Don't call this a comeback.
How come every semester feels like the busiest semestre you've ever had? (I know I spelled "semester" wrong, but I like it that way better). I only had 12 units, but it felt like the greatest amount of work in my academic career. It wasn't brute work heavy (my Spring 2007 semester gets the award for that one, when I had both OT Theology and Minor Prophets with Dr. Talley) or reading heavy (that was my Spring 2008 semester with Dr. Lunde's NT's use of OT). My Advanced Greek Grammar course with Dr. Carson was the most demanding all-around, but it ended up being one of the most fulfilling classes I've done since OT in NT (and it doesn't hurt that Carson truly liked my final paper). For my Gospel Criticism class I had to prepare an hour-long lecture on the theology of John, which required a lot of organization and preparation on my part, which are definately my personal weaknesses. So that proved to be a good challenge that I learned a lot from. So much good was done on the academic front over the past few months.
This was also the most heartbreaking semester I've had. In my first year at Trinity (2008-9), I had a faculty advisor. It was his first year teaching there, and we became fairly close because of our weekly meetings. Even when I had the Fall '09 semester off I'd still meet with him monthly to keep in touch and update him on my new marriage. He was a careful listener and was never short of direct questions and careful advice. However, in October his wife was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He took leave the rest of the semester, so I was unable to visit with him.
When I returned (and he resumed his teaching duties) to Trinity in Spring '10 I took a course with him, and I was able to meet with him a couple times each month. He was noticably more tired, but he still showed great interest in my relationship with my wife, my schooling, and the youth ministry we were involved in. But there was always a stretch of about 2-5 minutes where he would stop asking questions and become quiet. I'd finishing answering his questions and become quiet. Then one of us would start sniffling and tearing up, then the other would do the same. And for those 2-5 mins. we'd just cry. He'd then start telling me about his 5 year old daughter, how she cries at night. Or how thin and weak his wife was getting, how the coughing wouldn't stop, or how she was showing signs of improvement--but the following weekend she'd be in the ICU. Two weeks before she died, he asked me how I spend my time with my wife, if I actively make time to hang out with her, and how important it is that I do so. At the time neither of us knew what was going to happen in two weeks, but what I did know was that I was hearing the heart of a man speaking from the most far-off place imaginable. So when she died two weeks later, everything he said to me took on much more substance.
The memorial ceremony was amazing. The Trinity chapel was packed full, so I felt like an imposter, never having met or even seen her. The ceremony consisted of a bold prayer (by Dr. Osborne), a recitation of 1 Cor 15 (Dr. Schnabel), a moving reflection on death and Jesus' victory over it (Dr. Yarbrough), and a final recitation of the Lord's prayer (Dr. Pao). A close relative (her sister, I recall) gave a wonderful recollection of the life of a mother, wife, missionary, and daughter of God.
That's all for now.
4 weeks ago