Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Journey Complete and Well Done

2 kids and nearly 5 years ago, Dan embarked upon this crazy journey called Seminary. We clearly remember talking about how long and sacrificial of a commitment this would be, and how Mckenna would be in kindergarten when he finished. At the time, that seemed light years away. Mckenna wasn't yet 2, and Gabe and Jules did not exist in any form, except that God knew they were in our future.

Well, now the day has arrived that this journey is complete, this race is won, this chapter is finished. Tomorrow Dan takes his very last test--his final final--and his days of being a seminary student are over, forever. Or until he decides to get another degree...

Just to tell you how big of an accomplishment this is, I will let you in on a few things about Dan.

1. He is completely dyslexic. Reading and writing do not come naturally for him, not at all.
2. Dan originally planned on being an engineer and Helicopter pilot. He saw college as a way to be an officer in the army and fly choppers, not as a goal he really wanted to accomplish.
3. At one point Dan took time off of college. Although he wanted to finish, he didn't really plan on it, because he didn't know what he wanted to do. If he could have done what he wanted without finishing college, he would have--you can see that getting a master's degree was NOT in his plan at all.
4. This particular Master's degree took 102 units. Many if not most Master's degrees are in the 60 unit range.
5. He learned 2 ancient languages--Greek and Hebrew. Yikes! Don't ask him to speak them, they are written languages, no one speaks ancient Hebrew or Greek.
6. He read close to 50,000 pages for this degree. And, he wrote papers on nearly all of them.
7. Dan never got a C. Mostly A's, some B's. To get an A at seminary you need 94% or higher, not 90%.
8. 4 of his 5 years Dan was a full-time youth pastor and commuted 100 miles one way to the school, 2 days a week.
9. This year he took 13 units each semester...11 units is full time.
10. We, his family, never felt unimportant. School never took the place of us. This is because he balanced his time, worked insanely hard at school to get as much done as possible, and did what it took to be a good dad, husband and pastor. His students and I benefited immensely from his schooling because he taught us what he was learning.

Yes, this is shameless husband-Bragging.

On his last day of class he came home and brought all of these to me.

Then he had a little fun finding better uses for them.

Then he had a lot of fun showing his ties how he really feels.

He said, "The next time I wear one of these will be a funeral or a wedding." In case you are confused, he had to wear a dress shirt, slacks, dress shoes, and the hated tie everyday to school. If you know Dan at all, you know that is far from his favorite attire.

We are trying to celebrate this accomplishment this week. We started at Disneyland. Notice how he is not competitive at all...

If you think of it, send him an email or give him a call on Wednesday after 3:30. He will be officially done, and I think it would be fitting for his phone to ring off the hook.

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