So I wake up on Labor Day, the last day before the real first day of school. (The days of so-called orientation don't count.) I am anxious, for sure, but I also had an encouraging dream.
I am anxious because I am not confident that I can manage the doctoral program. I learned well certain school-going habits as a small child that will have to be unlearned if I'm going to make it to the STD. These were a matter of survival at the time, and so I don't have any grudge against myself about them, but like many survival strategies we learn along the way, they have become maladaptive in later circumstances.
In the midst of this worry I've been having some rich dreams, full of people and places and teachers and schools from the past. As I was praying through some of it this morning, one moment seemed particularly revealing. I was with one of the professors whose disciple I hope to become this year. He had a son with him, maybe four or five years old. The child was babbling like an infant, full of syllables and seeming just on the edge of true speech. "He can almost talk," I said to the professor. It was the joy of the dream to announce it.
In my prayer I realized that the kid was probably me. By the discernment of the friars and the generosity of our benefactors, the transformation to speech is offered to me. If I can overcome what keeps me from working as hard as I can and if I can make myself a fruitful disciple of my professors, perhaps I can become a bearer of coherent theological speech, a doctor.