Monday, August 13, 2007

(Really Hugely Big) Life decisions.

I've decided ... I plan on attending Hebrew College in Newton, Mass. But, actually, via the Internet (and this is assuming I get in, too). Yes folks, I'm shooting for the Online Masters in Jewish Studies.

Last year after realizing how much I disliked my job, I sort of phoned it in, applied to the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Then I quit my job, moved to Chicago, and found out I'd gotten into Michigan, but not Chicago. Talk about the Edwards luck! So I've been plodding along doing my thing and spending my spare time watching TV or in transit between job and home. As such, I'm ready to fill that up, gall darn't. Everything good is HERE in Chicago, except the schools I want to attend. So if the U of C doesn't want me (I'm okay with that because truth be told, I prefer a little less pretension in my academic experience) and the other schools are too far away ... well, I'll bring school to me.

So my first plan of action is to enroll for Mekhina, or preparation, for Hebrew learning. I've sort of already been there and done that (I know my aleph-bet!), but it's required for advancing to other levels of Hebrew. I'm also going to do as much Hebrew for non-credit as I can, in order to save some shekels. The class starts Sept. 5 and goes through January.

Amid that, I'll be getting my application ready to apply for the Dec. 15 early-decision deadline. This might help me get some financial aid and need-based money. Here's to hoping ... I've reconciled the fact that student loans are probably the best debt there is to have (and by best I mean least stressful), so I don't so much mind having those. My only concern is the recommendations. I intend to tap my all-time favorite professor, Stephen Burnett at UNL, as well as the rabbi who converted me and knows my passions, Ilan Emanual, back in Lincoln. That third reference is going to be tough. I might wait a bit and attempt to get cozier with the folks at my shul in hopes of inspiring some good thoughts within them about me.

My ultimate goal? Well, I'm not really sure anymore. I want to teach, but I'm not sure along what avenue. College? Hebrew school? Adult education? I think I'm most interested in the education of fellow gerim, in addition to adults. I just want to learn and let learn. I miss writing papers and getting into discussions with like-minded people about the texts and such.

So here's to it. Here's to hoping this all works out well and that I can get back on track. I thrive so deeply in the classroom environment, but if I can't be in the classroom, then I must work around that hurdle. It's the American way, nu?