We thought you'd all like to share in our excitement--Eric finished his dissertation today! We are definitely allowing ourselves some celebration this evening but, as I'm sure many of you know, there's done and there's Done.
The writing is all finished as of today, and tomorrow Eric will turn in the last chapter to his director. He's been submitting chapters as they've been completed and, so far, he's had only minor corrections for each one. So we're optimistic on that front. But after Eric makes all those minor corrections and resubmits the dissertation for final approval it then has to go to the other two members of his committee. They have a few weeks to read it and approve it. Then the dissertation goes to two outside readers--"outside" meaning outside the school of Theology (this step doesn't make any sense to me, either). After that he has to get all the formatting approved with the Provost and then he gets to defend the dissertation before the committee and two outside readers. The idea is to get all the problems worked out before the defense so that you aren't too worried about failing then, but it's still a rather grueling session.
If each one of these steps happens in a timely fashion Eric could graduate in May. He will certainly have his defense before the end of May but there are a lot of people involved and a lot of red tape to get through, so we are not counting too much on that May graduation. It's not that big a deal but it would be nice to go to graduation and have it all official before we move on from here.
So Eric isn't quite, really, done but the bulk of the work is behind him and we are both feeling immense relief this evening. Eric has been working long hours six days a week in addition to teaching this semester and it's wearing on the whole family. We're looking forward to a day at the Zoo on Saturday and maybe a bit of downtime after Easter.
We'll keep you posted as things develop. Eric is still job hunting, though there are several good prospects out there right now. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement!