Finally, at the end of this spring semester, I will be graduating seminary with a M.Min. It has been a long time coming, too. As a matter of fact, there are people who were born after I started college who already have doctorates and are practicing medicine!
Nevertheless, even though it is not a Doctorate of Divinity or a Doctorate of Philosophy, it is still an accomplishment. It is an accomplishment that has been brought about by the accumulation of 179 credit hours. If you add to that the hours I completed that were not accredited, I would have close to 225.
But what does all that really mean? How long did it take to complete 179 hours? Seven and half days? Far from it, my friends. Far from it.
The average college student, if he didn’t do anything else, could have completed all of the above hours of courses in 6 years. Add in the total amount I have taken and an average student could have done it all in 8 years, if not sooner. So, when you stop and look at how long it took me, well, let’s just say I am not average.
Here are a few points to put things in perspective…
- Gas was less than $1 per gallon. A friend of mine and I took a 1971 Chrysler Imperial that could only get 200 miles to a tank of gas from Tennessee to Florida, and we still had money to spend.
- Cassette Tapes to Clouds. When I first started college I was so excited to get a Pioneer cassette deck for my 67 Mustang. Now, my iPhone can hold more music than I could have afforded to own in the 80’s.
- Bag Phone to iPhone. The first cell phone I used was bolted to the floor of a truck and had a dial, not buttons. The first cell phone I owned came in a bag with a battery four to five times the size of an iPhone. I couldn’t always afford to talk, but I would hold it up to my ear while driving, especially in the dark, just to show off.
- Typewriters and Printers. Most people don’t remember typewriters, but I had to use them in high school. Later, after the advent of personal computers, I was able to snag a Tandy 1000. But do you remember those old printers that used paper that had to be guided on rollers? It would take 10 minutes to print a 10 page paper, but it was better than typing.
- Text books to E-books. When I first started college an e-book was unheard of. Now text books are offered for iPads, Kindles, and phones. I still prefer something with paper.
- Babies to Baby Makers. I have been going to college for so long that babies born when I started have already graduated college and started families! Those babies are now older than the age of girl I was dating in 1987.
It has been a long 179 hours, that’s for sure. Sorta reminds me of eternity. There, a day will be like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. I’m looking forward to it.