Well, I have finished term 3 and made it to the term break. Our semesters are divided into two terms, so the second semester (mid July to early November) consists of term 3 and 4. Usually we have only one week between terms, but this time we have two (hooray!). This is because two big meetings have come up and there would not be enough teachers for the classes. If school is on the students are expected to come sit in their classroom whether there is class or not. So it is a real waste of their time if the faculty aren’t around. We international teachers are going to the German/ English Missionary retreat and 4 of the locals are going to the National Pastor’s Conference which is nearby. I do think it will be a valuable experience for us teachers. However, it will be challenging to get all the topics covered with one less week of teaching.
I am very glad to have the extra week as I am WAY behind in my work. This includes both correcting papers and making lesson plans. This semester is the heaviest teaching load I have had and I had bronchistis for over a month. I am finally back to normal energy levels.
I am still enjoying my new class – Kain Kain Bilip- or what we would call World Religions in the US. I have really enjoyed introducing my students to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism (Daoism and Confucianism to follow). Now I want to go worship in these other traditions. I have only been to two synagouges, never to a mosque or Hindu temple.
My other classes are Church History pt. 1 (through the Nicean Creed), English 2, 4, and 5. I will be honest, I am starting to get tired of teaching English the way I have been. Next year I want to develop some more units that will be on interesting topics and nore hands one. I have made some progress in incorporating more theology into my teaching, such as reading about the beatitudes and increasing giving in churches. Now to incorporate more hands-on activites.
In the good news, my ability to speak Tok Pisin has continued to improve. The bad news is that I am called on to preach more. While it is good for me to get preaching experience, it is SO time consuming to have to write in Pigin. A wonderful thing did happen, I was asked to lead Holy Communion here at the seminary. Communion is rare and strictly for ordained clergy, With ordination being strictly for men here, some of the women pastors who come are never allowed to lead Communion.
Time to sign off. I plan to go to bed early tonight, then get up tomorrow and correct the Sios Histori (church history) tests.