Dissertation Defense Date: Set!!

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It’s official.  I will defend my dissertation (entitled “Jacob and the Divine Trickster: A Theology of Deception and YHWH’s Faithfulness to the Ancestral Promise in the Jacob Cycle”) on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:00 am.  I welcome and appreciate all your prayers that this goes well.  I trust that it well; I continue to be pleased with how positively the project has been received by my committee (Bill Bellinger and James Nogalski), as well as by Walter Brueggemann, who most of you know has been reading along the way.  I am giving the piece another read through now to make certain I know what I said (!!!!).  But this is a good day indeed!

Where Am I?

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Never fear, friends, I am fine.  Just insanely busy, and blogging has not been high on my list of priorities.  I do, however, plan to resume a more regular schedule in the coming months. 

So what have I been up to?  Simple answer . . . Dissertation writing.  I am on schedule to defend this Spring, so I am writing assiduously with that goal in mind.  This takes up the bulk of my time.  8-5 M-F, and then evenings are reserved for time with my wife and son, and then time to relax after my son goes to bed. 

Additionally, this past weekend was Baylor’s preview weekend for prospective Ph.D. candidates, and I was in charge of organizing and arranging the schedule and activities.  Needless to say I am glad it is over, but I very much enjoyed doing it, and even more so meeting the prospectives who are interested in Baylor.  I have received several very kind notes from some of the prospectives over the last few days, so that is encouraging. 

That may not sound like much, but I have poured myself in to this dissertation, and again, I am on target to finish and defend this Spring.  I actually plan to be done writing the whole thing by early April.  I’m well over 3/4 of the way done, so by April I should be able to have things in final form, and defend shortly thereafter.

Now . . . about a job?!

Hope you all are well!

Christmas Update: HOME!

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Blogging has been slow recently.  The semester ended, which means teaching ended for me.  I will be posting up my reflections on teaching in due course.

At present, however, my wife, son, and I are home with our families (both are families live in the same town) in South Dakota.  It was an uneventful trip here, save for the fact my son got sick the first night of the trip in the car, about 30 minutes outside Waco, and continued throwing up nearly 10 times in the car and hotel room later that night.  The diagnosis is a bit anomalous to us still, but I am glad to report that aside from a little cold, he seems fine now.  But let me tell you, sick cards are one thing, but sick kids in the car is another.  I felt so bad for him; we stopped at a gas station outside Fort Worth to clean him up after one of his episodes (and he was acting FINE, which was bizarre), and he said to me and my wife, “I’m all wet . . . I sorry.”  Coming from a 2 yr old, that was too precious.  We told him there was no reason to apologize, but it was too adorable.  Things like that are both funny and heartwarming.

Thus far, being home is as wonderful as always.  My parents have done their usual onslaught of Christmas baking: special K bars, fudge, Christmas cookies, 12 gallons of chex mix (the best thing ever!), croissant rolls, garlic seasoned oyster crackers . . . . and more to come! 

We did Christmas with my wife’s family this evening.  My son made out like a bandit . . . a Mickey Mouse book, an accessory pack for his new toy train we are getting him, a memory game, SpongeBob pajamas, the Elefun board game, a cd of kid’s songs, a play tool set, and more I can’t even remember.  And he still has the stuff from my wife and I, as well as my parents and sister to open!  He also helped pass out the gifts.  Two-year olds are hardwired to be helpful.  And what did I get, you ask?  $50 Amazon gift cards from the in-laws, and a pack of wrestling trading cards (still sealed, and it will remain that way!) from my sisters-in-law.  And, again, we still have my side of the family to do Christmas with yet. 

I hope you all are enjoying this time of year, and I wish you all safe and sane travels!


My New Toy: DROID

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About a month ago I posted HERE that I had been allowed, by my wife and parents (both of whom are footing the bill for this) to purchase my Christmas gift early: an iPod Touch. 

I very much enjoyed the touch, and it made me want an iPhone desperately.  A few glitches, though: 1) We are loyal Verizon customers, unwilling to switch to AT&T . . . Verizon has always gone above and beyond for us; 2) I deeply lamented the fact that the Touch did not have internet access at all times, but only when I could find an open connection, which was rarely, or when at a ‘hot spot’; 3) Price . . . it was a hunk of change for no phone, camera, and unlimited internet capabilities.  I was, however, still very happy with it, and was on it every day and night religiously.

