It's been far too long since I've posted. I have had so much to do and this semester is going to be tough, even though I am enjoying nearly all of my classes. The important ones I am anyway. I'm taking a course on the history and archaeology of Jerusalem taught by a prominent archaeologist; the Book of Qoheleth (also called Ecclesiastes), which searches for what is worthy enough in life to make someone eternally happy, debunking traditional wisdom; and in Akkadian we're now translating The Descent of Ishtar (it's kind of like the story of Persephone in Greek mythology, only a million times more awesome)!
My date for my final comps are set: March 26th! I'm a little nervous, but excited to choose an early date to be done with things early. I have selected 50 chapters from the Hebrew Bible, scattered throughout the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. I'd list them but there's just far too many. I purposefully selected passages where someone argues directly with God (Abraham about Sodom and Gemorrah's destruction; Moses keeping God from killing all the Israelites out of frustration; Job and Qoheleth (pretty much these entire books are arguments with or against God); Jonah and numerous other prophets; Lamentations and many many Psalms. I've also selected passages with archaic poetry, like Moses' Song after the crossing of the Reed Sea. Other passages discuss sexual or marital practices and a couple chapters I selected because they has funny names that I had never seen before (I'm not a big Bible reader...), like Jebus. I laughed so hard when I saw the name transliterated, so I selected a chapter that talks about him. I now know that Jebus is linguistically related to the Jebusites and Jerusalem, thanks to my Jerusalem class.
Planning for the conference is keeping me pretty busy, too. We've been having trouble getting straight answers about the Graduate School budget, but I think we've managed to put enough pressure and annoyances on the administration that we are finally getting somewhere! Things are finally starting to come together and look like a real conference!!!
Now I must go work on my translations, for there is much to do!