Grading is almost done!! Woohoo!

I’ve worked all day grading stray papers that didn’t get graded earlier. I now have just a small stack left to grade. If I get up early tomorrow, I may get it done. I also have to assign grades for online workbook exercises my Spanish I class did. I’ll use a spreadsheet to average grades for completed assigned online exercises. I use the first year Spanish textbook titled Viva, published by Vista Higher Learning. That textbook has an online component for lab exercises hosted on Quia’s website.

Tomorrow Rose and I are going to Branson. We can check into our condo at 12 noon instead of 4 PM. We will go to the Showboat Branson Belle tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM. I think the last time we went was June of 2000.

I started reading a book the Matt Stafford gave me, written by a Cuban ministering in the Kansas City area:
Cabrera, Leonardo (2004). Libre Entre Rejas. Twickenham, UK. Cabrera was unjustly imprisoned in Cuba for preaching the Gospel.

Ricoblog has an interesting post today about Textual Criticism.

Until later!

Musings of a Semester Extinguished

Well, we made it! I have one more final exam to administer tomorrow, then it is grading frenzy time. Grades are due Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 9:00 AM. I should be able to make it just fine.

We will be going to Branson on Saturday. We’re considering going to the Branson Belle. We’ll return to Joplin on Monday afternoon. I have to translate for the OEP (Offenders Education Program) on Monday and Tuesday night. Rose will work Tuesday through Thursday, then we’ll return to Branson. Phil and Susan Casey will use our condo on Monday through Wednesdays nights. When we go back Thursday afternoon, we’ll go with them to Silver Dollar City.

I hope to spend more time getting my Moodle site useable for Greek class for next semester. In using the quiz module, I was having difficulty getting the Greek diacriticals just right. If anyone can help me, I would certainly appreciate the help.

My good friend and office colleague, Dr. N. Douglas Marks will be leaving soon, to take his positon of Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dallas Christian College. I will miss him, and pray that he will find fulfillment in that place.

My boss, Mark Scott is now Dr. Mark Scott. Congratulations. Mark went to defend his dissertation/project on Tuesday morning at Denver Seminary. The report that I heard was that they thought he did an excellent job of bringing together excellence in Biblical research with practical application. Those of us who know him would respond, “Duh!”

I was much dismayed the other day, as I found a clear cut case of plagiarism in a paper a student submitted to me for Old Testament History class. Our new college catalog (2005-2007) addresses this issue clearly. We have also put academic integrity statements in all course syllabi. Offenders will be reported to the Academic Dean’s office, and to the Student Development Office. Penalties may range from failing the assignment (duh!), to failing the course, to expulsion from college. In this particular case, he will fail the course–actually he will fail all courses, as he was expelled from the college for other disciplinary issues. I’m still saddened, but it is better that this young student learn this tough lesson right now. It may serve him well in the future.

A colleague has suggested that we use the services of Turn it In, as a means of controlling plagiarism on our campus.

Next semester, I am enroled in EDAD 988–Dissertation Proposal. I got an e-mail from Dr. Miles Bryant today. We will be using his text, the Portable Dissertation Advisor as a textbook. Basically, during this upcoming semester, I’ll get my proposal ready to go. I imagine I will make a trip to UNL to present it to my committee, and get ready to do the research. Dr. Bryant said in his e-mail that there are three things he wants, to help us get focused:

  1. A purpose statement beginning with “This study will . . .”
  2. A statement about what sorts of research qeustions I will address.
  3. A discussion about why anybody would care (“so what?”).

Well, I guess I better sign off now and get some shut-eye.

Here is a great statement to close with:
πιστὸς ὁ λόγος καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος, ὅτι Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι, ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ.

Aland, B., Aland, K., Black, M., Martini, C. M., Metzger, B. M., & Wikgren, A. (1993, c1979). The Greek New Testament (4th ed.) (1 Ti 1:15-16). Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies.

Books on Afghanistan

I just finished reading my second book in recent months on life in Afghanistan. It is

Åsne Seierstad’s The Bookseller of Kabul. During the summer, I had read Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Both of these books give a glimpse into the reality of life in Afghanistan. Some friends from Chile recommened The Kite Runner to me back in March when their daughter (a close friend of my daughter when they were both growing up in Chile) had a baby in Tulsa, OK. At the time, our son and his family were living in Tulsa. We were in Tulsa visiting them, and we heard the Martha (Woolsey) King had just had a baby, and that her parents were in Tulsa as well. We went to the hospital to see the baby, and Shirley Woolsey recommended the book. I kind of filed that information away in inactive memory. A few months later, we were in Chile, and ended up staying with the Woolsey family for several nights. I had forgotten about the recommendation, but I saw the book at their place. The last night we were there (!!!!) I had a little bit of difficulty sleeping, so I got up and started reading the book (the first 127 pages). It was riveting. I asked permission to take the book with me, promising to mail it right back upon finishing it. They told me no! I forgive them.

When I arrived home, I ordered the book (got a good price by buying it online). Before it came in, I went to Joplin’s Books-a-Million, and read two chapters more while I was drinking coffee at Joe Mugg’s Coffee. When the book arrived, I finished it. It is an historical novel, written by an Afghani who left Afghanistan for the United States. Get it and read it!

