Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: Take This Bread

This was quite a challenging read, mostly because I did not always agree with the author or her logic.  But the book stretched me in good ways; it made me less judgmental and gave me insights into new points of view.

The descriptions of her church in San Francisco are fascinating - made me want to visit!

This author takes us through her personal spiritual journey of discovery, helping us understand her background and the experiences that shaped her.

I've had many great conversations about the concepts in the book, including the notion of "open communion."  Miles' description of feeling accepted and welcome at the communion table were very powerful.  She associates food with family and love and considers the communion a somewhat mystical experience.

One of the best things about this book, is that Miles takes action - she opens a food pantry in her church and goes on to feed many throughout her neighborhood and city.  She puts her faith into action, caring for the needs of others.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Book Review

Fascinating historical account of the Chicago World's Fair in the 1890s.  This author did thorough research and follows 2 characters through the building and running of the fair, one an architect and the other a serial killer.  The descriptions of the buildings, landscape, and exhibits of the fair are fascinating.  The drama of the murders set against the determination of others to showcase the best of this great city provides an interesting contrast.

The book provides a great deal of background knowledge of the development of cities, structural aspects of building, and landscape architecture.  At the same time, it provides a glimpse of life in another era.

Larson was meticulous in his research and manages to provide a good read at the same time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Canvas of the Sky

Spring weather in Philly this year has provided many beautiful vistas with flowers, green grass, new leaves on trees, vibrant bushes, and ever changing patterns of clouds and sky.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reflections on Starting Graduate School

So, I find myself back in school after more than 25 years in the adult world of jobs, parenting, and being an ordinary citizen.  It is both exhilarating and exhausting.  We had an intense first weekend with over 31 hours classroom time in 3 days; someone likened it to drinking from a fire hose!  At times I wondered, 'what was I thinking?' and at other times I thought, 'I can do this.'

Now that I have done some writing and lots of reading, I feel a bit more prepared ... I think that this is a goal that I can accomplish.  Go Cohort 41 - our goal is 2014!  Don't lose sight of the end result - new skills that will be valuable in whatever nonprofit we serve.  I am not so intimidated as I was just a few weeks ago.

One phenomenon that I found frustrating, until I had an "aha" moment, was the tendency of the profs to go from the general to the specific - sometimes over a period of days.  I would hear the big picture and think, 'that's great, but I need to know x ...'  Once I saw the pattern, I was able to relax a bit and trust that all my questions would eventually get answered.