It has been a crazy couple of weeks. As of today, I have been a Vancouverite for one amazing week. And before we even dive into all the feeling stuff, let's just have a moment of mountain porn, shall we?:
Ah. That's better. I can't even tell you how much I love being near the mountains again.
Anyways, I cannot get over how drama free the move and transition into the city has been. The flights? All on time. The bags? All arrived. The study permit? Granted without any problems. The procurement of shelves and various household goods? An IKEA magically appeared. Getting to across the border and back with all of my stuff in one piece from Greyhound? No problems. Moving everything up into my apartment and breaking down all the boxes? Finished in no time flat. Truly, I felt like the whole process was blessed.
And let's also take a moment to marvel at my wonderful parents. Their love languages really shone through this whole process- planning and "doing." My mother is the world's most prodigious planner and she set her skills to work in full force for the trip, handling all the little details so that everything would come off. My father shows his love through service to people... and considering that this man has moved me TWICE in 30 days, I can certainly say that I feel very loved. He, however, is not impressed:
I did have a bit of a cry when my parents left, but other than that, I have been so surprised at how little this change has upset my equilibrium, especially compared to my move to DC. I suppose that's because I've done this before - I've moved somewhere where I didn't know anyone and made it work. I've also been traveling so much in the last year, I think I've gotten much better at just taking change and a lack of stability in stride... and I've just gotten to a place since the beginning of this year where I don't have anxiety about much. Certainly there are moments of tension or fear and when I let them build up, I end up needing to have a good cry. But overall, things don't get me down so much as they used to. I think they call that growth...
Plus, I have moved into an amazing community. This week has been my orientation at Regent and I have simply been blown away. I'm sure I will continue to have my mind blown over and over again for the last three years but there are a few thing that have especially bowled me over this week:
1. The emphasis on thinking/learning over "information download." The professors who have spoken at orientation have all emphasized over and over again that they are not interested in what was, frankly, my undergrad experience: the consumer/product mentality of modern education. Students are consumers who are expecting to get a compact product of digestible knowledge that will result in a high grade. At Regent, they are not interested in making sure you have perfect grades, but rather that you are engaging with the material.
2. The focus on community and growth within that context. Nearly all the "marquee" name professors not only made an appearance at this week's sessions, but were integral presenters and interacted with us newbies throughout the week. They all clearly know and like each other a lot and they all clearly want to know their students as fellow members of a community, not as faces in their classes. The older students were also really involved and there has been such a warm welcome to this group life. They all have focused on the idea of transformation through your time in school and how that is informed by your place within the larger group.
3. The lack of specified purpose for most of the students. I was expecting a lot of pastors to be in my class... in reality, I have met few people who are planning to go into full time ministry. Most people are here for a messy nest of reasons and may or may not have a narrow vocational end in mind. This is great for me, since I'm in that camp and in good company! It's also really encouraging to me that they emphasis this mix as one of the strengths for those who are going into full time ministry, because they won't have been isolated with other like-minded people. They will have been engaging with the people they will be serving throughout their education.
Whew. I can't even process all the interesting, crazy stuff from this week. And now I have to get on my readings for class. Yikes! This is really happening!