It’s been over four months since my last blog post and to say that things have changed, would be an understatement. I thought on an almost daily basis “I really need to make a post today.” But something would always come up. There has been plenty of major events that have popped up and even some life changing situations, but with out a blog update, who knew?
So let’s get back into an appropriate blog habit and fill in those missing four months of life!
I quit my job as an Over the Road Trucker with Knight Transportation. I was tired of being away from my family all the time and needed a better job that would allow for more home/work balance and allow time for church services. I had just confided in my priest and told him that I wanted to go to seminary. I was then almost immediately a part of the choir, learning how to chant in the byzantine style, and how to sing as a tenor. Shortly after this, I started a new job as a CDL instructor at the Pacific Northwest Professional Driving School. I was finally off the road! Just before I started my new job, I sent in my seminary application to Metropolitan Joseph, of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
With the freedom that my new job gave me, I was finally able to attend nearly every single divine liturgy, evening vespers service, and everything in between. I struggled a bit with one of my fellow trainers during this time. She was a lady who liked to dabble in the occult during her off hours. Her love of demons and participation in adult themed content outside of work, created a difficult atmosphere to be in. Not to mention her general unhappiness at work caused her to yell and scream at students for even the smallest of mistakes. Our other trainer has really taken me under his wing, and has been helping me to learn the ropes. I’m thankful for the new opportunities I have. My life at church is also steadily picking up. I received word that my application as an seminarian in the Antiochian Archdiocese, was accepted by His Grace Metropolitan Joseph.
I’ve been working at the school now for just over a month. My worst fear has already been realized. A student of mine got into an accident while driving with me. We went under a bridge and around a corner, and were accidently side swiped by another truck. Luckily we weren’t at fault and the student learned a valuable lesson. I’m also thankful because I’m starting to get better at teaching. It shows everytime one of my students successfully backs the trailer into the right spot. I’m still struggling with the head trainer, her lifestyle choices and lack of kindness at work are making for a difficult work atmosphere. The other trainer, my buddy, actually quit. I was then put into his place as second lead trainer. Talk about a battlefield promotion! I was also incredibly busy nearly every single night due to evening lenten church services. Training by day, and chanting by night. Truly I felt like an Orthodox Trucker. During all of this time, I had gotten my application sent in to Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. I was trying to get in without a bachelor’s degree, and hoping that by sheer miracle, I’d make it. I studied for, and took the GRE test, and actually passed it! I had two zoom interviews with the Dean of students and continued to eagerly await the final decision.
May was a crazy month for me. Pascha (Orthodox Easter) finally arrived, and with that, all the holy week services and Paschal hymns. As soon as Pascha was over, I left the choir and started serving behind the altar as an altar server. I would then proceed for the next few weeks to split my time with the choir and behind the Altar. One day before my birthday I received the sad news that Saint Vladimir’s said no. Apparently my lack of a bachelor’s degree coupled with the fact that I didn’t get a better GRE score led the school to not accept my application. Metropolitan Joseph then decided to put my seminary application on hold until I earned my bachelor’s degree. The next day I celebrated my birthday. It was wonderful. I was so thankful for my wife and family. The next day I started my applications for the local community college and for Washington State University, Vancouver. On the work front things were going well. I was starting to have a better relationship with the head trainer. Her eccentric behaviors and love of demonology was still extremely off putting, but her work attitude was starting to improve. We started getting new trucks at the school and our class size was doubling every two weeks. And then at the end of the month, our head trainer left. Just like that I was given another battlefield promotion. I was not even out of my probation period and now because of turnover, I was now head trainer. Now I had a new crew of trainers under my belt. One started in April, and the other was a former student who was offered a job as a yard instructor. Somehow we were able to make things work and keep the ball rolling.
It is now six days into June, and already I have so much to talk about. On the first of the month, I was notified that I would be attending the Antiochian Orthodox Clergy conference on June 16th, with His Grace Bishop Anthony. Just because Saint Vladimir’s seminary said no, doesn’t mean I’m not still on the seminarian path. That same day I was also notified that I would be tonsured as a Subdeacon on the thirteenth of June. As of today, that’s just one week away! I must admit that I’m not totally ready for this next step. I know so little about serving behind the altar, and while I anticipated and even hoped for a tonsure to the rank of reader, I was not anticipating subdeacon. Glory to God for all things however, and may His will be carried out. I’m still awaiting word from the college programs I’ve applied for. I’m also trying to shape things up at the school. If I can help the school to be more professional and better equipped, then I believe we can do a better job helping our students.
So there you go dear reader, a quick update of the last four months. I should have done a better job updating this blog, because there were plenty of blog post ideas nearly every day. But one day turned into a week turned into a month, and the next thing I knew, February was June!
I’ll do a much better job I hope keeping you all updated. Thanks for reading my friends. I hope you are all having a good start to your summer, and I’ll see you next time!
– Orthodox Trucker
My worlds collide!