Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oral Defense - The Day

Amazingly, I had a very easy time falling asleep Monday night. I read over notes and comments to prepare myself. After waking up I ate breakfast and reviewed more notes. Then on to the seminary to meet with the secretary.

We had a good meeting and she went over some final paperwork, the editing process for the final draft and some last minute "free advice."

Finally, the meeting started and we did not talk about the Cubs!

One member at FBC told me they thought I was to teach them something, and I really think it happened right off the bat, as we spoke about my conversion, my main reader and mentor told me about his son in law who makes so much money and is Jewish but has no interest in Christ, whom his daughter follows. I told me my story gives him hope for his son in law (maybe that was part of God's plan).

Anyway, the meeting was intense, out of 24 questions I prepared to review, they asked about 1/4 of 1 question. So much for preparation!

What was vital in this meeting was remaining calm and listening to the questions, which came from theological perspectives, as well as pastoral questions. After about one hour I stepped back, while listening and considered how the hearing was going. I felt pretty good.

By the time it was over, I knew without being told how I did. They were very complimentary about my writing style, had some criticisms, but were overall very positive.

They were very complimentary about the formatting and syntax. Dr. Larsen told me to tell Debbie (he knew she did the work) that she was "magnificent." I really believe good syntax and formatting were very important to the readability of my project. It needs to be shortened, and they gave me some ideas about how to shorten it.

I left the room after 1 hour and 58 minutes of questioning. After 12 minutes Dr. Larsen called me back in and said, "Congratulations Dr. Deutsch." You did very well, in fact, tell your wife, this old man says, "well done, well done." How wonderful those words felt to hear. There were times I wondered if I could complete this project, now I heard the words, "you passed."

On top of that were the comments from the 3 men that I do not need to make any major revisions, I just need to make a few corrections, and consider making a couple of other revisions which are minor in nature . . . AND I do not need to give them a copy to approve. As far as they are concerned, they are very pleased with my work and after I make my changes I can send it in to the person who will help me with final formatting, and await a December 19 graduation.

WOW!!! What a day!

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