Tuesday, June 5, 2012

it all began with a burst

Duke Divinity School was not my first choice. After I was initially accepted to UNC's MSW program, that "feeling" within me led me to apply to the dual degree program. When I was then accepted into Duke's M.Div program, I tried to back out. However, UNC had planned on me being a dual degree student after being accepted into the dual degree program. When I called about trying to just go straight to UNC, they logistically said I could either do the dual degree program or take a year off and then go directly to UNC. Being the indecisive person that I am, I had no clue what I would do for that year off.  That "feeling" within also continued to tug me toward the direction of Duke as well. Despite my hesitations, I stuck with the program.

My first year at Duke was full of eschatological discussion and biblical exegesis. While I still struggle to see the applicability of what I am learning with what I want to "be when I grow up" - I know the "struggle" is okay.  After completing my first semester, I needed something to kindle my fire of why I was at Duke and a few second semester experiences aided in starting that fire again.  First, I took an amazing class - "The South in Black and White" - taught by Dr. Tim Tyson.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Dr. Tyson, he wrote a wonderful book called Blood Done Sign My Name.  I felt like that class just hit home with my passions and I learned so much.  Second, my interview for my field placement with Rhonda Parker offered me a breath of fresh air.  As a graduate student at Duke Divinity School, I am required to partake in two units of field education for my M.Div. program. In order to be placed anywhere, I must first interview with the office of field education at Duke so as to be "placed" somewhere for the summer.  During the interview with Rhonda, I was able to be honest about what I wanted and didn't want:  I wanted to work with veterans, prisoners, or in the area of end of life care.  I wanted a strong supervisor who could offer me constructive criticism.  I wanted to be anywhere outside of the Triangle.  I didn't want to be in a church.  I felt like Rhonda really listened to me - with my struggles, my desires for my future.  She in a sense offered me reassurance that being at Duke wasn't just for nothing.  I trusted that she would prayerfully place me somewhere that would offer me a good learning experience -- and she did!

 A few months after my interview, I found out that I would be in Nashville, Tennessee working at The Next Door. The Next Door is an agency that offers mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual support to women in crisis, equipping them with skills and tools for a life of wholeness and hope. Basically, I was thrilled upon finding out where I would be spending my summer. While I knew that the population of people I would be working with would be a challenge, I was ready to learn.

Well I feel like this is a good place to wrap up this first post!  So, please feel free follow this blog or my own field placement blog for updates on my summer at The Next Door.  If you have any questions, then feel free to leave them in the comments or send me an e-mail.


No comments: