Thinking Ahead...

As a Master's degree should only take about 2 years, I have to start looking ahead already for what I want to do post-MA. Here's the question: will I know enough of what I want to do to get me into a PhD program, or do I need to consider a second MA before moving on to the PhD?

Financially, a second MA is a terrible decision. I need to plan out my next 3 semesters very carefully to get into a PhD program with enough under my belt. Therefore, I need to compile a check-list of things I need to look into before papers and projects start weighing me down:
  • Check out CUNY to beef up my German knowledge to "academic" level. If I can handle it, maybe also attack French. ;)
  • Look at next semester's courses for JTS, Columbia, and Union (maybe even NYU and petition to take some classes there?)
  • Buy those books on Ugaritic! Just waiting for the second half of my loans to be deposited...
Why is it especially loud this morning? Everything keeps echoing through my window!

Last night Katy and I went to a talk at a synagogue in the middle of Chinatown (ha), coincidentally on the topic of our group project for Bible class: Wisdom Books. The panel was more about his translation of the books of Job, Proverbs, and Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes for those who don't read the Bible in Hebrew). It was still fascinating and I still got a page worth of notes for our project. A little bit of elbow rubbing on my part got us his email address in case we have questions for him. *SCORE* Katy did some elbow rubbing herself and schmoozed with a Jewish artist who made a series based on this professor's translation of Genesis. Katy is now seriously considering using this woman as her subject for her final paper in Feminist Jewish Art! Go us! Which reminds me, I need to send him an email thanking him...

Today I'm going to lunch with my Hebrew class to one of our classmates' apartment! Apparently her upstairs neighbor is the new player for the Nix! haha. I have no idea who that is because I don't follow basketball at all. But I am really looking forward to it!

Tonight Simon has finally planned out the dinner he promised he would make for us! A tasty Indian dish, apparently! He even made cheese and yogurt yesterday for the dinner. Sounds promising!


Creatures in the Kitchen...

It's no unknown fact that living in a city as large and [dirty] as NYC brings with it a number of little critters. For instance, rats in the subways (accompanied by signs in the subways warning passengers of the rodents), cockroaches, and mice. We have now experienced all three.

Rat in the subway [check]
Cockroach in Danielle's room [double check] (saw it once, successfully killed it the second time with the help of a fellow neighbor - thank you, Andrew!)
Mouse in the kitchen [check]

This final experienced occurred last night. Right after hanging up the phone with my family, I walked past the kitchen towards the living room. Of course, I turn my head and glance in the kitchen - just in time to see a little furry vermin scurry across the counter top and over the stove. I emitted an audible shriek, jumped sideways away from our doorway, and glanced back in. No mouse. I requested a flashlight and began the search under the fridge, oven, and behind the oven. Ewwww...it was so gross behind that oven! No wonder the mouse was there!

I scrubbed the counter and stove top and began a furious search through all our drawers and cabinets to make sure no little mouse turds were in existence. For now we're safe. Katy was freaking out because she's never experienced a mouse in the house. I'm ready to take this cute little guy down. Even though our heat has been officially turned on and the little guy has the right to find a warm place to live, it will not be in OUR apartment! The hunt begins with the informing of our RA and the request for some [non-lethal] mouse traps!



Grad School Ponderings...

I made some chocolate chip whole wheat pancakes for my roommies + Simon after our group run this morning! They were super tasty! Danielle made some fruit topping for them, too! Be on the lookout on DARK Meals for that tasty morsel!

The cool air is really starting to get to me while running. It's only 50 and I think I need to get myself a face mask already! It felt like my nose was burning and was causing my windpipe and lungs to burn. Stupid cold. Though I got much further today than I have so far! :) So did Katy. She kicked our butts today!

Katy, Rachel, and I are working on a joint project together for one of our classes on Wisdom Literature in the Bible and its Near Eastern parallels. Pretty cool. It'll be a simple project mainly because we're supposed to just improve upon an already established Wikipedia entry. The page is horrible but we're going to make it awesome!

