Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal/Theological Notebook: Dissertation Writing, Class Planning, Friend Gabbing, Past Recalling

Ooof. I've been underground the last several days, doing dissertating stuff and preparing for the new Theology Through The Centuries course with Dan, who is also teaching a section of it. I've not totally sacrificed a social life, as I had dinner twice with the Lloyds over the last few days while working on this, and so we worked in some grown-up fun conversation over the meals, before the work of them putting down the kids and then of Amy ducking out so that Dan and I could talk course design. I tried to offer some payback for meals, like trying to keep my record going as "The Baby Whisperer" and going in and telling Owen it's time to lay down and to go to sleep. (Why it is that he simply agrees with me while fussing for his parents, I have no idea.)

Diane grabbed me as well for a Saturday night out at a great new Irish place in town, Brocach, which is apparently Gaelic for “badger den.” Holy cow was she right! Not only was the place just jumping with a younger crowd packed and waiting for tables, and not only was it was gloriously smoke-free (and thus authentically Irish) on the upper floor, but the place served the most delicious bangers and mash I've ever had. Diane had been almost deliriously excited in describing them to me, having visited the place the week before with Tim, and was very excited to introduce me to the place as well. The sausages, we were told by our knowledgeable waiter, were made by a little old man near Janesville who has his own specialty meat business. It was worth the effort. I only felt bad that the parking situation there on the curve of Water Street north of Trocadero is pretty bad. But we managed. After the high spirits of that food (with this meal, Diane finally admitted her vegetarianism had come to an end), the night ended at the Metro over port, as is becoming our habit, sort of slow in conversation and picking up as the hours wiled away.

The dissertation has been a stranger experience than I expected. I thought I'd be writing purely chapter 2 stuff over the break, but I found that I've been doing lots of "structural" writing, paragraphs of the program of the whole thing, scattered fairly evenly throughout chapters 2-5, and with a bit extra along the original writing plans for chapter 2. But I'm really happy with it, feeling like I have a grip on the overall project far better than I did earlier. I guess there was just a lot of brainstorming happening: I was extrapolating from what Sullivan himself has written on charisms and ecclesiology and getting a real vision for the wide possibilities for an ecclesiology of charisms – just the possibilities that such an ecclesiology has for giving a comprehensive theoretical language for the Church that we currently lack, I suspect, under all our different "models" of the Church that we use. It's been exciting, for me at least.

And I've been on a bit of an archiving kick since reading the journals over break that I mentioned earlier, and finding a forgotten, handwritten 1995-97 journal which was eye-opening. Along with my ongoing photography uploading/backup/archiving project, I've been tackling some movie/film archiving, too, and that's been fun to see such things for the first time in years. I've converted the few videotapes I have of things with friends to digital form, which is safer. I only lack a copy of A Celebration of Hope: Easter at Notre Dame, the music special we did for NBC. I gave my copy to Sushinsky because she never received her free copy, and she wanted her parents to see it or have it. I know Mom taped it when it was on: I'll have to check it out again.

Oh, I miss being around a crowd of friends who could (and did!) do this at the drop of a hat!

Tags: class-theology through the centuries, dissertation, ecclesiology, food, francis a. sullivan s.j., friends-marquette era, friends-notre dame era, milwaukee, musical, notre dame folk choir, personal, restaurants, teaching, theological notebook, travel-1997 ireland/northern ireland/uk, writing, youtube

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