Yesterday was Pentecost and my church had the first in real life service since the Pandora started, which as a seminarian, I shoulda gone to, but some lesbians I know were gonna canoe down the Shenandoah and I was invited, so I did that instead. This was an incredibly easy decision. I haven’t completely quit on the local ELCA, but I’m also leaning toward starting a freak church with the same dykes I went on the river with. And the river was great. We did seven miles and saw a veritable shitload of animals. The turtles were thicker than fiddlers in hell – standard woodland box turtles, sitting on logs and rocks. They slid off into the water when we got close. We also saw one big snapping turtle, big around as a trash can lid, on a log. We got right up close to that one – snappers don’t flee because they are fuckin’ monsters. This particular one had claws like roofing nails and just stared at us like it was hopin’ we’d get close enough to bite off a piece. Also saw scads of ducks with their ducklings, geese with their goslings, blue herons, one snake that swum under us, a variety of fishes. We spotted a couple fishing poles on the river bottom – I was able to hook one with the handle of my paddle and pull it up – I don’t fish, but one of the women was pretty happy with that score. And even though we slathered on the sunblock, we all got sunburned on our shoulders and thighs. That’s just gonna happen.

All and all, a great day on the local waterway, the beautiful Shenandoah. I’m truly grateful that God planted me here in the best part of Virginia.

You may’ve noticed that I referred to meself, in the opening sentence, as a seminarian. I am able to do this because I got word from the seminary I applied to that they have accepted my application. I will begin classes in August.

Of course, that is conditional on me completing the requirements that I need to finish my BA. So I went through the tedious process of applying to the community college where I got my Associates, registering for the first classes I saw that would tick the boxes and dumping $1100 into the higher education scam, with another $700 payment scheduled in June. Friends, I am 5fucking2 years old and I have never needed to know the steps in the scientific process, but they expect me to commit this worthless info to memory. Fortunately, the system they have in place to prevent cheating on tests is about as secure as a screen door so I can just cheat my way through.

Does it seem wrong or immoral to cheat on tests in college? I dunno – does it seem immoral to force someone to pay $1800 to get a few boxes checked on a form? So they can go on to memorize other useless information at a different institution that has raised it’s prices 300% over the past few decades even though minimum wage has barely shifted? How many hundreds of dollars do you think someone should be forced to pay for the privilege of reading “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and pretending that it has any value whatsoever, for the second or third time? (Flannery O Conner was one suckass writer and I don’t care what anybody else thinks.) Higher education is a scam. One of the things I have on my agenda, if I ever do get ordained, is to start agitating hard for changes in the ELCA’s educational requirements.

I might not cheat. I pretty much know all I need to know to get a “C” in all the classes I’m taking and that’s all that matters. If I don’t have to, I won’t bother; if it seems necessary, I will. There is no “wrong” thing to do in a system that is wrong.

But anyhow, I’ve got three classes and all summer to do ’em. Then I gotta write a bullshit paper and take a history test. If I pass all that, I get a BA that doesn’t matter to me and then I start seminary. Hopefully, something there will be interesting, but there’ll surely be a lotta boring shit. Weird Christian Twitter has been debating about Paul the Apostle for a coupla days and I truly do not care. I’ve figgered out my own stance on Paul and I’m happy to not give shit one what other people think.

Tomorrow, I’ll start a painting gig at a local children’s space. I’ve been taking my kid there since they was a toddler and at some point, I started picking up work. This is kinda funny –

I was out at a swimmin’ hole one day last week, shifting rocks around. I like to build dams in creeks and this particular hole depends on there being a dam, which gets knocked down every spring by the run-off from the mountains. So I build it back up and I shift out a lotta rocks that get into the hole, making it bigger and deeper. This is fun for me and it makes the place nicer for other folks. So while I was doing that, I was thinking about the $1800 that I had to pay for the classes. I’d checked my bank balance and I had about $1850, so I was in a predicament financially. Pay for classes and trust that I’d get the money for my mortgage by the 1st? Or commit to putting seminary off? So there I am, shifting rocks, thinking about this, and the phrase comes into my head – They do not go unrewarded whose work is for God. Hm.

Next day, I called the college, found out I didn’t have to pay it all; my final check from the shelter went into my account; and I got a text asking if I could do some painting. So my financial troubles were not real. It all just fell into place. That kinda thing happens when I am doing what God wants me to do.

So anyway. Tomorrow I’ll paint, talk with the kid, and then check out the syllabus for the Intro to Literature class that I gotta slog through.


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