Today was a huge day on our dissertation journey. If you’ve read our latest posts, Back to School and Back to School 2.0 (including several of my daily updates last week in the comments section of the second post), you know we returned from Korea with a big deadline looming over us.
At first, we were overwhelmed when we returned and read our mentor’s feedback notes. We actually wondered if we’d have to postpone our graduation, at least till December. Fortunately, phone conversations with our mentor last Monday helped us get a sense that finishing and graduating this May was do-able. That gave us a needed boost of momentum.
For the most part, we put in a few hours each day, taking shifts with Ethan, working during his naps, and on a couple of occasions, working after he went to bed. On one occasion, Joleen worked at her laptop while Ethan napped in the Ergo Baby Carrier she was wearing.
Today was the most challenging day — wanting/needing to mail our drafts put us under the gun. Plus finding time to work today wasn’t so easy. Ethan got up early, which ruled out an early start for us. We were hoping Ethan’s late morning nap time would give us a good opportunity to finish up, but that was cut short thanks to the siren at the volunteer fire company located within a few hundred yards from our house. A little later, still sleepy, Ethan fell asleep in my arms as I was trying to finish up.
We had other challenges too —
our printer appears to have died yesterday [EDIT: Well, it looks like our printer has a little more life; after attempting everything I could think and/or find by way of online searches, I was able to get it working), and the church copier/printer that’s in the home office is not producing clean prints. We uploaded our drafts to Staples Copy Center, then picked up the printouts about 45 minutes later at Staples in State College.
We were planning to overnight our drafts at the USPS in Pine Grove Mills. However, the deadline for overnight packages was 3:45 pm, which was just a little too early for us (we picked up our copies at Staples around that time). We ended up shipping them via UPS (located in the Staples store) — for $52.20 (and that was for an evening delivery; morning delivery was much higher!). 😯 [EDIT: I just calculated how much it would have cost at USPS.com – $30.70, so that was a costly missed deadline.]
But, oh, what a relief!
The best news about these drafts being submitted to the doctor of ministry office (of course, we’re relying on our mentor to deliver them to the office by Friday) is that this step gets our defenses on the calendar. IOW, with this step, the clock officially starts to count down. Everything we have left to do (watch for the next post) is tied to a timeline that will come to an end in less than 10 weeks (with graduation in less than 12 weeks).
After mailing our drafts today, we both spent the rest of the day with Ethan, which included a couple firsts for us as a family. But we’ll save that story for a post (possibly) tomorrow. Also, watch for an update on our (especially Ethan’s) transition and adjustment in the next few days.
For now, thanks to all who have prayed with/for us anytime during this journey!