“Your research interests are probably going to change a bit,” my undergraduate adviser said quizzically.
The notion of ‘fit’ was central to both my excitement and trepidation before arriving at HDS this fall. I knew from perusing the course websites and extracurricular offerings that, formally at least, Harvard Divinity School would be the ‘right’ place for me. I was more than ready to dive into the enriching array of learning opportunities that stood before me, both within and outside of the classroom.
Major vocations, careers, and life callings are antecedents of a secondary or inconsequential, but illuminating moment in one’s existence. If I could express this concept more thoroughly, I would say it is similar to attending a well-organized Nutcracker performance, based on the 1891 production by Tchaikovsky, and imagining yourself as a ballerina/ballerino; and assessing the complexities (I have no plans in this vocation, by the way). For me, Diversity and Explorations (DivEx) served that, and more. At DivEx I envisioned my role at Harvard Divinity, made relationships, and critically observed Harvard Divinity. Along with all the free goodies that went with being a participant, DivEx served as an enlightening moment for my subsequent decision, and my life at HDS now. Continue reading
Do you love window shopping and trying on clothes to see how they fit? Or do you get overwhelmed when there are too many choices? Well, at Harvard Divinity School, the first week of the semester is Shopping Period: where you get to go to all the classes that sound interesting and try them on to see which ones you like best—and, yeah, it can be overwhelming. Continue reading
The e-mail arrived in your inbox (or pinged on your phone). It likely said something dreadfully vague and adrenaline-inducing, such as “Thank you for your application, admissions decisions are now available online, click this shiny link and prepare to wait for the longest page-load in the history of page-loads.”
Not in so many words, of course.
But then the page did load, and the message was clear. And even on the fifth time through, it still says Congratulations. Continue reading
Why Harvard? Why HDS? Why not Harvard? As a woman who spent the bulk of her adult life in the rather transparent world of Hollywood, I can tell you that just because it bears a label does not mean you should wear it. I use this analogy because the reality is: Harvard is one of the most prestigious labels with which one can adorn oneself. But, when plotting your future, the institution you choose to be your home for either two, three or five years should fit you like a glorious tailor-made suit.
So you’re considering Divinity School, hmm?
First, congratulations. In my experience, people don’t normally up and decide to pursue graduate work in religion on a whim, so you’ve probably been poking around the discernment process (I love that word, discernment) for a bit now, and have sussed out some direction from the ether. You’ve braved the quirked eyebrows (Divinity School? What’s that?), maybe even a few interesting queries/comments, depending on your interests and your background (for me, coming as a predominantly non-religious female from an extended-family of Catholics, this mostly coalesced around the assumption Oh, so you’re becoming a nun!).