Here’s a rough sketch of my day-to-day life. On Monday through Saturday, I am up at 6:00 am. I brew two cups of coffee and read the Bible for an hour (I will talk about my Bible reading plan another time). John Stott, in his book, Between Two Worlds, said that a pastor should get used to working at least as hard as the members of his congregation and I figured that my time at seminary was a good time to start. When I’m done my Bible reading, if I have time I read aloud from my Greek and Hebrew Bibles in order to improve my skills there. At 7:30 I watch James for 15-20 minutes so that Arenda can have some private devotional time and then we eat breakfast together. At 8:30 I leave to walk to school. I love this morning routine; it’s my favourite part of the day. I have managed to keep it up every day since school began, minus Sundays, and I hope I can continue for the rest of the semester.
Normally, school goes from 8:50 to 12:25 with Thursdays off. On Mondays, however, we have chapel during the first block so all the classes that day get bumped up one block. This means that I have one class after lunch. Here’s the schedule I had today:
When I get home I have lunch for half an hour or so, then go upstairs to my study for the rest of the afternoon. The first thing I do when I get there is memorize my catechism for the day. I do one per day and also review the ones that I learned on that day from the previous weeks. For instance, I did Lord’s Day 1 on a Thursday. Friday was LD 2, Saturday LD 3, Sunday I took a break, and Monday LD 4. When I got to Thursday again I did LD 7 and reviewed LD 1. The following Thursday I got to LD 13 and reviewed 7 and 1. Today I learned LD 16 and reviewed 10 and 4. I do this because I am terrible at getting things from short-term memory to stick in my long-term memory. Unless I go over things again and again, I will forget them. Our catechism test is in November and we have to know LD 1-31. At this rate I will have them all memorized by the end of October, which should leave me with 3 solid weeks to run them through my mind repeatedly.
Catechism normally takes about an hour, less if I am focused, and more if I my mind is wandering to other, less repetitious, things. After that I will do my Hebrew and Greek exercises and then any other weekly assignments. Once the hand-in assignments are done I switch over to the weekly readings. Around 5:00 I go downstairs and play with James while Arenda makes dinner. We usually go outside and kick the ball around. It’s around 7:00 before I go back upstairs to study and I go until 9:00. For whatever reason, I can rarely work past 9. My brain simply turns to fog, I lose my concentration completely, and nothing sticks. I can work past then only on very special occasions, which means when I’m writing a big paper. Once or twice, but no more, every semester I will drink coffee without ceasing all day long and work well past midnight. I find that during these sessions I lose myself in the writing, the hours fly by, and I get a lot done. I also happen to get good marks on these papers, too. However, as mentioned I can do this only once or twice a semester and that’s because I pay a price. I’m a quivering, jibbering mess by the time I get to bed, and my jaw is sore from trying to chew through my teeth. I still feel like my veins are vibrating the next morning and I have no capacity whatsoever for any sort of academic work. Sometimes I play the guitar and let out some of the excess energy there, and sometimes I don’t and I just feel plain miserable. If it’s bad enough I start feeling ‘melancholy,’ as they used to say. A series of good nights’ sleeps will put things back in order but I don’t like to push myself too much in that department.
So like I was saying, my school day officially ends at 9:00. I usually stay up for another hour or so doing something light, like blogging, talking with Arenda, or reading something unrelated to school, and go to bed around 10.
As an added bonus, a Darlington Manor sunrise: