...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Monday, April 17, 2006

City of the Big Shoulders

Saturday, trying to avoid the inevitability of my two papers I had to write for Monday, I started researching graduate schools. My plan right now, if you held my feet to the fire and made me tell you, is to get a Masters either Religious Studies or Theological Studies, a PhD in something like Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, then teach. But I mean, I don't for sure. That's a whole other post. But Kugler told me the other day during an advising session that he thought I would flourish in academia, and man, I was over the moon.

So, Saturday I was researching the University of Chicago Divinity School, which is one of the most highly competitive and well-regarded (and demanding) programs in the country. Both Susanna and Paul, two Religious Studies faculty here at LC, got there MAs and PhDs there, which I guess is what put it into my head. I don't know. I love Religious Studies, but I wonder sometimes whether I have enough self-discipline to be a scholar.

I have no idea what graduate school will be like. I was pretty terrified, actually, listening to Kugler describe his graduate seminars with John Collins back at Notre Dame when he (Kugler) was working on his PhD in Biblical Studies: like three people in Collins' office, and they would each have a little snippet of biblical text and would be responsible for gathering all the scholarly work and exegetical material and rabbinical writings on that snippet and synthesizing it and knowing all of it, like, by heart. And these classes would go on for about five hours or something like that. Yikes. But then, I'm not too interested in Biblical Studies. If I get a PhD, it's defnitely going to be in something like SO/AN of Religion or History of American Religion or something like. Something more people-based.

It's funny, because when I was sure I wanted to go to Weston Jesuit Theological Seminar (which was based on one recommendation, once, from Kugler, and the fact that I'm pretty sure I could get a great scholarship), every fantasy I had about my future life, I cast on the backdrop of Boston. Before I bought clothes, I thought to myself, "Is this something I'll be able to wear when I live in Boston?" Anytime I'd read something in the news about Boston, I'd think, "That's where I'll live in a few years." And now, even though I haven't even requested information from the University of Chicago Divinity School or talked with Kugler about it or taken the GREs and I don't even know if I could get it...I find myself doing the same thing. It was cold today, okay, like practically freezing, and I thought, "Man, I'm probably going to freeze to death when I live in Chicago."