Then, my wife received a text message from Verizon saying we qualified for an early upgrade.  Curious, I called and asked precisely what the discount would be.  Long story short, I returned the iPod touch to Best Buy earlier this week, went to my local Verizon store and got . . . the new DROID.  It’s only been out about a month, but this thing is incredible.  I love having email anywhere.  And internet anywhere.  There are some great apps, and I trust many more to come.  My favorites are the barcode scanners so far, which use the camera to either take a picture of a book cover or scan the barcode and then find it online.  I know these aren’t anything new to iPhone users, but to a loyal Verizon customer, this is pretty sweet.  Loving the DROID.

Explaining my Absence

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Never fear, loyal readers.  All is well.  Things are just busy, as you might expect at this time of the year.  Yes, the holidays draw nigh.  But so does the end of the semester.  At present, I am finishing up a stack of my student’s final essays; they also have their final exams tomorrow (wish them luck!), so the next few days will go to grading those and then reporting final grades.  Add to that dissertation work and writing, preparing a trip home for Christmas, and a host of other things, and I haven’t had much time to blog productively about things recently.  That will, though, change soon.  No worries.

In the meantime, check out my SBL posts below, and do comment.

I hope you all are well!

My New Toy!! (or, Christmas comes early)

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Yesterday I decided, finally, to break down and beg my family to let me get a Christmas gift early.  What did I want, you ask?  An Ipod touch (I didn’t get an iphone because I have Verizon, and yes, I know about the Droid, but we aren’t eligible to upgrade for another year and I can’t spend $500 on a phone).  So far, I love it.  I was up until 2 am playing with it, downloading apps.  I’ve gone app crazy!  I am really looking forward to having it in New Orleans, assuming there will be wireless internet available at the conference site as there has been in past years.

And so I ask you, friends, to suggest to me the best FREE apps to get, be they games, document viewers, language sources, Bibles, etc.  Suggest away!

On Being Frustrated

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The last few weeks have seen a string of events that have left me frustrated.  Things have simply not been going in my favor (not that they always did before, mind you; perhaps Deuteronomistic theology is at work and I should inspect my life to check my adherence to Torah . . . let’s just hope I at least come out unlike Manasseh!).  Here’s a bit of what’s been going on . . .

-Two weeks ago we were accidentally locked out of our house.  Of course, we called a locksmith, assured it would take no time at all to pick the lock.  Well, four hours later (outside with a tired 2 yr old, mind you), three locksmith companies, and five locksmiths later we got in our house . . . through a window.  Sigh.

-This past weekend my wife and I set out to replace our leaky kitchen faucet.  Upon taking the faucet off we attempted to remove the handles to clean out any debris.  The handles, however, were stuck, so in our wisdom we hammered them off with a hammer.  That broke our old faucet.  So we went to Home Depot to buy a new faucet.  Upon returning home we finished disconnecting the old one from the wall, only to reveal that one of the attached pipes was so brittle that the threading part broke off.  We could hook the new sink up, but we had no pressure at all, and the leak was now coming out of the wall.  We called a plumber and was told a simple house call would be $150 on the weekend.  So after a day with no water (we obviously had to shut the water off at the street to keep it from shooting out of the wall in the kitchen) we finally found a plumber whose house call on the weekends was not so exorbitant.  Two hours later and $300 later we have a new faucet that doesn’t drip . . . but I’d rather have a mildly drippy faucet and $300 in my pocket.

-Today daycare called and said my son was pushed by another child, resulting in a huge bump and scrape on his forehead and some scraping around one of his eyes.  He seems fine, but I don’t have a lot of patience or tolerance (none, actually) for things happening to my son.  He has also recently been getting bitten by a certain child at daycare.  He came up to me a little bit ago and said he had an “owie” on his head, and then he said “daddy kiss it.”  Children are such a blessing.  And there is no better feeling than being able to make your child feel better.

There are some other things, but these are three biggies . . . leaving me . . . frustrated.