Actually, I was done last Thursday. I just needed a few days to convince my fingers to not be afraid of the keyboard. They had their work cut out for them this month.

My finals week at LTSP was fairly straight forward. I stayed in NYC an extra night (no Monday morning class) so I arrived Monday around noon. My workload for this final week was one take home final (3 short essays for Old Testament 2), one five page review of the book American Jesus (for Readings in Christology), one set of reading reflections on half a dozen books in the Old Testament, and a 3 hour final on Thursday for Lutheran Confessions. My Liturgy course and Pastoral Care finished before finals week even began. The book review went fine and the take home final went well even though I was little worried about it. Most of the final exam consisted of looking at the Wisdom literature in the OT and we never really covered, in class, how Wisdom was defined. Or maybe we did and I had zoned out in that lecture or I just failed to do the supplemental reading that week (it happens). Either way, my professor was very nice and made sure to grade the exam quickly and get it back to me before I left campus. I’m grateful for that.

My final for Lutheran Confessions went swimmingly except for a little incident where, right before the exam began, a student was escorted out of the classroom by security. I still have yet to figure out why that happened though I have my guesses (the student was either an auditor who wasn’t suppose to be taking the final or the student had discovered the secret Luther Rose signal that Gotham uses to summon the League of Lutheran Avengers) but that was a bit unnerving. None of us had a chance before hand to really break it down or decompress. The head of security had asked me if I knew the student earlier in the morning (I barely did) and I noticed, on my way to the classroom, the entire security squad was hanging around our classroom. The professor was obviously flustered, apologized to all of us for what happened, and then gave us the test. So we all plowed ahead. The exam consisted of two sections – the first section required us to identify 20 or so documents, terms, ideas, or reformers, and say a little about them. The other section was 3 essay questions out of the 10 that I had received before hand. I tabbed the crap out of my Book of Concord so I had all my quotes and ideas ready for the test. I focused each question on one of the legs of the three legged (with a four leg resting on top) stool: Justification by Grace through Faith, Law and Gospel, Theology of the Cross, and the Two Kingdoms. I barely discussed the two kingdoms in my essays so, right at the end, I wrote a quick paragraph on what it was about (I like to show that I paid attention to at least one lecture this year). Each question was “from the headlines” or were questions the professor received from former students dealing with situations that developed in their parishes or internships. I think I did okay but since I vacated the premise, I won’t know my final grade until June 15 (and there is a good chance my final exam will be lost into the Abyss of Exams that Time Forgot since I’m not there to pick it up). Thus, I have plenty of time to stew and think about how I could have done better. And it also doesn’t help that I threw in a few jokes on the objective part of the test for the TA to read (since he’s a buddy of mine) but I found out afterwards that the TA wasn’t aware that he was grading any parts of it. I hope the professor appreciated my use of emoticons.

I left LTSP campus later that Thursday. I spent two hours throwing things out, scrubbed the bathroom, borrowed a friend’s vacuum, and wondered how someone who never really lived on campus could have acquired so much junk. I said my goodbyes to a few folks on campus (folks that I am gonna miss terribly) and, as it began to rain, a friend kindly offered to drive me to the SEPTA train stop. And so I left – my first year at seminary finished. Goodbye Philadelphia, hello ten days till CPE.