One of my advisees did an extended internship (mission) in Afghanistan during Spring Semester 2005 and into the summer. I was anxious to ask him about The Kite Runner. He had heard about it, but mentioned another book that was a good read, and a glimpse into life there, The Bookseller of Kabul. His fianceé was reading it, but I was assured that I could borrow it. I’ve had it now for several weeks, but have been buried under other things. I also recommend it.

Life there is certainly hard, but Jesus loves the Afghanis just as much as He loves you or me. If you enjoy a good read, I recommend both of them to you.

UNL, Penguins and Grandsons

This semester I am enrolled in my last required course for the Ph.D in Educational Studies and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Next semester, I’ll actually be enrolled in another course titled Dissertation Proposal, but I don’t count that as a required “course”, since I will be working on my own dissertation. I worked hard all day yesterday on a final paper/project and got it posted late last night (Saturday). That feels good, because it is actually due by midnight tomorrow night, so I got it done two days early. I woke up early Saturday, however, because I had a bad dream, that I got my final grade for this course, and it was a “D”! Horror! I guess that’s not a dream. It’s a nightmare!

I did some posting this afternoon to the course website of some journal articles I had found helpful during the semester. Then with my family, I took some down time to watch the movie, The March of the Penguins. My son’s family (including two small grandsons) went to a cheap theater in Brownsville, TX where they live a couple weeks ago and watched it. The 3-year old liked it, but the 1+ year old wasn’t too excited about it. So . . . as soon as the movie was finished, I got the cell phone out and called Texas. I wanted to talk to Nathan (the 3 year old) about the movie, and he told me that he had already seen it “at the movie theater.” Then he went on and on about something in the movie, but though his speech was fluent, I really couldn’t understand what he was saying about it.

Since I’m writing about my grandsons, I think I’ll post a photo of them:

Nathan is on the left, and Eli is on the right. The other grandparents will be driving to Brownsville this Friday, where they will be spending about a week (we made the 15+ hour drive for Thanksgiving). Those boys make us want to travel there frequently. Rose (my wife) and I will fly down there on Dec. 30, returning Jan. 2. Next Sunday Nathan will sing in the children’s choir program at their church. They are putting on a program called Angel Alert, and I think Nathan will sing in two different songs. The children’s choir at College Hts. Christian Church in Joplin presented the same musical this evening. We heard them do one song in the morning service.

When we return to Brownsville, I will preach at the Spanish service on New Year’s Day. I enjoyed preaching there the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Well, my Greek I class has their semester final exam in the morning. The last sentence I will ask them to translate is pretty clever:

νῦν ἐλεύσομεθα πρὸς τοὺς οἴκους ἡμῶν.

I imagine what they will plan to do when they get there will be to go back to bed!

Here we go . . .

I am intrigued by the whole blogging phenomenon. As a Baby Boomer, those of my generation are generally not as confessional as the younger generation. The candor of today’s undergraduate students amazes me.

I began reading blogs seriously last summer. A young man that was a student of mine a year ago is now in Iraq. I performed his wedding ceremony in August, and his wife has been a student of mine this semester. She misses him terribly, but appears to be doing well.

Before he went off to full-time training, he sent me an e-mail in which he gave my his blog site at Reading his Xanga site made it possible for me to keep up on what was happening with him in his training. With the web-like linking together of others’ sites (also on Xanga), I found myself reading multiple student blogs. Now, some six months later, there are still six or seven student blogs that I commonly read, just to keep up on what is happening.

I also read more serious stuff. I am getting excited about the capabilities of Libronix Bible Software, especially regarding the study of Biblical Greek. I read the Logos Bible software blog, which has let me to interesting blog sites, like Rich Brannan’s blog, and to the OpenText website. I am really excited about the possibility of new syntactical databases in the upcoming Libronix version 3. The other day when I read Daniel Foster’s post, I downloaded the Libronix Version 3.0 beta on an office desktop computer that I have (the principal computer I use is a laptop that I carry back and forth from work to home). I am excited about some of this stuff!

I attended a Camp Logos in October, and learned quite a bit of stuff. I’m trying to educate myself in what Libronix can do. A few years ago, when I was regularly teaching a course called Principles of Interpretation, I was still using the pre-Libronix version of Logos software. I was a bit critical of the Logos stuff, primarily because the Logos software was so dependent upon the Strong’s Greek and Hebrew numbering system, whereas in the world of print resources, the Goodrick-Kohlenberger system, similar to Strong’s seemed to be preferrable. Libronix is still pretty much tied to the Strong’s system, but not necessarily to the KJV, as the NASB (1995 update) text is also tagged. The Englishman’s Concordance function from within Libronix makes it possible to create as it were an Exhaustive Confcordance based on whatever English version one desires. That is cool! I have not used the English Standard Version all that much, but the addition (next year) of the ESV Reverse-Interlinear (a joint project between Logos and Crossway Books) bodes some good stuff.

I will no doubt want to post some stuff in Greek here at some time, so here goes my first attempt. I hope all of the characters display correctly: ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν.

Aland, B., Aland, K., Black, M., Martini, C. M., Metzger, B. M., & Wikgren, A. (1993, c1979). The Greek New Testament (4th ed.) (Mt 20:28). Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies.

Blessings to you all. Until I have more random thoughts . . .