The blog has been quiet for the last month. Here’s what’s been going on…
On Thursday, January 26, Corrie and I left home for South Africa. We dropped Daniel off with my mom in NJ, and flew from JFK Int’l first thing Friday morning. It was 16 hours to Jo’burg, then 2 more to Cape Town. We stayed with our friends, Piet and Colette, the first night; then in Stellenbosch for three days, on a game reserve for one night, and in Cape Town for three more, concluding our trip with a Sunday-to-Monday return trip (missing the Super Bowl!).
The trip was wonderful. I successfully passed my third MTh exam on Monday morning and defended my thesis on Monday afternoon. Once I make the final revisions/corrections ordered by the committee, I will graduate “with distinction.” Those revisions are due next Friday, so I started as soon as we got back–most of the technical revisions are done, so all that remain are the clarifying points that the committee requested in a few spots.
The days leading up to the trip were consumed with teaching Sunday school, preparations for travel, studying for the exams, and planning two weeks’ worth of music at church for the team in my absence. Now that I’m back, music picks right back up again for me–practice this evening, worship on Sunday.
I also plan to give two papers this spring at the local SBL and ETS conferences. The ETS paper needs to be in by next Wednesday, so I’m feverishly trying to finish that off amidst my thesis revisions. Then, thankfully, I’ll have a month to work on the SBL paper–it will be an adaptation of a thesis chapter.
After spring papers, I will work on a doctoral proposal, with the goal of submitting in mid- to late-April. After that, I will spend a couple of months brushing up on my German before laying into the doctoral research in July or so.
Many things–many good things. The trip was a wonderful reminder of God’s blessings, especially my wife, Corrie. As much as we missed Daniel, we were glad for the time to focus on each other–and for all the things that we could be free to do without him! He did get sick while we were away, though…
Hopefully I’ll be able to blog some more in the weeks to come.