Monday, November 12, 2007

Insatiable Curiousity

I am decidedly in need of intellectual stimulation. My psyche still hasn’t caught up to the all-too-obvious and more than a little painful fact that I am no longer a student, living a life full of lectures and readings, papers and theoretical discussions.

My attempts to fill the void are many and varied, but generally unsuccessful. I’ve turned straightforward data research into a theoretical exploration of the meaning of ministry in the Church of the Brethren. I’ve dissected Sunday sermons, commented on blog posts, devoured facebook notes, and spent quite a bit of time reading newspapers online. My library card is already a bit worn after only a month in this town, and if it weren’t for the discovery of the treasure trove that is the Brethren Historical Library and Archives in the basement of my office building, I’d certainly be spending the entirety of my very tiny living stipend buying books at

Even with all these projects and possibilities, I miss going to lectures, taking notes, and arguing theology into the wee hours of the morning. I know, I know. I am an incredibly huge nerd. Nothing illustrates that point more than this morning’s events.

The offices are getting a new kitchen floor, and since the old floor contains asbestos, the building manager called a building-wide meeting to inform us about the process of asbestos abatement. There was free lunch afterward, and most of my fellow volunteers (and, I’m sure, the paid staff) attended solely for the pasta bar. Free food was my initial motivation, too.

But. The representative from the asbestos removal company started talking about what asbestos was, how the process would take place, and what we could expect. Sitting there at the lunch tables, all of our attention focused on this one man – who actually held lecture notes in his hands – I fought an intense urge to get out a pen and start taking notes. About ASBESTOS. (Well, admittedly, it is kind of interesting…Did you KNOW that asbestos has been around since the Roman empire? That it’s used to fireproof battleships and Bunsen burners? That they have to use 6-ply plastic to seal off the area for the removal process?)

This is ridiculous. Pitiful. Incurable. I am a student. And my poor deprived brain is so hungry for someone to stand at the front of a room and tell me interesting things, connecting dots and weaving theory, that it will fall for even this. I will pay attention, note insignificant detail, and fight off the urge to take neatly outlined notes of a perfunctory presentation on the environmental hazards of building-wide ASBESTOS REMOVAL.

Maybe I should be looking into PhD programs, after all.


Karen said...

Or, perhaps, you could see that life itself is a wonderful lecturer if you but focus on it. That incredible mind of yours doesn't need to sit at a desk with pen in hand to learn. But hey, if a Phd it is, then go for it! :)

Leah said...

asbestos is a real problem. it is actually interesting, for some *ehem*, even if not for masters of divinity....

you're welcome to visit bburg and sit it on some lectures here....even some HUGE ones with freshmen if you're interested. im sure youd fit right in with the all-too-interested freshmen, diligently taking detailed notes on how to fill in the scantron sheet, or what exactly is plagiarism....

Erin Miller said...

or ... you can write some Advent lessons for me. e-mail me. I'd love your perspective! I'm serious if you're interested.