24 May 2010

Bespoke Continuing Education

It seems after every Continuing Education event i have attended I always leave with the selfsame feeling: why did I sign up for this? I always end up looking at the bill for travel, food, and lodging only to imagine a week on the beach or in the mountains, or at home drinking coffee and going to museums in the afternoon. Then I always feel guilty leaving my family behind. Rather than do this again I decided on a week of sermon preparation, a full week of exegesis. But not the normal kind, my best ideas come from interaction with culture, both high and low.

This year I decided to tailor my own continuing education week. It began this morning on the dining table. I parked my bible, the official RCL book, my calendar, LSU football schedule, the Saints schedule, and my own eclectic assortment of dates. I then started plowing through to assemble my sermons for the remainder of the Summer, Fall, and into Advent. The idea is not to write sermons but to write down my ideas so I have adequate time for study, reading, and further investigation as I am trundle along. Day one completed and I feel good.

The rest of the week: museums, battlefields, cultural venues, sights and sounds of New Orleans. I will have my camera and my notebook scouring for ideas, pictures, metaphors and inspirations. I will also spend a day or two going through my box. That's right my box. I am notorious, in Lori's eyes at least, for cutting out newspaper articles, ripping out paragraphs from magazines, and scribbling down lyrics to songs on scraps of paper. In order to save my marriage I dedicated a special box for all of these collections. The box is quite full and need of having a look-see. Now that I have my major ideas down for sermons I can start matching stuff from the box with future sermons.

I doubt anyone will issue me a certificate for this, but come this Fall I will thank myself over and over for doing this when I did. I dont even want to confess how many sermons have been delivered knowing more could have gone into them, or wishing i had thought to read blank title or listened to such and such recording, or looked at this or that painting...


patrich said...

my suggestions:
1.National Cemetery. At Chalmette (on the Mississippi, about 5 m. E. of Canal Street), where the battle of New Orleans was fought in 1815, there is a National Cemetery, in which some 12,000 Union soldiers in the Civil War are buried.

2.Honey Island Swamp. It is one of the least-altered river swamps in the United States. Considered by many to be one of the most pristine swampland habitats in the United States, the Honey Island Swamp covers an area that is over 20 miles (30 km) long and nearly 7 miles (10 km) across, with 34,896 of its 70,000 acres (280 km²) government sanctioned as permanently protected wildlife area.

3.Liberty Monument. Little of history or tradition is associated with the American Quarter, with the exception of the former site (before 1900) of the Clay statue in Canal Street where Royal Street and St Charles Avenue begin, which was the scene of popular meetings in the Italian troubles of 1891; here, in Liberty Place, a triangle at the intersection of Canal, North Peters and Tchoupitoulas streets, on the scene of the fight of the 14th of September 1874 between conservative citizens and the radical authorities of the state, is a granite memorial called the Liberty Monument.

4."Home for the Incurables"

5.Margaret Haughery (1813–1882) was a philanthropist known as "the mother of the orphans".[1]

A woman of unsurpassed charity, Margaret became famed for her lifelong championing of the destitute. Countless thousands of all creeds considered her a living saint worthy of canonization. Born into poverty and orphaned at a young age, she began her adult life as a washwoman and a peddler — yet she died an epic businesswoman and philanthropist who received a state funeral.

Statue commemorating "Margaret" in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans

Carol said...

the ogden museum and the sculpture garden in city park!

g. travis norvell said...

Bill -- planned to go to the Chalmette sites tomorrow. finished a book on the battle of new orleans so I had a bit of an idea what was going on. the swamp sounds amazing - I think i will take my two oldest on that this summer. the other monuments I will include on thursdays venturing in the city.

Carol - going to odgen on Thursday - free for LA residents.

Michele Benson Huck said...

What an excellent idea. I am going to plan a week of continuing education for myself.

I love the phrase "having a look-see". People usually laugh at me when I use it, but I do anyway.

g. travis norvell said...

Michele - the C.E. week has been great. I couldnt get over how cluttered my mind had become with bad ideas. The week helped me purge them and replaced them with some better ones. Funny that you mentioned liking the idea, Lori said the exact same thing. She is now planning her own CE week in the Fall. I didnt even realize I said look-see, it is one of those ingrained phrases I use all the time; I wonder if it is peculiar to WV?

Bill -- did not make it to Chalmette or any of the other places you suggested. But I did meet a park ranger of Chalmette which promises a better trip when I do go out.