Like I mentioned last time, it’s graduation week. So self-reflection ought to be at an all-time high. But, in a way, it really isn’t. It isn’t because, as has been the norm my whole graduate career, things seem to change slowly, bit by bit, like watching paint dry so you have a hard time noticing the Big Changes. And the big changes overlap quite a lot. So, while I may be officially graduating tomorrow, getting my diploma in the mail some time thereafter, and waiting patiently for my bound copy of my dissertation to arrive from UMI, I am simultaneously already working on revising the dissertation for publication; and what’s more, I’m already getting a new job.
I had the good fortune to meet my advisor-cum-boss this afternoon who confirmed that they’d like me to teach a class in the fall for Hongwanji ministerial students on “World Buddhism.” I’m still a little unsure what “World Buddhism” will entail, but it’ll have something to do with Buddhism outside Asia, America, the West, globalization, whatever. That’s all beside the point. The point being, of course, that I’m more or less officially on faculty here at the IBS. Which means I’m transitioning in a real and tangible way from “student” to “teacher” and “scholar.”
Or, as Darth Vader famously quipped before destroying Obi-Wan, “The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”
Which I guess is a little weird to say and all. You know. Because of the carnage. But, c’mon. Let’s face it. I may be a scholar, but at heart I’m still a geek.
At any rate, things for the next week (weeks, month, months, years) are likely going to be extremely frantic. I now have to develop a whole new course in addition to my Ryukoku kids; there’s still two conference papers to be written before November; another speaking invitation next week for BCA; half my family will be here tomorrow through the weekend; blah blah blah. Which really means I’ve got to stop wasting time on Wookipedia looking up Vader quotes and get busy.
That is, after all the appropriate celebrations this week, of course.