General Terms and Conditions

Reports and musings from a seminarian at General Theological Seminary, New York City.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm back!

Life has been crazy. Beyond the constant reading, studying, and paper-writing, I have had lots of company here in my one-bedroom apartment. Don't get me wrong--I loved having them all, but it meant that there was little or no time for anything else.

So, I have a lot to blog about. Where to start? Well, I'll go chronologically.

The map quiz went well -- I got an A! I also got my Silence paper written, and it was well-received. My parents arrived on Wednesday, September 27, and we had a great visit. They seemed to enjoy seeing the seminary, and meeting my new community. Certainly the highlight of their time here was matriculation.

On Thursday, September 28, following evensong, we, the new students of The General Theological Seminary, participated in a ceremony almost as old as the seminary itself: matriculation. As those in attendance sang St. Patrick's Breastplate ("I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity...") each of us signed into an almost 200 year old book, containing the signatures of the vast majority of those who have studied at GTS. It was sobering and awe-inspiring. Afterwards, a festive dinner was the occasion to celebrate our inclusion in this community. A picture is promised -- when I have it, I will try posting it!

On Friday, September 29, Mom and Dad and I went to see an off-Broadway play -- Asylum: The Strange Case of Mary Lincoln. This musical (!) was, indeed, the story of the year that Mary Lincoln, widow of President Abraham Lincoln, spent in a mental institution, committed by her only living son, Robert. It was more successful than you might imagine, but it was still odd. The music was mostly uninspired, and the lyrics were amateruish. But the story was compelling. It was an interesting, if not inspiring, night of theatre.

We also wandered around lower Manhattan and did a lot of visiting. It was great to have Mom and Dad here and show them this new world. I am sure they will be back.

The following Monday was the occasion for our class chapel prank. A long-standing tradition at GTS, chapel pranks are an opportunity for a class to grow closer and to create its own identity within the larger community. It is a tradition that the first chapel prank of the year must be conducted by the new Junior class. We were pressured to get our prank done quickly, as the Seniors wanted to conduct their prank (which would kick off a fund-raising project they are undertaking -- but that's another story).

But what to do? We discussed at great length, and decided that we would conduct a pep rally for the GTS (touch) football team, The Penguins, slated to play our rivals, the Virginia Theological Seminary Friars. We outfitted the chapel with spirit signs (i.e., "Penguins Rule!" transcribed in Greek), distributed pom-poms and footballs to the faculty (for their procession into the service), and sang "Touchdown, touchdown for Jesus." Our piece-de-resistance (sp?) were three radio-controlled cars, with stuffed penguins strapped on, joining in the procession. It was a great hit.

There is more to report--the visit of my brother and sister-in-law; attending Beauty and the Beast starring Donny Osmond; a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the visit of Partner; and Barbra Streisand in concert! Stay tuned...