The Divinity School Strikes Back: the beginning of Year the Second

In describing this fall semester’s intended content, bear in mind that I am listing them in their order of importance to me, which is an important message in itself!

Maintaining and improving health

The post previous to this one here on my blog goes into detail about krav maga, the martial art I have taken up for the coming years.  That said, there are other components to my continuing plans for maintaining and further improving my health.  I lost 30 lbs this past summer due to hiking and eating carefully; but I also recognized that I need a more balanced workout for my core and upper body as well.  This is why I enrolled in krav and will stick to it (soreness, exhaustion, partially broken glasses this morning, and all!).  Beyond that, I will continue using  my Fitbit to log my steps per day and quality of sleep, as well as logging food consumed into MyFitnessPal; for me, that continuing data is a massive motivator over the short term, and is actually rather interesting to look at in retrospect, over the long term.  This loss of weight has necessitated the (lovely) problem of being too big for many of my clothes; as the one example in the photo section will show, I have slowly gathered Nerd-Shirts to tide me over until I reach the next size down as well.

Intended academic coursework

Coming in a at second tier importance, I can mention my intended coursework for the fall (thankfully, no longer including Elementary Koine Greek, which was, shall we say, not the right fit for me):

1) New Testament Interpretation I – taught by world-renowned NT scholar Adela Yarbro Collins, this is the first portion of a 2-class series giving an overview to the entire New Testament.  I expect it will be very similar to the Old Testament intro courses of my first year, but with a smaller corpus of work, there will be concomitantly higher degrees of specific information and analysis for each given text.
2) The Lutheran Confessions – one of my favorite professors at YDS thus far, William G. Rusch, taught us about Martin Luther’s life and thought this past spring; now, we are studying the Lutheran Book of Concord with a dual focus (understanding the 16th century context of the texts incorporation, and the meaning and significance of the work today).  My close Lutheran friends and I in the course are very excited about it!
3) Does God exist? – taught by John Pittard, a lecturer in the philosophy of religion, this course seeks to have several of the most important arguments for and against the existence of God get examined in their logical form and flow.  It seems that John is non-theist himself, but is striving to present a precise and accurate snapshot of the varying arguments strengths and weaknesses, so  this class should be fantastic.
4) Theology, Ethics, and Ecology – immediately after the headache-inducing “Does God exist” on Wednesdays, I go sit with Professor Willis Jenkins, in a joint Divinity and Forestry course that seeks to examine core issues surrounding Christianity’s different approaches to the natural world around us.  I am excited for this course as it should prove to offer solid conclusions about theology in the realm of the green’ing of our world and our buzzwords (both equally important, I have been told).

Computer-whisperer: continuing to work at Yale Law School IT

At the same time, rounding out my already-full schedule, I will be working part time at Yale Law School doing IT work, just as I did full time over this past summer.  The work will shift, of course, to predominately focus on assisting student computer concerns, but I will still be involved in working with staff and faculty.  While I hope to avoid any additional close calls with the watery depths at work in the future, it seems like the job should be quite conducive to my thriving – I can (and will) do homework when not helping students; I get to work with a great team of IT folks; and the tasks involved are engineering’esque (I get the task, can finish it, and then move on to the next one)… which is important to me, as I do much better when there is measurable progress to a job!  As such, I will continue to do what I seem to do quite well – speak with whichever agitated spirit(s) inhabit the laptops of law students, and coax them back to working order.

The  final score for the fall

The fall is extremely busy five 1-hour krav courses per week; 20 hours of work per week at Yale Law; and then 4 graduate courses which are all fairly reading-heavy and their attendant assignments.  Even so, I am moving forward upon a solid foundation of good (and getting-better) habits alongside schedule commitments I enjoy that involve people I love being around.  Finally, I will be sneaking in a post or two on my blog as I manage to sneak an electronics project or two into my life; from a phone server to a scratch-built home security system, keep your eyes out for the details as time goes on.

For more information on good habits being important to thriving, there is a concise and instructive case study entitled “Picking the right foundation: comparative benefits and weaknesses to home construction on rock, sand, and other surfaces.”  Words worth considering, if my positive changes are any indication!


A couple of random shots, from foam LAW-HAMMERS at work, to my Health Habit Allies, to one of the many Nerd-Shirts I now own and wear proudly!

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