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 powells.com.
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.