Saturday, April 11, 2009
...my thesis, that is. I will defend it on Thursday. I'd love to say that this will mean I'm done with all academia for the rest of the year, but sadly, this is not so. More assignments due next week, with still more to come in the near future. Aren't I scholarly?
However, I would be remiss to say that this does not mark a huge milestone in my academic career. The document into which many hours have been poured is nearing its final version. And what I hope with all this, is that the work I've done amounts to more than the sum of its pages (54 including appendices). I'd like to think that aside from the staggeringly immense contribution my work makes to the body of scholarly literature (i.e. sitting politely in the university archives), that it also represents hard work, sacrifice, and love on the part of so many of my friends, family, teachers, and colleagues. If anything, for me it serves a stark reminder of both God's bountiful blessings in my life and the privilege it truly is to receive what not all can: an education.
...which is why I thought it might be nice to post the "Acknowledgments" page from my Master's Thesis here on my blog. It was my only shot at actually writing something in my own voice for this project, and I'd say I took my liberties with it. Anyway, some of you reading may have a part in this, and writing it really did make me realize how blessed I am (and how thankful I ought to be). I apologize if I neglected anyone who feels like they should have been mentioned, I'm sure you understand. Also, if you're wondering about that list of first names, it's my MAHE graduate cohort (a.k.a. my classmates). Finally, if this seems out of context, I'm sorry. It maybe makes a little more sense at the outset of a very long, somewhat technical document; like a breath of cool, clean air right before you head down into the murky, musty cellar to make some repair you've been putting off for weeks. Wow, that makes my thesis sound pretty awful; perhaps that metaphor [sic]* is a bit too strong...
Enough disclaimers. I apologize for nothing!
There are a number of folks to whom I am irrevocably indebted. A special thanks goes to my family who instilled in me the love of learning, and more importantly a concrete definition of love through words and action; to my significant other, the lovely Kerrie Schene, for her patience in unconditionally tolerating a full-time graduate student who has probably seemed like only a part-time boyfriend all too often; to Tim Herrmann for honestly believing in me far more than is even appropriate; to Jenny Collins for making the past two years absolutely formational for me as a professional and a person; to the students who participated in my study and the faculty who let me completely hijack their classes to hand out surveys; to the men of the Box, whose integrity, grace, and love have been inversely proportional to the size of our humble accommodations (but we love it so); to Cindi Carder for what I consider an “above and beyond the call of duty” helpfulness; to Scott Moeschberger for being flat-out brilliant; and to Caleb, Matt, Miriam, Polly, Sara, Emily, Heidi, Kyle, Nathan, Brent, Tammi, Laura, Derek, Katie, Barry, Travis, and Kelly for leaving me with absolutely no words that could articulate what they have meant to me, how they have literally made me into a better man than I was, and who they will be for the field of higher education and for the Kingdom of God. There is no other way to explain the blessings that all these people represent except for the fact that Jesus Christ has saved my life and made it into something entirely different and entirely better than I ever could have achieved, let alone imagined, on my own. I think perhaps “thankful” does not nearly cut it…
*I know, I used a simile. I prefer the word metaphor, so there.