I have now, as of 29 minutes ago, gotten through to the other side of all of my responsibilities that had piled up into about a 48 hour period. Phew! It's been great, but insanely busy. And I'm glad to be done with it all and able to breathe a little bit again. Able to write.
The Whirlwind Tour of History went really very well. I believe we managed to accomplish it in about the thirty minutes we had been allotted. Somehow, I think we were able to present the highlights (we called it the framework or the touchstones) of the history of worship in a way that would really help to serve the rest of the semester together. When we get to talking about eucharist or baptism, we'll be able to say--remember when we mentioned Justin Martyr's order of worship and how he talked about the sending out of the gifts to the widows and the poor? When we get to the pieces we will want them to learn, they will have heard about it once before. I think that's going to be invaluable.
I think a huge part of the success of the lecture was being able to use powerpoint to do it. The ability to highlight (literally, on the screen before the students), the most important phrases or idea made it all the more salient. More than that, though, the art work and images that were associated with the narrative gave the presentation a depth that it would not have had otherwise. To talk about the marvel of Hagia Sophia as the 'eighth wonder of the world' is one thing--but to read the quote: "We knew not whether we were on heaven or on earth," while displaying a glorious image of the apse with the sunlight streaming streaming through in golden beams, well, that's quite another. Also, to then talk about the way the space affected the performance of worship--that scripture started to be chanted in order for the words to be carried through the vast expanse of the building, while showing a picture with the people in it utterly dwarfed by the structure, it drives the point home. Suddenly it possible to see that the space itself affects our relationships with each other and our very conception of God.
In the afternoon I led my workshop on liturgical writing. And it occured to me at the end of it that my handout for the workshop would be a great start to a book proposal on this particular method I teach. So that's kind of an interesting thing to tuck away for future consideration.
This afternoon, then, I co-led in our Course Design class a session on bell hooks's Teaching to Transgress. That went pretty well, I think. Everyone seemed to be pretty happy with it. So, good. I was a bit dissatisfied, but that's a good thing, too.
Hmmm. This is a newsy entry. Can you sense the busy-ness of it all? I have more to write, but I need to getter dinner along!
Life is good.