Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Boston - Day Two

I slept much better last night even after the nerve-wracking double episode of “24.” There were several surprises and some classic Jack. Didn’t expect him to shoot the bad guy’s wife nor did I expect Edgar to meet a gruesome fate. I wonder how he felt about that – he basically got fired from a great acting job on a great show. Must be tough to get the script that has your death in it. Next week should be very good as the CTU gang is trapped in HQ with deadly nerve gas all around. At least Kim is back to slow things down to a crawl. Putting her and Audrey in the same episode knocks out about 20 minutes of good action. Excruciating!

My room has a fireplace in it and it burns those composite logs wrapped in paper. I fired it up last night during “24” just because it was there. Not a lot of heat but the ambience was nice. However, it took quite a long time to burn out and was still burning when I went to sleep. It was kind of creepy to open your eyes and see those dancing shadows all over the room.

Our class didn’t start until 8:45 AM this morning so the morning was a little more relaxed. However, this also meant traffic was a little more crowded. I’ve learned quickly that one thing missing in Boston traffic is the concept of a merging lane. There is no such thing here. You just have to get up to a sufficient speed and barrel into the coming traffic. Sometimes you see a timid driver sitting at a complete stop trying to find an adequate opening to enter 60 MPH traffic. I’m amazed there are no more accidents than there are – and I haven’t seen any.

Today’s trip took just over 20 minutes total travel time from hotel to seminary – I think I can get it in under twenty minutes tomorrow. Something to shoot for.

Darryl Dash finally made it to the classroom. He is a pastor from Canada (one of two Canadians in the group) and was held up at the border thanks to some new rules between our two governments. Darryl is the class techno-geek and it took him about three minutes to have the entire class connected to a wireless internet. Needless to say there was much more of a diversion today.

Dr. Robinson started the class with some prayer – having each student praise God for a certain attribute that meant something special to them. I jumped in kind of late in the circle and praised the Lord for His longsuffering on a personal, national and global basis. When you see all the sin in the world and also realize just how sinful you are as a person, God should have taken us all out a long time ago.

Today’s classes (and the next several) are all about teaching us how to teach. There’s a lot more to it than I thought. I’ve never really appreciated “theory” type classes but this is very practical theory – if there is such a thing.

We had lunch in the classroom as the secretary for the D.Min. office held an orientation type session. They served us pizza while discussing things like our upcoming thesis and graduation particulars. We must have the first chapter of our thesis completed before we leave next week. I think I am beginning to get a handle on my subject but I'll withhold comment until after my one-on-one meeting with Dr. Robinson later in the week.

I also found out that it's going to be hard to graduate by May 2007 and if I do, it’s going to cost well over $300 to graduate after paying for all the academic regalia they require (very nice robe with chevrons on the sleeve and then the funny-looking octagonal hat with short stubby tassel and the hood, the colorful “sash” type thing that hangs over your neck and shoulders). They only allow about 10-15 students to defend their thesis each spring and it's "first come, first served" for thos spots. Therefore, I have to have the entire 150 to 200-page paper done by mid-February in order to try to secure one of those fifteen defense spots in late March. That's going to be hard but if I don't make it, I can defend it in October and graduate in December. I also found that I can graduate in Charlotte which will be nice when that finally comes around.

After lunch we still had some time before classes resumed so I went to the campus bookstore and finally bought some Gordon-Conwell clothing. I’ve thought about it for the last two times but never did so today I got a sweatshirt and polo shirt for a very reasonable price.

We spent a lot of time in groups this afternoon preparing for next week’s praxis. In learning to teach others, we are divided into groups to teach a particular part of a semester long course in “Introduction to Preaching.” I am teamed with the same two gusy from Idaha and am very thankful for that. These two (John and Steve) actually teach a preaching course at their local Bible college (Boise Bible College) so a lot of the work is already done.

Classes were finally over today at 4:20 PM. I rushed back to the hotel to watch the USA baseball team take on Mexico in the opening round of the World Baseball Classic. I was anxious to see the Yankees on the squad (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriquez, Johnny Damon). I also wanted to see Padre pitcher Jake Peavy who started the game and threw wonderfully for three innings. He threw only 23 pitches and had two strikeouts while walking none and giving up one disputed hit. My interest lies solely in the fact that Peavy is on my fantasy squad and will be my #1 pitcher for the 2006 season. We hold our draft the week I get back and I pick tenth out of ten owners. The USA team looks pretty good - Chipper Jones just hit a home run to make it 2-0 in the 7th inning (Derrek Lee homered earlier).

After the game, I believe I’ll satisfy my craving for Chinese food. I haven’t found a restaurant nearby and the one I remember is now a “Crab House.” I guess I’ll go to the mall (two different malls within two miles of the hotel) and enjoy the food court. There are a few restaurants that we “must” eat at while here. We already enjoyed Tennessee B BBQ last night which leaves such places as Legal Seafood and Johnny Rocket’s and Firefly’s Bodacious BBQ.

We also found out that we might get to tour Fenway Park this Saturday. More on that later.

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