Coping with Stress

In order to cope with my currently extreme amount of stress, I am going to waste yet more time by writing a quick blog entry, inspired by my lovely fellow blog-writer, whom I cannot tag in this entry because I'm not skilled enough at blogging. I recently spent the past 15 minutes praying a million had left me interesting Facebook messages and taking note of recent updates to waste some time. I did just come out of a class, come on, gimme a break!

I have had quite a few failures this week which have dampened my mood, but there are times when one must say, "'Tis enough," and move forward. It began with my horrendous Hebrew oral recording first thing Monday morning. I was completely unprepared, as I immediately and horrifyingly discovered. --- I have just had the realization that I love using adverbs...I wonder if this is a bad thing? --- We had two readings to record and for some reason, perfectionism reared its ugly head. I did not finish both my readings in our designated time slot. I was mortified. It was all I could do not to lose it and run sobbing into the bathroom. This has never happened to me before with Hebrew. Somehow I managed to keep my cool - afterall, I had not thought over my options nor discussed them with my professor. If either of those near-future incidents turned sour, then I would allow myself the emotional punishment. I could not, however, keep myself from becoming detached from the lesson for the remainder of class. That stupid little sobbing bug kept biting me. But I made it through and told my professor that I hadn't finished the second recording. She was just as shocked as I was, "Alli, what happened?" I wanted to shout, "THAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT READING YOU COULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR OUR LEVEL AND I DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME TO PRACTICE YOUR STUPID READINGS! I'M APPLYING TO PHD PROGRAMS AN WANTED TO SPEND THANKSGIVING IN HAPPINESS!" But I more tactfully replied, "I was just being a perfectionist and lost track of time...hehe." She said that that was it and there was nothing I could do. That stupid sobbing bug came running back again, but I composed myself a second time and asked, "But what about the make-up date?" "Of course, that's what you have to do!" Oh, jeeze, thanks for making me panic, Prof; there was simple explanation the whole time. Luckily, I passed my first recording and the make-up is very soon. I was worried it would be held closer to the end of finals, like December 23rd or something evil like that.

Now I'm holding back panic attacks about my applications (the first one is due TOMORROW) and fear my writing sample isn't quite up to snuff. The last thing I want is for my writing sample to be the cause of my failure to become a PhD! So here I sit, in the fine arts library, pushing off the anxiety and limited time frame in which to fix up my writing sample while simultaneously completing my statement of purpose, Hebrew homework, and Akkadian translation. What I really want to do is scrap everything but Akkadian because Akkadian is my new love child and what I want to study for future research! Stupids...


San Francisco!

Wow, right now I'm really glad I asked the front desk to give my roommates and me the highest floor available - something is happening out on the street and I do not want to be down there to witness it!

Anyway, I've been having a really great time bonding with my little cousin Mateo and seeing Maddy and Bob! Mateo attached to me pretty quickly, actually, which made me really happy! He's so damned cute!!! I'll put pictures up if ever I get the 30 minutes to do it. Maddy has shown me some fun times in San Fran and was even kind enough to drop me off at Berkeley for my meeting.

I think the meeting went really well, despite what could have been interpreted as a very discouraging moment. Luckily, I've had to deal with a lot of very intelligent and blunt professors who don't take fluffiness or excuses, so I didn't get discouraged when this Berkeley professor responded to my interests as "very boring". He stated what he thought would be more interesting and I responded with, "Well yes, of course, I guess I didn't state my interests very well," and added a few more things and he was much more receptive to them. Now I know how NOT to word things for my statement of purpose for Berkeley! He also told me, quite truthfully, his pros and cons of the various programs and what he thinks might be more appropriate for my interests, based on what I had told him. The prof then introduced me to another professor I would most likely work with and found some students for me to talk to. Everyone invited me to find them at the conference to chat with them some more, which I took as a very good sign! I'm very excited! I was very grateful for everything he told me.

All in all, I love this city and I love the school and I love the program! I love everything about this place and I really really really want to get in here!!! My visit has only reaffirmed Berkeley as my top choice!

I will post on my explorations with Maddy, Bob, and Mateo when I finally upload my photos! I don't want to give away the fun without the pictures. ;)


Academic Conferences!

Not only am I attending the ASOR annual conference for the 4th time (and visiting with my big cousin!), I am also part of a committee that is organizing an academic conference for the spring for the graduate school. Suddenly I am super pumped about being a part of this, even if I don't feel I have any material that fits our topic ("Lost Texts"!). I have been put in charge of asking one of my Bible profs to be the keynote speaker! I'm psyched! Sadly, I've never worked with this professor, but if he agrees to be our keynote, it might mean that I get to work a little bit with him? Who knows. I just wanted to share my sudden excitement about organizing an academic conference!