I’ve been on study leave this week, and pursuing projects under three categories:

Reading:  From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America, Christopher Finan, and In Between: Memoirs of an Integration Baby, Mark Morrison-Reed. Maybe a book on strategic planning in congregations too.

Spanish: Remember the old days of language lab? Now you get CDs with your textbook–much better. I keep the CDs in the car and do the exercises while I’m driving, but I’d gotten past the chapters that I’d studied, and didn’t understand the grammar the CD was trying to make me practice. So, I’ve gone back to the textbook to review the subjunctive, discover just how much basic conjugation I’d forgotten, and at last learn the imperative properly. That plus some vocabulary about clothes from the same chapter will help me practice with Munchkin as she’s getting dressed in the mornings. Together we’re going to become bilingual.

Cleanup: Okay, this probably doesn’t count as a study leave project. But it is a wonderful feeling. Joy threatened to throw out any of those old boxes of my stuff that were still in the garage come January 1. I welcomed the challenge, knowing I’d never go through them if I didn’t have a firm deadline. Some of them have made several moves with me, unopened; not surprisingly, most of their contents turn out to be completely unimportant. My spiritual guide as I decide what to keep and what to toss: an elderly man at church who said he had a dozen packed file cabinets in his house and never looked into any of them.