By Kevin Joshua Cosme
Into the Areopagus
PERFECT TIMING | My classmates and I (third from left, standing) from two years ago. Things fall apart but at least we have each other.
Yep, we just had to be that batch.
The threat of COVID-19 prematurely ended our school year this March, just a few weeks shy of graduation. My tenth and last year in the seminary suddenly came to a close. We were told to pack our bags and go home within the next three days. Graduation would have to wait because when a pandemic breaks out, getting your diploma becomes the least of your worries.
Just Like That
There was a flurry of activity. The contents of our community store were emptied out and distributed to each class (free food!). Within the day calls were made, flights were booked, and most of the community was gone by sunset.
BENEATH THE SMILES | We were suddenly having our last lunch together in the seminary. At least there was free food.
The jarring turn of events meant different things to different people. For the undergrads, it was just a “see you later” kind of thing since they would be back next school year. But for us graduating theologians, we were suddenly spending our last day ever as classmates in the seminary.
We were practically brothers at that point after having lived together for at least five years. And then we were abruptly made to go our separate ways. Not for a few months. Not just for the summer, but for the rest of our lives. There was no tribute, no ceremonial send-off, nothing of the sort you would normally expect on your last year in the seminary.
So we just made the most of our time and held one last fellowship that night. Then we each went home to wait out the quarantine.
The New Normal