Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Images of what you imagine and pictures of the reality of what is often clash. So it is with graduate work. Begun in the summer of 2010, I well imagined that the coursework would be completed and the thesis finished at least by the beginning of this coming year. Well, the coursework was completed by the end of the summer of 2011, and then came that long arduous task of the thesis. Unfortunately I completed my M.Div without a thesis. I say "unfortunate" because it left me without any real sense of what is involved in such a project. Nashotah House has truly been a wonderful place to study and retreat, but from the time I began the program to now several transitions have taken place at this campus. The dean resigned after a decade's service. The one in charge of the STM program changed. And during this time it seemed as if a lot of adjustments and changes were being implemented. It was indeed a time of transition for Nashotah, on many levels. And as it is in times of transition, details fall through the cracks. Thus, I suspect that my progress might have been a bit faster but for the glitches along the way and lack of firm direction. So is life. Since this time, however, I was able to attend a very informative graduate seminar this year and as a result was able to discover what was missing and lacking in my next stage. Now I have a draft of my proposal in process, a process I may add that is far more involved that I realized. Advanced master's degrees may not be doctorates, but the journey seems rather similar. I was encouraged today in reading the Rev. Dr. Richard Stuckwisch's recollections about his dissertation experience. When I read that it took him six months to develop his dissertation proposal I didn't feel so discouraged. Research takes time, and good research worth doing takes a lot of time. The other day the seminary emailed me inquiring about my plans for graduation. Apparently they will hold only one commencement a year and that will be in May. Given where I am right now that doesn't seem possible. Still, it's o.k. Eventually I would like to take the material for this thesis and work it into a published book. So stay tuned.