Mastering: An Event in Three Parts

A couple of weekends ago, you all will recall that Jenni delivered her thesis defense. Aside from the actual researching, writing, and proofing of her paper, this was one of the last stages of her graduation from her Master’s program at Luther Seminary. For those who don’t see my Facebook or Google Plus pages, here’s a picture of that event:


Last weekend, there was a picnic for seniors. The weather was absolutely perfect, and, miraculously, we found a parking space at Como Park not far from the picnic pavilion where the event was being held. And, all things considered, for an event on the Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day, it was thoroughly enjoyable.


Yesterday was more celebration: a family lunch for the graduating seniors and their families, the class photo, and a baccalaureate service.

Yesterday was a bit warm, I’ll grant you, but this was a fun event: all of the prospective grads mingling with each other, but also with their families, all of whom were thanked for supporting the students during what really is a much harder program than I think anyone could possibly imagine.


It’s this thanks that I extend to all of you reading this, whether you were there to celebrate with us or not: because all of you out there, simply by reading this and caring about all of us, deserve thanks for supporting the five of us through this process. This is the reason I share my life with you all here.


So then came today–graduation day.


Somehow, this day comes just one day shy of Hannah and Zoe’s twelfth birthday, and it struck me that they were seven when this whole journey began. Which becomes a little more striking when you think of it in terms that their mother has been in school for more than a third of their lives–and this isn’t a good or bad thing, since it’s just how things turned out. But I know that thought won’t even dawn on them or sink in as to the weight of it, but there probably will come a time soon when they realize that things have changed, and I wonder if they’ll be able to put their fingers on it.


But today was the big day, and with plenty of family in attendance, Jenni got to take that final, literal, step.



In a remarkable Lutheran Cathedral, if those two words can indeed be used together, Jenni collected her sheepskin:

It’s almost astounding how five years of hard work, intense learning, papers, projects, and internships can be boiled down to 15 or so seconds spent crossing a stage. But alas, it’s the ceremony of the thing, and that’s all that today was about: ceremony and celebration. And much deserved, I may add.


And at the end, this:

Okay, so I share that merely because it’s a fabulous picture (thanks, Patrick!). It’s this one that I hope conveys my pride in Jenni, along with her pride in her accomplishment:


Something tells me, though, that she’s rightfully proud:

One last photo, a keeper for all of you, but if you want a high res copy, just let me know and I’ll get it out to you:


After the ceremony, Jenni handed in her robe and hood, so while the vestments of her achievement are gone, the pride, accomplishment and knowledge will go on.


See you tomorrow, when we celebrate 12 years of Hannah and Zoe.