“Mommy, I need to go to the potty.” That was the statement our four-year-old daughter made repeatedly throughout our eight day journey across the country in August 2012. She resisted leaving Seattle, the only home she knew, and all of her close friends, especially her best friend from across the street. The only thing that motivated her to get to Cambridge was the brand new Curious George store that had just opened in Harvard Square. Continue reading
No milestone ever fully marks the completion of a journey, and development doesn’t stall out when a child reaches her adulthood. I had begun mothering and pastoring at the same time, both ministries of ephemeral moments that are over in a flash, fist steps and first sermons. The work of parish ministry—worship, discipleship, and pastoral care—all disappear in a weekly cycle, along with the hours spent in preparation. At times, the densely packed milestones of child development felt so close at hand, while my own development sometimes seemed like a distant memory. I knew I needed to grow. In the middle of my career, and the middle of my parental journey, it was time to prepare for the next stages. HDS has been a place of tremendous growth of the intellectual framework of my ministry. Continue reading
“Don’t be afraid to let yourself be human, Jen.”
These wise words from one of my HDS advisors have come back to me again and again throughout my second year here at HDS. Throughout my time here, I have experienced firsthand that while HDS is full of some of the most talented and highly productive people you may meet, it is also grounded in an incredibly supportive community. Over our three years of Divinity School in the MDiv program, we are asked, constantly, to do it all: complete multiple intensive, transformative internships; read more pages than ever possible each week; develop strong and lasting relationships with friends and colleagues; network and realize our future plans; go to all of the lectures and all of the events taking place across this great university. The opportunities for education and exploration truly are endless here, not to mention the amazing people you’ll meet along the way.
My path to Harvard Divinity School was circuitous at best. Waylaid from my eager graduate school plans after college, I found myself falling in love and getting married, spending several years taking care of my terminally ill mother, and getting further entrenched in Buddhist practice. While I loved my job working with college students at my alma mater, I knew that somewhere between Buddhism and counseling there was another career path waiting for me. Continue reading
Academics, Admissions, Alumni, BTI, Classes, Clubs, CSWR, Field Ed, HBS, HGSE, HKS, Housing, MDiv, MIT, Noon Service, Ph.D., Pluralism Project, Prospective Students, Research, Student Life, Thoreau, UU, Work-Study
As I was learning about HDS through the website and preparing my application, I started imagining what it would be like to actually be there. If you’ve applied for the Fall, I bet you’ve wondered that, too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably anxious to hear back from Admissions in mid-March and wondering what to do with yourself until then. The anxiety was nightmarish for me, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming. I mean, if you’re gonna worry about the worst possible outcome, you may as well imagine the best, too, right? So stay positive and start visioning.
“Embrace mediocrity.” These were the last two words that I expected to hear at the introductory student led panel on my first day at Harvard Divinity School. To put it lightly, I was a bit scandalized. I was sitting in a beautifully ornate chapel about to begin my degree program at Harvard, of all places, and a second year student was telling me to embrace feelings of mediocrity. Continue reading
Monday, January 27th, 2014 was my last first day of school. I woke up, wished my roommate and fellow-3rd year MDiv a “Happy Last First Day of School!”, and prepared myself for a whirlwind progression of events: a phone meeting with my future employer, a class I was shopping on Apocalyptic Literature, work as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Career Services, class at the Graduate School of Education, a quick break for dinner, and a live webinar conference course jointly offered through HDS and the Harvard Extension School. Continue reading
Walking to the first day of Orientation at HDS last year, it was raining and I had missed the turn I was supposed to take to get to campus. On top of being mildly lost, I was mentally preparing myself for the possibility of awkward ice breakers (which are the worst) and a week of feeling overwhelmed by too many extroverts trying to make conversation at new student mixers when all I would want to do is hang out near a wall—preferably by the food. My rain boots padded along the sidewalk as I looked around the unfamiliar streets hoping to successfully retrace my steps back to where I was supposed to be. Fortunately, this isn’t a metaphor for life at HDS: I haven’t spent the last year lost and confused as I tried to navigate my way through academia and discerning my future vocation. Continue reading