All at once it seems I’ve hit my groove here. For the heck of it, in this silent reading room at the library, I just broke the silence with a knock on a wooden desk because you never know when a little superstition might come in handy. The funny thing is that it is following a most frustrating occurrence that I feel confident in this assertion.
I came straight to the library after my afternoon Bonhoeffer class to inquire about the whereabouts of a certain book I requested from Interlibrary Loan for the purposes of working on my final paper for my Bonhoeffer class. I had received an e-mail last Thursday afternoon, back when I was stuck at the coffee shop, saying that the book was in. I came in the very next morning, after my Friday class, at 11 a.m., and the book was nowhere to be found. The student worker could not figure it out. I decided to come back on Monday when a non-student employee who has been helpful to me in the past would be sure to figure it out for me. So that is what I did… and this non-student employee was stumped, he did some computer research and discovered that the book had been SENT BACK on Friday afternoon because it had not been claimed. He couldn’t figure out what had happened so he sent me upstairs to the ILL office to inquire. They were dumbfounded, books are never returned unless the student checks them out and then returns them. This didn’t make any sense. So they graciously and apologetically put in another request for me adding a note that it was needed because the book had been “rudely and prematurely” returned before student acquired it. Now that is harsher language than I would have used, but… yeah. That is what happened. If I had been a slacker and ignored the e-mail for three weeks, or even a week, I’d understand, but I came something like 18 hours after I received the e-mail, at my first opportunity. I don’t need the book IMMEDIATELY, but I need it a.s.a.p… having to work ahead because baby’s a comin’… and I was politely received so… it was a glitch, a mistake- no big deal. Even though it is frustrating.
But there’s something about experiencing and navigating a minor glitch like this that makes me feel like I’ve arrived. And therefore is strangely satisfying.
But perhaps this is just because this follows on the heels of my Bonhoeffer class in which I felt like I was following and clicking and grasping far more than I have to this point. I was able to ask relevant questions and participate meaningfully in a most satisfying way. That said, however, there was a moment in Bonhoeffer today that could have been frustrating, but for some reason I just took it in stride. Explaining the details of the experience will be of no interest to anyone, but basically the result is that I have to have complete the TWO once a semester assignments for this class (a 30 minute lecture, and theses for disputation) that most people have spaced out by weeks ON THE SAME WEEK. This all worked out because another student (who delivered a very effective lecture today) had a particular desire for when he would do his next assignment and my desire to avoid double work on a week conflicted with his desire and so a coin was flipped and thus it falls. But… friends… I took it in stride. I named for the class the result, but said “It is what it is.” The fact is I do have piled up work this semester because I’m cramming a whole semester into a condensed time period, and I had been given the advantage of getting to pre-request my weeks for leadership because of the pregnancy, so one advantage is paired with one disadvantage. It seems only fair. And I already read and annotated the book so I have a head start. The fact that I was able to receive an awareness of this heavy load and not panic or hyperventilate seemed further confirmation that I have arrived.
Then again it was in an exceedingly frustrating session meeting (remember that night, Little Mary?) that my call to ministry was clarified. Maybe I’m just a masochist.