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Category: Education / Topics: Education History Learning Memories

Graduations

by Dan Seagren

Posted: May 14, 2017

In the season of graduations, thoughts about my own…

Graduation from Elementary school was of little significance. High School was something else. In my Senior Year I took Chemistry, Physics and French mornings and worked afternoons in a factory owned by a neighbor. Either I lost my high school ring or it was hijacked from my coat pocket where I put it for safety as I worked on various tools making saw blades. During this time WW2 drafted friends and neighbors and knew my turn would come so little thought was given to college.

I was able to get out of the Navy late in August 1946 and was told I could enter one school in September if I found my own housing but five other colleges were already filled. My father found a boarding house five miles away thanks to a relative. Junior College in Chicago led to the University of Minnesota and on to seminary. My first assignment after finishing seminary, I went back to Michigan for an assignment and my Church Board let me substitute for a high school teacher for three weeks.
At the end of the school year, I was asked by the senior class to chaperon them on their trip to Niagara Falls. Years later I picked up a Master's degree at USC and spent the next seven years as a college professor and administrator.

Meanwhile, I met a lovely gal when she was still in high school. Our paths crossed again years later in Chicago where I was taking a refresher course and she was chaperoning her Michigan church teenagers on a visit to the same institution. Small world? Providential? Now we are pushing nearly 60 years of a wonderful life together at home and abroad.

Both Barbara and I had mixed feelings about the role of a Protestant clergyman. My father was an Ordained Minister for which I had no ill feelings although I never dreamed I would ever fill that role. Uncle Sam changed my thinking somewhat in the South Pacific where our ship was assigned to be a part of the Atom Bomb test at Bikini in the Marshall Islands. That is where I began to think of more education when word came that all Naval Reserve personnel were to be discharged by August 20, 1946. On the 19th I walked out of Fort Snelling and into college in September.

In college I began to think of what I wanted to do with my life. Without thinking too much about my academic career, a small voice seemed to be saying that my future should include some kind of a spiritual dimension more than secular. After some struggling, I gave in which led to Seminary and a career of college teaching and administration for the first seven years of our marriage. Then a career of pastoral work in the States as well as Sweden and Mexico and later as chaplain in two Retirement Centers. A wonderful career for both of us and our family.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: May 14, 2017   Accessed 182 times

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