I’ve been tagged by Judy Redman in the 10-20-30 meme game. If I understand it correctly, I have to tell what I was doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago; then I have to tag three others. Also dann–
Ten years ago I was in ABD purgatory, trying to put the finishing touches on my dissertation “Form and Meaning in Exodus 20-23 in the Light of its Ancient Near Eastern Literary Context.” As I recall, I banished my family for the Thanksgiving holidays, sending them out of town to spend the holiday with relatives, while I typed round the clock. I do remember having problems with my printer as I was churning out the conclusion. Our church in Memphis, Tennessee allowed me to use theirs, and I spent about 48 hours there–but I got it done.
Twenty years ago I was doing my MA in classics, and teaching Latin as a GTA at the University of Kansas. I remember taking my daughter, who was about 8 at the time, to the small museum of classical art and archeology, and she asked me, “didn’t people have clothes back then?” I also remember a conversation with a visiting professor from Italy. He invited me to a conference in Rome, and I complained of lack of funds. He said, “surely your father will pay for you to do this.” By the way, I read last night that Bonhoeffer wrote a paper in high school on the poetry of Horace and Catullus; whose poetry I was reading twenty years ago, and whom I would commend to any aspiring theologian: Vivamus . . . atque amemus! Carpe Diem . . .
Thirty years ago I was an undergraduate, newly married, and learning about the mysterious 8 cases of IndoEuropean from Dana and Mantey’s Greek Grammar (which was basically a condensed version of A.T. Robertson’s Magnum Opus). That was when I decided to study Sanskrit, which I eventually did, and was a worthwhile endeavor in opening up the splendor of ancient India to me–but also turned out to be little help in understanding Greek. After meeting Dr. Fred Young, who would later be my professor in seminary, I decided I would also learn Akkadian, Ugaritic, Egyptian, Coptic and other dead languages. Well, I took classes in those subjects, whether I have “learned” the languages or not is another question–but I am still learning.
During the time, I have been happily married to my wife Sonja (whom you can see at my Faith Matters blog) and have been the father of Eric (who is Elijah’s father, and with Sarah is expecting a second grandbaby for us) a drywall contractor; Tabitha who is an editor for Mother Earth News, and Heidi who is a nurse in a nephrology clinic.
So now I have to tag someone: