the reb will be in k.k. sabah from wednesday till saturday for the atesea teachers seminar. atesea (association for theological education in south east asia) is the accredting body that STM is affliated to. they hold seminars once in a while on various topics. this week, they are holding the teachers seminar, a seminar meant for younger faculty members in the affliated schools and seminaries under atesea. these are people who have been teaching for 5-10 years and the target group is about 15 persons to be tutored by experienced theological educators from around the region and beyond on various topics like 'teaching ecumenics, teaching church history, etc'.
one guest educator is professor seow choon leong from princeton theological seminary, author of anchor bible commentary on ecclesiastes, westminster bible companion on daniel and the forthcoming anchor bible commentary on job. he will teaching a module on 'teaching the book of job' for 3 sessions and also giving a series of night lectures in STS on the Wisdom Books.
so, you may ask, why is the reb going there? obviously, he doesn't meet the criteria. in fact, he has over-shot the criteria since he has been teaching for the last eleven years (13 years including part-time)!! to cut the story short, STM had not initially intended to send anyone for the seminar since it falls over the week we are having our annual photoshoot for the graduating class and for the whole seminary. also, most of us STM lecturers are already hard-pressed for time.
but a call from the atesea executive director came to the principal that there were still 3 vacancies. so, my newest colleague (and ex-OT disciple) pastor elaine goh and the reb will be representing STM. again, knowing the principal, we are trying to knock 2 birds with one stone! elaine will be going because professor seow is her doctoral supervisor (while the reb is her 2nd supervisor) for her DTheol program. she will catch up with professor seow while we are there (so 2 birds with 1 stone).
the reb is actually busy editing his thesis and would like to have stayed home but to go is to 'take a break' (in the words of the principal) from teaching and try to squeeze some editing work during the free time in the seminar (also 2 birds with 1 stone). in fact, 4 birds with 1 stone. the reb needs to get himself familiarize with the other seminaries and faculty in the region as well as to get to know the atesea people too. part of the pr work we all need to do while in stm. and finally, the reb also teaches wisdom literature in STM. to get to hear from the mouth of the si-fu (or master) is worth the journey and time. professor seow is an acknowledged authority on ecclesiastes and now with the new forthcoming commentary on Job (in fact 2 books because he has so much left over material that cannot be squeezed into his commentary that he is publishing a separate volume on Job!!), he is a double authority on the wisdom books. even the reb needs to get some intake.