I gave my Public HR presentation last night and we got our take home final. It's pretty much what I thought it would be - stuff like building a compensation plan, creating performance reviews, etc. It won't be especially difficult; more time-consuming than anything else. It's due May 9.
My Research Methods presentation is May 8. That involves a pre-ordained layout and order of slides handed down by the professor. I have those nearly finished except for some final tweaks here and there.
My papers are due May 14 for HR and May 15 for RM. Our RM professor will, if you turn it in to him, redline your paper and give it back to you so you can make revisions before turning in the final product. I chose to avail myself of that option and, holy cow, is he...thorough. It's really a good thing because it's helpful critique that makes me become a better writer and student but as with anything you write, there is always that "My baby! Dingos ate my baby!" when you first get something back and see red all through it.
After May 15th, I will be done until June when I take two classes in summer school. The title of one of my books is "Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector". Doesn't that sound exciting?
I'm still (hah!) working my way through "Still" by Lauren Winner, interspersing it with a Bonhoeffer book. I was reading a section today where Winner talks about how she is fine with being alone which she regards as peaceful, but hates being lonely, feeling she must somehow fill up the moments so she doesn't experience loneliness. A friend of hers suggested she should try "staying in" the loneliness even for a short period of time - five or ten minutes - to see what it might bring her. As she writes, "Sit with the loneliness and ask what the loneliness has for you."
I read that and thought "huh". I think sometimes we (generic we, y'all) get so caught up in what we think we should be doing for God or what we think should be the outcome of something God has asked us to do, that the unexpected outcome or the not-so-great end takes us by surprise. We then spend time and energy trying to right what we feel has come out wrong or trying to find/move on to the next thing so we don't have to investigate the unexpected and what that might mean. Perhaps that's one of the times God has something in particular He wants to teach us or show us. If we move away from it because it's uncomfortable or unfamilar, seeking something familiar or expected instead, we might be missing out on something we need, that God wants to share with us.
There are things in my life that I am fine on "being alone" with. I've made peace with them and better understand that this is how God made me. Yet there are still things in my life that I would put under the "loneliness" column, where I rush around or try to affect an outcome...or just do anything to avoid sitting down with that thing (whatever it may be) and being alone with it. I think part of me is so used to trying to stay busy when those thoughts or issues come up that it's almost a habit. The idea of sitting down with the things I'm still struggling with and giving over my (illusion of) control over them, replacing it with trust and learning to be okay with the idea that these things, ideas, beliefs...whatever need to be what God wants them to be rather than what I want them to be is scary. But if I keep holding on to what I want, what I think should be, am I missing opportunities to move forward and become more of what God wants me to be?
Even with all its doubt and angst, have I somehow made being lonely a more desirable state than being alone?