Well, That’s Over

I turned in my grades this afternoon; although I haven’t returned everyone’s papers, I’m pretty much done with my contractual responsibilities at Duke. I want to thank all the people who made this possible, etc.
I really have had a great time here; I’ll miss Durham and Duke a lot. I recommend Duke highly to any potential seminary student.
So my afternoon turned on a dime from reading and marking papers and ruminating about grades to thinking about the three lectionary reflections and the one valediction that I have to compose in the next ten days. The lectionary reflections should be pretty do-able without much strain, but I’ve been mulling over the valediction between thoughts.* It occurred to me that maybe it would be a good thing to coordinate the valediction with the commencement address, so I just shot a note off to the commencement speaker, Michael Bérubé (!). Myself, I think it’s swell that Marlboro arranged to bring in so distinguished an opening act before my closing remarks. In one of my fantasy worlds, Bérubé and Marlboro President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell will hear about Margaret’s and my vocational pickle and call up their high-powered academic friends and set us up with jobs — yes, it’s absurd, but that’s why they call it “fantasy.”
Anyway, Duke Divinity confirmed my positive expectations, and gave me lots to think about… after I write three lectionary essays and a valedictory address. (A very short one — no need to fear, Marlboro seniors.)
* “Between thoughts” — once upon a time, when we were living in Durham during my doctoral course work, the usual suspects had gathered at our apartment to watch a Duke basketball game. About two-thirds of the way into the game, one player passed the ball to another, who didn’t react in time to prevent the ball from hitting him in the head. The announcer helpfully explained, “Looks like that one caught him between two thoughts,” a characterization that Margaret and I have used ever since.

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