slippersIn “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda,” Lisa Hess of United Theological Seminary describes the reality vs the dream – in her first year as a Professor of Theology. She writes,

“Arriving onto the campus of my first fulltime teaching job in higher education was not unlike finding myself in a strange land with a little dog under my arm. “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” I remember saying aloud, wondering what I had done in accepting this new job I thought I wanted. I was disoriented, to say the least…Yet, here I was, an assistant professor in a freestanding seminary in an economically depressed area of the Midwest. This short clip isn’t far from the sense of it all.

“Without proceeding to the bemusing images here—the Yellow Brick Road, flying monkeys, the Wicked Witch, or the Wizard—you should know I now spend time regularly between Oz and Kansas. I love them both, and have met marvelous companions (Wabash and others) along the way in both ‘locations.’ What do I mean? Some days, I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything; I’m Home in ‘Kansas,’ with family and cherished colleagues who can frustrate me to all ends. On others, I’m wearing these glittery red shoes on a journey with strange companions to ask a Wizard to get where I’d left behind; I’m on my way to Oz with a deep sense of a lost Home.”

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda