Friday, December 17, 2010

My Son the Doctor!

Good Morning Company Girls!!

Well, this week I have wonderful news to tell you about so I'm going to start off with that right away! Last Friday was hubby's alternate Friday off and we were able to travel to Toronto...which is about an hour away from here. Toronto is a very busy and for me, confusing city....to say it intimidates me would be an understatement! I was glad it was hubby's day off because that means he was able to do the driving! If he hadn't then I would have gathered up my courage and made the trek to the big city myself if I had to because my eldest son was defending his doctoral thesis!!!! Yes, can you believe it...a very exciting day, to be sure. I had never been to a 'defense' before..didn't know what to expect..didn't even know what to wear! Fortunately we left in plenty of time to find parking and get in there before it started because they had signs posted that latecomers would not be admitted! I knew my daughter-in-law, Jennifer would be disappointed at this because she had hoped that hubby would be able to slip out part way through the defense, and take the baby and she would be able to come in and observe her hubby, at this pivotal part in their lives. I felt bad for her, if it was my hubby I certainly would want to be in there! Anyways, if you've never been to a 'defense', I'll give you a brief overview....in this room, a little bigger than most living rooms...and placed in the centre there is a long table with chairs. Six chairs are placed with water glasses at each place and a pitcher of water in the middle. Also, in the middle of the table was one of those 'spider' speaker phones that you see on television shows...this is needed because one of the questioning professors lives and teaches in Michigan and would do his questioning via speaker phone.

At first, it was just hubby and I and Ryan in the room....slowly, other men started coming in...these were the other professors...and last to come in was another professor who was the chairman of the committee. So, do you have the picture set in your mind? The next thing to happen was that we were sent out of the room! Apparently all the professors had to chat and decide who was going to ask what...oh yes, they had already got the Michigan professor on the phone.....so, we waited at a little sitting area for about ten minutes, then we were called back in.

Hubby and I sat over, against the wall and for the next one hour and forty-five minutes were quiet as two mice could be while we observed our son as he defended his thesis. Each professor took turns for approximately fifteen minutes asking him questions...'Why did you say that', 'What is the meaning of that section', 'What were you thinking when you said that'.....I will admit to being fascinated...I will also admit to not understanding everything they said...you see the topic was from the New Testament.....in fact I'd really have to get my brain working at even understanding the topic of his thesis,...Conjectural Emendation in New Testament Criticism with the Epistle of James as a Case Study. Say that five times fast!

When Ryan was much younger, like in elementary school, he was a challenge...in fact one teacher thought he was ADHD.....I questioned that...to me he didn't seem that way at all....they said....'he's always looking out the window, not paying attention'....I questioned Ryan on that...he said ' they teach the same thing, over and over for three days...I got it the first day'..ahhh, so there you go.....another thing he liked to do was challenge what you said...everything we'd talk to him about, or the teachers did..he'd challenge...we began to call it 'his word games'...he'd love them, you could tell...he'd also loved to debate....whether he'd believed in the topic or not, he could debate it and do it well.....this is the son that we cut our parenting teeth on.....he was definitely the kid that 'walked to the beat of a different drummer'! At first I thought that he'd be the death of me(so to speak) but when he was older I could appreciate his thinking, I no longer found it frustrating but found that it was a marvellous strength! No one was going to convince him to do anything that he didn't want to do! A fabulous trait to have when faced with peer pressure every day! So...you get the general idea of the personality of my son...which hasn't changed a lot in this thirty-four year old man!

After the professors had their allotted fifteen minutes then they went for round two...five minutes each.....then,...they sent us out again!

After about ten minutes they called him and us back in again....the professor that was his advisor came and got us...smiling from ear to ear, and tipping the committees hand when he said 'Congratulations, Ryan!'

When we were all seated again, the chairman gave the official news, that other than a few minor corrections before it could be published, he congratulated Ryan on successfully defending his thesis!!!!! After fourteen years of post secondary schooling, it had come to this! To say that hubby and I were proud, was an understatement, really, words could not really describe how we felt.

As we were getting ready to leave one of the professors turned to us and said....'Well, you both did very well, just sitting there quietly and not jumping in and defending your son!' I replied, 'well, no, Ryan has always been able to express himself well, we didn't need to'.......I knew, and had tremendous confidence in him......I had witnessed it from the time he was a young boy, I knew he could do it....and as I sat there observing and praying, praying that the Lord would speak through him, that whatever words that came out of his mouth would be from Him, I was assured that all would be well.

Apparently, his convocation isn't til next fall...good grief...I don't think we'll be able to call him doctor before that..but...it does have a nice ring to it doesn't it?

Dr. Ryan Wettlaufer...cool eh?

Now, if any of you know of a bible college needing a really, really fabulous new testament teacher...please let me know...I can personally vouch for him..if that counts!

Have a good week, with last minute Christmas preparations!

5 comments:

Katharine said...

How wonderful and exciting! Congratulations to your son, and congratulations to his parents... your prayers and trust and belief in him are an amazing gift, and I'm guessing a large part of why he was so sucessful! What a wonderful Christmas gift! Blessings!

CindyC said...

Oh, congratulations! How elated your family must be! You have a doctor in the family now. :)

Your son (and daughter-in-law) will surely have a very merry Christmas, having all this school behind him!

I only wish I knew of any Bible colleges hiring! :)

Cari Lin said...

Wow, it sounds so nerve racking and intimidating to defend one's thesis. Congratulations to Ryan though! It must have been so much hard work for him.

joyceandnorm said...

Congrats!! Time to celebrate!!! I could never do that. Wow! Good job to him.

One More Equals Four said...

Congratulations! I cannot even imagine how proud you must be! I'm thinking Ryan and his whole family need to come to Jackson TN, Union University (my Alma Mater)...TN winters aren't quite as bad as Canada!