Monday, December 21, 2009

A Walking, Talking Stress Ball.

The semester is over and the winter doldrums have hit -- it's that time of the year where it's easy to sleep 15 hours a day and eat nothing but holiday cookies and ice cream. What is it about wintertime that turns the mind into a playplace of the absurd?

At any rate, I'm glad everything's turned in and finished, and aside from a single incident of shock-and-awe while grading, everything went pretty smoothly. I did up two papers, a Hebrew final exam, a final exam paper on anti-Christian rhetoric in Leviticus Rabbah, and ... oh, then I proctored one exam and graded another. And now? Nothing. I have some editing to do, I want to put together a couple of projects, focus on my blog(s) and rest my mind. The difficult and paradoxical thing, however, is that it's hard for me to do this. I function best when I'm stressed out -- when I have a dozen things due, a million things on my mind. The more I have going on, the quieter my head is. It's when everything slows down that it gets difficult to find motivation and calm. Maybe I should take up meditation (I've considered this before, but with the amount of trouble I have getting good sleep and quieting my noggin', I don't think I'd have much luck).

So I've got about a month to relax and rejuvenate before the next semester rolls around. I'll be taking Hebrew once again, as well as Palestine under the Greeks and Romans, followed by a Jewish-Christian relations course based in the Middle Ages. After that comes a boatload of preparations for my graduate exams. Hopefully between now and then I'll find out about my next academic step.

I've applied/am applying to two programs: a dual-master's program at NYU in Judaic Studies and Jewish Education (brand new; this is their first year) and a Hebrew language master's program at UMD down outside of Washington D.C. So this scholar will end up with either one, two, or three MAs. I think the more MAs I have, the harder it will be to market myself without over-shooting how much I'm worth.

But I'm excited. If I don't get into either program, I'll probably lose it. I could easily go and start teaching in a Hebrew High School, but I'm not done learning yet, and my ultimate goal is University-Level Professoring. So wish me luck, folks.