I need to start thinking about my final project for that class, too. It's either a final paper/project or an exam. Um, yea, I'll take the paper, thanks. I never understood why people preferred exams to papers. At least you know with a paper that you're 100% correct because you get to look it all up in books! I prefer writing papers to studying any day. I think I might try to do something with the Dead Sea Scrolls or other apocryphal manuscripts, just so I have an excuse to go into the rare book room and look at all the awesome books and manuscripts up there. *dreams*

I've registered myself for the ASOR conferences in Atlanta this year! $220???? I'm becoming a member after I get the rest of my loans deposited into my account and purchase my plane tickets. No more of this expensive registration! And then I can present papers at the conferences, too! *squeeeeeeee* Luckily, I don't have to get a hotel by myself. Marcella's going too! Yay! I'll have a buddy! We have a staff meeting for Gezer while we're there, too. One of our staff also sent out an invitation for us all to go out and party it up one night. whoop whoop! We all started teasing one of our staff that he was going to pick up the tab for us all. haha.

One of my fellow Zebrew students (oh, "zebrew" is the old name for the bottom level of Hebrew...Hebrew Z, or "Zebrew") invited us all to lunch at her apartment on Tuesday. Totally in on that. That was so sweet of her. We're all becoming good buddies in that class. Better be, we're spending 6+ hours together in class a week.

This weekend there's an Israeli Queer Cinema Festival and we're hoping to get enough work done to go check out some of the films! That'll be cool.

On another note, my iTunes shuffle playlist has been bringing up a lot of my German music. I wonder if it's telling me to work on my German some more. Hmm....


Schedule Conflict

The other day we were emailed the final exam schedule. All I took note of was that the only two classes I have exams for were scheduled for the same day: the first day of the exam schedule. Hellz yea! Then yesterday I looked at it again. Yea, they're scheduled for the exact same time. Stupid.

So I went to the registrar's office to sign up to reschedule, and the only day available for make up exams is Dec 23rd! I went to talk to the lady in charge of the exam schedule to see if there were any other arrangements I could make. If I could talk one of my professors into letting me take the exam with another Hebrew class, then I could still come home way earlier! yay! Now to have a chat with Nadav....



I just bought my round trip tickets to go visit Stuart in Japan!!!!!!!!

I'll be in Tokyo January 6 - 15th!!!!!! OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MY STUART!!!!!



Studies Update!

It is so nice having Fridays off. It's even nicer when my last class on Thursdays ends before noon, and so my weekend begins at noon on Thursdays!

Last weekend was so nice; got to see a significant portion of the fam - though I missed my daddy. :( We lost some people on the subway but made it to Four & Twenty Blackbirds for some tasty fall pies! A long day of walking around, but all in all a very nice time - even if the teenage boys were acting like....teenage boys. haha. It was nice to see them, though. Made me laugh and miss them.

Working my butt off on homework Friday and Saturday really worked in my favor. Katy, Rachel, and I spent literally at least 7 hours on our Bible homework. Pulled off, though, because class topics have fallen a little behind and the only homework he assigned for next week is the optional homework we did last week! This means we have all weekend to work on our group project! haha. In fact, I have to go meet with that professor soon. He wants to get to know everyone in the class so he had us all set up meetings with him to discuss what we each want to get from the class - and so he could learn our names. haha.

My Texts in the Jewish Liturgy class is getting really fascinating. I may not know much about the liturgy but I am learning how various Bible passages made it into the liturgy - which a few times has come as a horrendous surprise to some students in my class. Almost appalling them. Just how, well, some things maybe were copies wrong and so changed the meaning, but the rabbis thought it was awesome and so included it. I don't know, I can't think of a specific example. But I also love it because the professor pulls in Near Eastern parallels to explain the possible origins of the texts! He even gave us a copy of a Dead Sea Scroll to compare how it was different to what is found in the modern Masoritic Text (the texts eventually accepted into the Hebrew canon). That is what I want! I want to study what is found outside and see how it compares to what we have. This also happens to be what I'm doing in my Bible class...

Grammar is getting pretty tough, but I'm learning more words and becoming quite proficient in writing in Hebrew script! Even when she explains everything in Hebrew, I'm still understanding it! yay! Baby Hebrew has reached a point where I'm falling behind in vocabulary, so I bought myself some index cards. Time to start studying some flash cards!

