Soooo... there's just been too much happening for me to offer my daily updates during my Duke intensive the same way I did last time. It feels so different this time around, although I'm still awed by the privilege of having this experience. Last time I was overwhelmed by being away from home for 8 days, the enormous amount of reading, the beauty of the campus, and meeting this diverse collection of colleagues for the first time. This time I am only here for 6 days, I've learned the fine art of skimming, and I was greeted by my colleagues-friends with excitement and hugs. It's only day two and I have literally laughed until I cried while clutching my stomach, as well as experienced what it means to be accepted in the beloved as we pray for and encourage each other. I am so appreciative of each and every one of the unique personalities that make up our cohort. I also had fried pickles for the first time and I am hooked! They are quite possibly the tastiest and most unusual indulgence I've had in quite some time. I think I'm in love.
I'm also in a much better hotel this time, one that's a part of the Marriott Hotel brand. If you remember that sad little room I had last time, be happy for me that I have much nicer accommodations. I decided that roughing it in a sketchy hotel did NOT have to be a part of the DMin experience, and thankfully my colleagues agreed. A good number of us are here and now we are able to gather comfortably over the yummy array of complimentary breakfast items in the morning.
My classes are interesting, although not nearly as exciting last semester. This is not a criticism of my new instructors by any means. It's just really hard to beat the shocking candor of Bishop Willimon and the unbelievable wealth of biblical scholarship offered by Dr. Chapman. Unfortunately there won't be any beautiful pics of Duke's majestic campus because it is simply too cold. Trust me though, it's still majestic! Yet as I drove onto the campus from the airport I immediately felt a much different feeling than the first time- like I was on familiar ground. So glad to be back.