  I picked up some tapes today from a woman to do transcription.  I can make some extra money that way.  She was so interesting and gave me tips on Berkeley as she moved here in 1970.  She has much wisdom.   🙂 The dilemma of being a student is also having time to earn money.  I want to do both, but that doesn’t leave much time for studying.  . . . .  Or sleeping.  So I will have to suffice on my savings as supplemental income for now.  At least I’m spending less here than in LA.  And I’m new enough that I don’t know a lot of people and don’t go out too much.  That helps.  🙂

So I’m learning the ropes at my new job.  It’s a tiny office and it’s Unitarian, so I’m thrilled to be on the inside learning track.  If I am to be a parish minister, this is the place to learn.  And it has so much potential here!  The beauty is I get to rearrange the office however I want, Rev Ben has told me, and that’s a bit intimidating as I’ve had someone else telling me what to do for a long time in past jobs.  I remember when I had my own picture frame shop that I managed eons ago (wow, another lifetime ago), I could arrange it however I wanted.  That was really fun and I’m looking forward to doing that here too.  I still feel like I have to pinch myself when I see myself doing something I love.  For so many years I didn’t.  This feels so much better.  And intimidating.  I have so much to learn.

Especially in school!  Oh my God do I have so much to learn.  I was intimidated from the first paragraph in my syllabus in my online class…..  “The course begins with an examination of the (alleged) antecedents to Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe.  We move on to trace the theological and then institutional emergence of Unitarianism out of the Radical Reformation.  The Unitarian churches in Poland, Transylvania, and England will be considered in detail with attention to issues of sameness and difference in their development and declines.”   Really???  Really Seth and Amy???  I’m intimidated just by the syllabus – how in the world will I get through this class?????

Everyone seems so extremely intelligent and uses words like polity and paradigm. (a form of government of a religious organization) and (an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype – respectively)   I have learned to use my Webster’s again.  I want to excel, but at the moment I think I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed to excel.  I’ve started to get to know some of my classmates and that’s cool. My online class seems to have me flummoxed.  I’ve never taken an online class before and it’s definitely different.  The last time I was in school they hadn’t invented computers yet that didn’t occupy an entire room, so sending in my homework over the Internet is indeed different.  The outside is the same though.  It is so beautiful on campus. We are located on what is known as Holy Hill and it really is a hill, so I’m getting exercise just walking out the door.  The Pacific School of Religion is down the street where my afternoon workshop is located and the library is at the end of the block.  I can’t wait until I learn where absolutely everything is.  I want to feel quite at home in this city.

So things are feeling more comfortable .  I finally got to work and school last week without using my Garmin or Mapquest!  I’m learning where the Post Office is and Target, and am going to church every Sunday with a congregation that is becoming more familiar to me.  I’m learning my classmates’ names and faces and walking around Holy Hill to see what is around on campus.  It’s getting a bit easier every day and that’s nice…….. so this week’s lesson?  Everything gets a little bit easier just by taking one step at a time.

From my little piece of Mayberry,

Jo