One reassuring feature of the Deans' Table last week was that the reports from the classes were positive. This is normal for this time of the year. We are returning from the delights of a summer away. We are refreshed. And the processes of learning are exciting and good. Typically, we flow out of these initial weeks into the experience of Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Normally this is a good semester.
When we return for the winter/spring semester, things are much harder. The weather is cold; the days are short; and we are moving out of Epiphany into Lent. Trust me, the church calendar is organized around the weather systems of the northern hemisphere. By late February, we are all miserable. And so we should be. We are marching through Lent.
A consciousness of the shape of the academic year and the church calendar is helpful. We enjoy these weeks as we ease into an - admittedly rather damp - Fall. So live into those weeks. But as you do so, do please anticipate and recognize that February is going to be much harder. This is the pattern. It is worth learning. It shapes ministry for the rest of your lives.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President