Because life is a series of edits

Breather for Now

In Calling, Education, Westminster on December 10, 2008 at 2:00 am

I pulled the first all-nighter of my seminary career last night, writing 20 one-page reflections and cramming for the final exam for my Old Testament History class. I went to bed from 8:30 to 11 p.m. last night, got up and worked until 5:30 this morning, dozed for half an hour before getting up and teaching the day at school. I then came home and slept for an hour before dinner, studied, took the exam online, and am just now feeling as if I'm on the final approach toward finishing the semester. All that remains is reading two books for my Ancient Near East class and writing two ten-page papers by Tuesday, and I'm done. Piece of (a semi-large) cake.

Believe it or not, I felt pretty good today despite my sleep deprivation, but I was a little sheepish confessing to my students that Mr. Dunham did the very thing he encourages them not to do (procrastinate) and is paying the price. Somehow, with finals week next week, they were less than sympathetic, but thankfully Megan was, keeping a steady flow of coffee going last night and covering my bookstore shifts yesterday and today so I could knock everything out (thanks, Sweetie).

As of tomorrow I'll have both my final exams written for my students and will then need to dive headfirst into a pool of project papers and original parables before next week or I'll be up a creek trying to grade 103 exams on top of all that. At least the papers will all be different, so that will make them more interesting than usual.

In other news, I got official word today that all I need to graduate in May is Christian Ethics, a three-hour course taught by Anthony Bradley. Unfortunately, the course is not offered next semester, so I've already talked with Anthony about doing an independent study with him to meet the requirement. While I really would like to take the class normally, I'm excited by the idea of wrapping up my seminary career (or at least the theological studies part of it) with this kind of learning experience (I'll also be taking a three-hour course called Teaching and Learning, which counts toward the educational ministries degree I'll continue working on past May).

So, there's your educational update for the end of the semester. For any of you of the praying persuasion, pray I can finish well both with my studies and my students, and that I'd actually learn something in the process as well. Oh, and feel free to share any finals week horror stories from this or yesteryear if it will help your therapeutic process. The doctor is in (and it won't even cost you a nickel to comment).

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  1. Yeah for being done with OT!!!! It’s been the best feeling of the semester so far.

  2. Oh, I am praying for you! Mostly, I am thankful that we are done, done, done with grad school! Now I remember why!

  3. “Since the class was required to be a seminar class, I also had to recruit at least two other students who would participate in the independent study as well.”
    Wouldn’t that then be a co-dependent study? Sounds almost Freudian.

  4. Well done– the all-nighters are no fun (usually) but are sometimes necessary. I certainly did my share of them– probably more than my share.
    I don’t have a finals week horror story to tell, but here’s an end-of-degree, end-of-semester horror story for you:
    When I was in college, Marcie and I had determined that I could finish my degree in a single calendar-year (graduating the next December), even though I still had 53 credit hours to complete, and we decided to go for it. I told my advisor of my plans, and he said something to the effect of, “let’s take it one semester at a time,” and advised me for the upcoming (spring) semester, as well as summer courses.
    When it came time to be advised and register for fall classes, I learned that the required class, “Senior Seminar,” was only offered in the spring– but it would have counted for me, had I taken it in the spring semester. I asked my advisor why he didn’t sign me up for it when he advised me back in the previous fall; he said, “you can just take it next spring.”
    I pointed out to him that, with the sole exception of that class, I would finish my coursework by December. He said, “well how about that. You could actually graduate in December.”
    I said, “But I told you that I was planning to graduate in December!”
    He responded, “I didn’t believe you really meant it.”
    I had to get special permission from the Registrar and the Chair of the department, and have a letter in my file from my advisor (which he was reluctant to write) explaining that HE had made the mistake that prevented me from completing the regular course. Then I had to find a professor willing to do an independent study with me; but, since the class was required to be a seminar class, I also had to recruit at least two other students who would participate in the independent study as well.

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