Six Things that I’m loving about my PhD

by Anna Blanch on March 9, 2010

I’ve taken it upon myself to turn Nathan’s post today into a meme.  It’s a post titled “Six things that i’m loving about college” – by college he means Seminary (for your americans), it’s a Theological College in Australian terms. Feel free to consider yourself tagged. It’s been occurring to me just how far away from where I was 12 months I am right now – and not just physically. This time last year I was in the midst of an insane schedule with teaching, writing my MA thesis, my final coursework classes, waiting on hearing the results of applications, waiting on the birth of my beautiful niece, and preparing to say goodbye to friends, colleagues, and students as they headed off into their own sunsets and on their own fabulous, wonderful, and exciting adventures. But enough for me – here’s my 6 things.

1. The Roundel – my office is in one of the oldest buildings in town and is marked by a round tower. It overlooks the cathedral ruins and the 600 year old priorsgate! I only have to look out the window to feel a sense of place and history – it makes the sense that I’m in a place where so many have come before even more real. I also have great office mates (which helps) and an incredibly comfortable, well appointed place to work. I am so grateful to the department and the university for this! PS: I still owe Nathan my response to his meme on workspaces. I keep forgetting to take my camera to work, honest!

2. Theology and Literature – It’s what my PhD is in, but it’s felt like it’s taken my whole life to get to the place where I am ready to dig in to thinking about Theology and the Arts, about God and the literary creator, to marvel and think and ponder and tease out those things that link two of my favourite things in life. God and books. (what can I say? I’m a simple girl…..not). I am particularly loving the ITIA seminar I go to each week – my colleagues are talented and creative people – makes for stimulating conversation.

3. Trinity @ Holy Trinity – My church here in St Andrews. I am falling in love with the people in this little community. I feel refreshed, encouraged, challenged and humbled every week and it is awesome! Oh, and it’s pretty amazing going to church each week – the wonderful stained glass windows are a sight to behold and there’s just a little part of me that takes great encouragement from the immense heritage of faithful preaching of this church; that John Knox gave his first sermon there after his return from exile in 1559 kind of blows me away…

4. Accessibility of Public Transport – One of the things I found hardest about Texas was that I felt trapped by the lack of transport options. I have taken more trains than I can count and bus trips all over Scotland and England since I arrived in September. Not only is this great for my research, but I have a sense of physical freedom and I plan to continue to make the most of it. Did I tell you i’m going to Wales in May? I’m looking forward to that trip!

5. Flexibility of Time – I don’t mind working hard. In fact I think i am kind of predisposed to be a workaholic and it’s something I have to watch I don’t give into. But one of the things I am loving is finally being in a place where I can listen to my body and look after my mental and physical health. I am the most balanced and the healthiest I have been in years. There’s some good reasons for that and it isn’t just about being in a different place – it’s been a journey.

6. E.Nesbit – seriously. She is an interesting person. Makes my life so much more interesting too. Seeing as I read things she has written or about her alot…

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