The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

My arms are much too tired to swim.

Do you feel like you’re in over your head? Sometimes I do. I’m in this new place with these new people and I want it to be like summer camp – novel and fun and just exploring our new home every day! But classes are so overwhelming. There’s so much reading and it’s not like you can just skip it. Sometimes you can skim some of it, but then you have to write a few pages in response and you can’t just half-ass that. So I slave away, reading for 8 hours every day, including the weekends. There aren’t really weekends here, after all. Fortunately there are no classes on Wednesday, so we have a mini weekend in the middle. To catch up on reading.

And there are so many people around all the time – we all live together and have most of our classes all together and it’s like you can rarely be by yourself…but it’s simultaneously so lonely. I live by myself – which is great! No roommate drama. But it’s also sad to not come home to anybody, and to not have an automatic person to eat meals with. It’s nice to not have to coordinate who showers when, though.

But then I get to class and I’m the youngest person here. And while that shouldn’t matter – I’m awesome – it sort of does. Some of these people have other master’s degrees. Some of them already have PhDs. I have a degree in religion, so I’m one step ahead on the subject matter, but they’re light years ahead on the work ethic. And the not having anything better to be doing. I sort of miss being the big fish in the pond.

Let’s be real for a second. I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I’m going to spend the next four years behind schedule. Struggling to keep up with reading. Never having a minute where I don’t have something more important to be reading. Prioritizing homework over other homework. Never getting enough sleep. And you know me – I am obsessed with schedules and with sleeping. I’m having a hard time. It’s only week three, of course I haven’t figured it out yet. But I feel really in trouble right now. It’s really overwhelming and I spend a lot of time on the verge of tears.

But it’s okay, right? I have new friends to talk about it with, and I have old friends to talk about it with – or not! Nick England has called the last three days in a row, for no reason, and it has just brightened my week more than I would ever have guessed. Being the person who’s always doing the calling, I really understand the joy of someone just wanting to say hey.

When I miss people more than I think a phone call can say – or if I think I would just have a meltdown when I heard their voices – I write to people. I send silly cards that say nothing in particular. But what I’m really saying is that I am having a very difficult time living without you. No one really ever writes me back. I think that freshman year of college, Fletcher wrote back a few times. But, other than that…it’s a one way thing. And that’s all right. It’s a bunch of boys. They don’t give a shit and I get that. They are the loves of my life. I have spent the last 10 years in the process of understanding them. I guess I just sometimes wonder what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years.

And every minute I spend not thinking about all of that...I'm missing you.

It's embarrassing to be an American sometimes.

International Day of Peace