Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Church History

Last week as I was sitting here at the computer blogging my summer to do list; I received a phone call. My cell phone rang and amazingly enough my purse that usually houses my phone was on the chair beside my computer. The ring tone was a generic tone and indicated that the caller was not in my contacts list. My contact list ring tone is the music from The Empire Strikes Back (The Imperial March). So when I heard the phone ring I suspected that the person calling was someone that I did not know. I briefly debated not answering the phone since I was in the middle of blogging. But my responsible and mostly rule following self grabbed the purse, fished out the phone, and offered up a cheery hello.

The man on the phone identified himself as Dr. McClean. I did not quite catch the name but said O.K. I'm thinking what doctor is this. I don't think he is one of my medical doctors. Then I'm think educational doctors. Does he work at the university? Did I have him as a professor? Does Doug know him? Why is he calling me?

Then he says he is with the Office of Catechetic (when you spell it out it's pretty obvious but at 8:00 in the morning you too could be confused). Now I'm sure I don't know this person. I 'm thinking I don't have a catechetic and if I did I wouldn't need a doctor for it. So in my intellectual astuteness I say, "What?". He says "I'm the Catholic Education Director for the dioceses." As soon as he says Catholic I'm thinking I am such an idiot and I've now shared that with this man, a representative of The Church. I hope Monsignor doesn't find out or those that had a hand in my twelve years of Catholic school education.

I had e-mailed this man early in the week inquiring about the possibility of attending a church history workshop that weekend and had not heard from him. I guess he decided to call instead of e-mailing. I reveal my big ah ha with an "Ohhh". He then explains that there was space available in the class and I can just pay when I arrive to attend the workshop. I think I cut off whatever else he had to say and said, "Thank you, thank you. I'll be there." Then I hung up the phone. As I slump down in my office chair I think; I hope he doesn't know what church I attend. Maybe he is thinking I'm not even Catholic. One can only hope. Now that I am mortified I debate the wisdom of showing up at this workshop. Why is it that as hard as I try to project an image of a refined southern woman with a strong intellectual prowess, I manage to reveal that I'm completely dizzy?

As Saturday loomed I begin to realize that the workshop would be at 8:30 in the morning in another town, which would require me to leave my home around 7:00 (giving myself fifteen minutes for the requisite wrong turn(s). This meant I'd have to get up before 7:00 am. Worse than that! What does one wear to a church history workshop? I certainly couldn't call Dr. McClean and ask him about proper dress attire. Well, I did decided to suck it up and face my nerves and embarrassment head on. Much to my surprise Doug had decided to drive me and hang out in town thus greatly reducing the getting lost factor.

I attended the workshop. The speaker was fantastic. He is the type of person you could listen to all day, because he made much of the history come alive. It was much of what I was looking for. I learned a lot, refreshed my high school church history memory, zoned in on periods of time in Catholic history that most interest me, and gathered information on a wealth of resources that I can find and read at a later date. This also saved me from purchasing the $4.99 book of Christian History at Borders. Memories of the usefulness and font of information contained in the $4.99 interpreting dreams book I purchased controlled my impulsive desire to snap up the book on Christianity.

I am now much more intelligent than I was a week ago. The doctor from the Office of Catechetic can call me any old time. I'm ready.

As a little aside I turned off my phone prior to the start of the workshop. Later in the day during a break I checked my phone for messages. At this point I see that my phone is indicating that I am in an area that doesn't offer service to my phone. I'm a bit worried as all my children are at home without any way to contact their parents. I try to send a text to T-man explaining the problem and indicate that he should text me if there are any issues. The text goes through and T-man even texts me back. I return to the table where I'm sitting with two other ladies and tuck my purse beside my chair. The phone that should not be receiving calls begins to ring (The Imperial March-Star Wars). Obviously I forgot to turn the phone off.

Now earlier in the lecture the speaker made a reference to the Star Wars movies and had fans of the movies raise their hands. Yes, I raised my hand and maybe even waved it a little. He indicated that he too was a big Star Wars fan. I'm thinking though that this did not mean he wanted to hear my Star Wars ring-tone while he was teaching. So what did I do as this whole workshop process has fill me with embarrassment?

I stepped on the opening of my purse, to muffle the sound. (I saw the speaker's ears perk up as he kind of scanned the room for the source of The Imperial March. Maybe wondering if Darth Vader might stride into the room.) Then coyishly with my foot I slid my purse under the sweet little old lady's chair next to me so as to deflect any potential attention from me. Not so dumb after all!

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