After going to a lunch last week for the Bible program, I have decided what I'm going to focus my studies on...for now. I didn't know where I was going to start, but now I do: UGARITIC! Oh yes, I am going to get myself some Ugaritic books, teach myself some Ugaritic, and start reading Ugaritic texts!!!! I don't know where I'll go from there, but I just know that I want to learn about as many ancient Near Eastern cultures as I possibly can - and I now have a starting point! I'm sure after I've done some sufficient study into Ugaritic, I'll find my next stepping stone. I'm going to check out classes at Union and Columbia for next semester and see what culture classes they offer. SO EXCITED!

Tonight the roommies and I are going downtown for an exhibition opening on "The Jews of Morocco"! I'm pretty stoked. However, my dear roommies don't get out of class until 5 and the exhibit starts at 6:30. Since I am finished with class, I'm going to be making dinner tonight! :) I'm such a good roommie.

Tomorrow night, we're still debating, we might go to a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show!!! I've never been to one though I know a lot of what the audience is supposed to participate in, so I'm pretty excited. If we don't do it this weekend, we'll be going next weekend. We found out it happens every Friday and Saturday, so we have plenty of opportunities to go. It's more fun (or so I've heard) to go around Halloween.

And THEN a huge number of JTS students are going to the Rally to Restore Sanity in DC and taking the FREE Huffington Post bus!!! We have to be at the Mets Stadium at 5:30 in the morning. We're wondering if all of us packing into a taxi would be better than the hour plus subway+bus ride we'd have to take. hmm....

Whoops, the last of Trinity Weekend Pt. IV

Well, when one is as busy as this grad student, one may forget to add the last pictures to one's blog. So here it is: The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy.

First we went to eat at Lombardi's, the first pizzeria in America! It has some super delicious pizza, too! mmm....crispy crust....

We took a picture with Mr. Lombardi.

The San Gennaro Festival was in full swing, too. And only a block from Lombardi's. They had deep fried oreos!!!!!!!! mmmmm..... There were also these strange corn patty fried mozarella sandwiches, too. oh man, that was delicious too. There were all kinds of super tasty Italian sausages, etc, but we had already had our fill of Lombardi's pizza.

Deep fried oreos... *drools*

There were also carnival rides, which we felt were severely dangerous to place on city streets. LOOK HOW CLOSE THAT FERRIS WHEEL IS TO THE BUILDING! LOOK AT IT!

Oh and this one was even better. Yea, only a couple feet from that ELECTRIC WIRE! Holy crap.

This one's even better. You can really see that wire...

haha, now it looks like it's walking upside down.

It was still pretty cool, though.

Apparently my mom makes cheesecake now! "Special" cheesecake!

Ok, I want to take a poll: Are these singers men or women? They appear to be dressed as women (Melissa swore up and down they were women), but they look rather mannish to me. Denise agreed with me. Your opinions?

FINALLY! I've finished putting up pictures from Trinity Weekend!


Trinity Weekend Pt...III?

Continuing to update about my Trinity Weekend with Denise and Melissa. Next up is the Sony Wonder Technology Lab! It was super awesome and located at 56th and Madison. Unfortunately, we were ill-informed to closing time. The website said normal closing time was 8pm, but for some reason this day it was 5pm; we had arrived at 4:15. We had to pretty much take it at a run. It was super fun, though!

This isn't it. This is Trump Tower. We thought that was awesome.

Ok, so once inside, you're handed a little card and have to take a picture of yourself. As you explore all the funs of virtual reality, your "identity" transforms and new avenues are opened for you!

There's Denise.

One of the fun games was to program and control your own robot! This one's Melissa!

Where's Allison?

There she is!

Then you chose an animated character and get to change their body position and facial expression to match some kind of event.

There were lights on the floor that followed your footsteps, and when you got close enough to someone else's light, they merged! But Denise used the flash, so the lights didn't show up.

For some reason that made me really mad. Melissa just wanted to pick her nose.

Melissa cheering me on as I race an animated car that I created!

This was the coolest part of the whole thing! There was a screen with the image of falling colored beans. But when you stood at a certain spot, you could interact with the falling beans! See how they fell around me as if they were really falling on my head?!

Melissa wanted to make it look like she was eating them. I helped by pushing the beans in her direction.


At the end we got to print out our own personalized certificates. :)

Then we had to map out our next route, which was downtown to Lombardi's original pizzaria and the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy!

There was a Hello Kitty sculpture along the way. haha.

Well that's all for now. Next up, Lombardi's and the San Gennaro Festival which all it's amazing delicious goodness!!!!