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Enjoy the Challenges of the Semester

Date: December 1, 2021

With Thanksgiving now over, we have the journey to the end of the semester. This can be a busy time for many of us. The Annual Fund always anticipates an increase number of gifts towards the end of the calendar year; students are writing final papers; professors are bracing themselves for grading all those papers; admissions is starting to pick up; and staff generally are managing the end of the semester.

In the 19th century, a Trade Union slogan was “eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours to do what we like with.” Work remains a massive part of waking hours. And in a lifetime, we only have eighty, perhaps ninety, Thanksgivings and Christmases. Time is extraordinarily precious. It goes quickly.

So how do we enjoy the challenges of our work and life? The Christian conviction is that one learns to live with a sense of gratitude for both the moments of ease and the moments of challenge. Waking up and saying “thank you for the six papers that I need to write in the next ten days” sounds strange. But slowly, it transforms our worldview and self-understanding. And the precious gift of time is lived through rather than wished away.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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