From Rev. Dr. Eric Trozzo’s newsletter – snapshots of life and work as a seminary professor:
The faculty here at Sabah Theological Seminary has to work closely together. There are about 25 of us to cover courses for ten degree programs in three different languages. Plus it is not like a large university that has a full complement of administrators. All administrative functions are fulfilled by faculty members. There are support staff to help, but each faculty member has an administrative role on top of our teaching load. Most of us also preach in congregations regularly, with some serving as pastors of congregations. Because of this, even though most of us live on campus in the same building, we actually do not have a great deal of time to spend together much of the year.
Because of this, the end of May and beginning of June has become a time that many of the faculty members make a special effort to spend time together. It falls between the first and second semesters of the academic year here, and so we have about five weeks at a slower pace than usual. During that time we have a faculty retreat. This year we went to a retreat center near Mount Kinabalu, a few hours’ drive from the seminary. We had some work to attend to, but we also made a point of playing games, getting to know each other better, and generally having some fun together. In the weeks since, we have had some informal pot luck lunches and have started a weekly time for playing badminton together. It has been a very welcome time to build up a sense of being a team working together in common purpose. Wendolyn has taken to giving “badminton names,” including “Robena the Relentless” and “Rak-sa-sa” for our neighbour, Francis. It means “monster” and he has a monster smash stroke! I am sure as the new semester begins these activities will cut back, but the sense of teamwork that comes out of these slower times is important for sustaining us through the busier times.