This Week: April 16 - 22

Published: April 15, 2012

Calendars say much about people’s lives.  My calendar has many different blocks of varied colors on it, each of which is filled with information about where and when I am doing what at a certain time on a particular day. As the end of another semester approaches and I look back over my calendar and the school’s calendar, I am reminded of just how far we’ve all journeyed since January 1 when 2012 began. Lectures, workshops, classes, seminars, and many other activities season my January to April professional calendrical landscape. My personal calendar adds to those activities with notes about dinners with friends, travels to visit family in other parts of the state, garden planting days, and multiple other moments when I played or rested or simply embodied ordinary domestic rhythms.

What I find interesting about calendars is that in their various forms over many centuries they have all to some extent provided ways for human communities to connect to what they have deemed sacred or to the rhythms of creation even as they have provided a means for people to structure and manage their daily activities. Western time, the way we in the School of Divinity account for seconds, minutes, hours, and even days, was invented in the Middle Ages. Before that, sailors, farmers, priests, and kings measured time by the movements of the sun, moon and stars and created festivals on the cusp of seasons for harvest and planting. The Gregorian calendar that we in the U.S. follow today is itself quite old, predating, for example, the invention of the telescope and the mechanical clock. We should note as well that some religions continue, despite the dominance of the Gregorian calendar, to maintain for religious rhythms a connection to lunar cycles. Celebrations of the sacred, it seems, can and often do go against the grain of “the calendar as usual.” Indeed, mysterious dimensions of the sacred defy all calendars.

I invite us this week to look back over the semester and begin even now, as exams and commencement draw nigh, to celebrate projects well done, tasks completed, and goals met. I invite us, too, to take a moment to remember the stories and faces connected to the tasks and events recorded in our calendars. Calendars can spark for us gratitude for the people with whom we’ve journeyed through delightful or dreary days, for prayers answered, or for unexpected interruptions to our planned activities that brought to us graced moments, moments that perhaps are not recorded on a calendar but that live in our hearts.

Also, while we are on the subject of calendars, let me remind all of us of a few upcoming academic dates to remember:

REGISTRATION continues through April 30, 2012
Last Community Lunch: May 1, 2012
Last Day of Classes: May 2, 2012
Exams are May 4 – 9, 2012
The Spring Term Exam Schedule can be found here. 
Commencement Exercises: May 19 – 21, 2012
Summer Session I begins May 29, 2012
Summer Session II begins July 9, 2012


Blessings this week,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs





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