Today was the first day of the last "quadmester" of Year 3 of rabbinical school. My class spent the past two days taking stock of where we came from, where we've been, and where we are going. It dawned on us that things are about to change. After this quad, we'll scatter for the summer. Several classmates are going to Jerusalem for a year. Another is moving to the east coast. The education students are graduating. And those of us who remain will have choices about our classes. We will have electives from here on, and there will be no more of the long days in a room all crammed together.
Those of you who have been following my adventures since Summer 2002 may remember that I wrote from Jerusalem that we'd become like a bunch of siblings. We studied together, we spent most of our waking hours together, and in that first year or so, we squabbled periodically. (OK, we squabbled a lot.) We've logged a LOT of hours together. Somewhere along the line we quit squabbling (mostly) and became more than just a class. We're not rabbis yet, we're at some interesting place in not-quite-land.
I'm coming up on a personal milestone, too: in a few days, I turn 50. I am absolutely certain that the person I was at 30 wouldn't even recognize me today. It makes me wonder what 70 will look like.
I decided in the middle of the last quad that these years will never come again, and that doing the program at a breakneck pace was destructive and pointless. So I'm slowing down, an extra year, to soak it ALL in. This week I mapped out my goals for the next three years, and I'm excited about them. Lots of learning and growing yet to do.