Academia seems to be doing a bit of a comeback in my life and I am very pleased with it. I don't want to say things had become stagnant but I was missing some sort of a forward momentum in my life and the solution has come from a place as unexpected as it is expected - the academic world.
I have kept quiet about it until now as I wasn't sure this thing was going to work out well but now it's safe for me to tell about it - I decided to apply for the Doctor of Ministry program which will start in Newbold this spring. It's actually Andrews University program but they're cooperating with Newbold and all the studying will take place here in Europe (which is good as I am not exactly the biggest fan of America). I agonised over this decision for a while but then decided to give it a go. I wasn't sure at all I would be accepted because I wrote the required essays while on sick leave in March which means their quality was far below my average. I was not in a good shape. And then followed 1,5 months of silence which in the end I interpreted as not being accepted. But late on Monday night I received a glorious accepteance letter from Andrews. Which means my first classes will start in Newbold in three weeks time. Whooooop! Just the thought of being back to Newbold campus - even for a couple of weeks at a time - makes my heart so very glad. And I know some of Newbold lecturers will be teaching me which will make the whole thing even more special to me. Dr A. N. will be teaching, for example. And she has been waiting for my acceptance letter with almost as eagerly as I have. I told her yesterday I will be sitting in the first row in the classroom when she's lecturing, a student as eager as she ever saw! I get shivers when I think of it. :)
It's time for me to go back to school.
And it's funny, now that I think of it. I will finish my own lecturing for Newbold on May 8th when my Greek students take their final exam. And I will be flying to Newbold as a student on May 18th. Tell me about perfect timing.
And another thing. I have been sort of picked up by a very interesting organisation called Christians for Biblical Equality. They will have an international conference in Helsinki this coming August and I understood they were looking for someone from the Adventist church who could present there. They asked our former Division president who has been advocating gender equality in our church for a long time, but he couldn't go. So somehow - not quite sure how - they ended up contacting me. And now I have been in touch with them over the past months and have been scheduled to speak at that conference in Helsinki. I know it's not difficult to Google people these days, and we all do it, but I was still a bit surprised when they discovered my Diversity Lecture which I gave in Newbold some three (!) years ago and which is up on YouTube. And that's all about gender issue (from a linguistic viewpoint but still). So now the president of CBE has asked to have a private dinner with me in Helsinki as she wants to discuss a possibility of my contribution to a book they are writing. Very gracefully I accepted her dinner invitation. :) Whatever the outcome, I will need to do some serious research and presentation writing when in Newbold. Again I have to admit that the timing is perfect - there's no way I could consider participating in such projects if I didn't have the access to Newbold library every now and then.
So things have got moving again and I am very excited. It's an academic comeback!
Classical music has totally taken over. In my last singing class we watched Joice DiDonato with my teacher. Now this is on repeat.