A little over two weeks ago, we were in the subtle rolling hills of East Texas. Today we are surrounded by an odd mixture of Victorian Gothic and mid-century brutalist buildings, high rises and brownstones, European and Asian-Fusion restaurants, oceans of concrete and vast beautiful parks. Toronto is charming and inspiring. It’s like a shorter New York with cleaner streets, less of an industrial vibe, and more England than America. Or better yet, it feels like a mixture of England and America– perfect for an Episcopalian. The international aspect of the city can’t be over exaggerated. Every day I overhear at least half-a-dozen different languages. And the food does not disappoint (though my wallet does).
We’ve spent some time exploring the city, but there’s an insurmountable entertainment landscape that I don’t suspect we’ll ever fully see (plus, we’re on a grad student budget). Unsurprisingly, the part of the city that continues to captivate me is the University of Toronto campus. The U of T campus is really less of a university campus (like we typically see in the States) and more of a neighborhood in a city of neighborhoods. Busy streets run through colleges, museums, libraries, residence buildings, restaurants, and more which make up the university. That being said, you definitely know when you’re on campus– it’s seriously beautiful.
For our family, these initial weeks are for getting settled. Brittany is weighing job opportunities to fashion something that works for her and our family, and I have been preparing for the semester. We have met a few people and already made friends, though we’re looking forward to the hustle and bustle of the school year; we’re both very extroverted. As I write this, Brittany has just taken Barrett to visit his new daycare where he will begin in three days. My orientation week at Wycliffe is in 10 days followed by the beginning of classes on the following Monday.
Wycliffe College causes both excitement and uneasiness. On one hand, the reputation of the college is very high, and I look forward to the rigor of the program. On the other, I’m wondering about the school’s Anglican identity. As over half of the students are not Anglican, I wonder if the school must accommodate them to such a degree that the distinctiveness of our tradition suffers; I want and need to learn how to be an Anglican priest. This is not an indictment but simply a thought from a student who hasn’t even begun classes yet. Finally, I trust my bishop who has sent me here. I trust that God has placed me here, and I am always willing to be where God has me.
Above all, I am excited to start classes, to dive-in to campus life, to read for hours a day again, to write, to contemplate, to argue, and to enjoy this season.