penThere’s just not enough time. Certainly not enough time to regularly update this journalic space at least. Currently I am busy trying to write my chapter two, and I’m well and truly in the “midst” of it, but not far enough to see the end of the tunnel. In effect I am harrowed, confused and rushed. My goal is to finish my chapter two by the end of this month, but there is so much to be done till then that I can’t even say at the moment whether it is a realistic goal or not. Needless to say, there’s not much time to write my reflections on my own academic journey in this blog. At least not yet.

But I need to give a quick update: even if it is to collect my thoughts.

1. I presented a paper in the McGill Graduate Student conference few weeks ago. The title of my paper was: “Ritual is not religion: Exploring Balagangadhara’s proposal for understanding the ‘east'” The presentation went quite well. It was a relief that I didn’t have to submit a paper in advance (so I was editing my presentation) during the conference!!! It was interesting that I got a similar reaction as the one I got in SAIACS… people not willing to abandon strongly-held beliefs about ‘religion’ (and ritual). But still it was a good experience.

2. I also attended a Theological Studies Graduate Students Conference at Concordia. (Partly because my Concordia classmates were presenting or organising it). The theme was “Theology outside the classroom”. And it was quite interesting, actually. More than I expected. No time to point to what exactly was interesting… but the paper themes included “The Green Bible”, “Sensory Services in the Emerging churches”, “Personhood and Disability”… and so on.

3. My final class on the “Method of Theology” using Lonergan, at Concordia University, is next week, Monday. Along with final presentations, there is also a pot-luck dinner. Hmm, somethings don’t change, regardless of culture!

4. I had a formal meeting with Dr. John Vissers, principal of The Presbyerian College, where we discussed many issues including those related to my dissertation. It was really nice talking with a “theologian”, and also nice being challenged and appreciated. I will be meeting with him again next week. Looking forward to it.

5. I am also slated to meet Professor Kirby, the Church Historian at McGill university. Prof. Kirby has extensive knowledge on early church history, especially Augustine, and some of his thoughts may be helpful for my work. It’s so great that he was willing to spend some time with me (subnote: the faculty here, really seem willing to talk. And though you have to book an appointment in advance, and sometimes weeks in advance, they are still quite willing to help students. Really good).

6. I also attended my last Doktorklub at McGill. It was on the 19th century debate in English theologians/philosphers between historicity and doctrine. Some good ideas shared.

7. The second-last chapel in The Presbyterian College, was on “Thou shall not steal” focusing on a broadening of the category of stealing to include deception etc. Thus, advertisers and tele-marketters, were included in the warning.

8. I’m in the process of booking tickets to return to India. But it’s quite complicating choosing an airline, considering that not all airlines accept the luggage size that we have. One airlines is even refusing to carry our size onto the plane! So hopefully that will get sorted out soon. Don’t need this distraction.

9. Also, winter has ended. But spring has not begun. So it’s cold and rainy. What kind of weather is that wintspring? At least now I know what it is like to live in England!

And so that’s it for now. Back to work.