Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Heat Is On

Well, as the title to this blog says, the heat is on. Metaphorically speaking, of course. It's New England and 50 degrees feels like 65, but I'm not complaining. I'll take what I can get. What I am referring to above is that paper crunch time is upon me. Here's the rundown of due dates:

April 11 Old Testament Exegesis (8-10 pp)
April 15 Berkeley short paper (it's only 2 pp so no biggie)
April 28 Reformation Europe Paper (5-6 pp)
ISM project proposal and bibliography (this is important!)
Chaucer seminar paper (20-30 pp)
April 29 Milton seminar paper (20-25 pp)

So there you have it. The big ones are all due basically on the same day. As it stands, the research for Chaucer is done. I'm going to write the outline tomorrow between OT and Chaucer and then start writing the paper tomorrow night with plans to finish by Tuesday night. Why so quick? Well, the OT paper is due NEXT WEEK. I have a passage and a topic, I just haven't start researching it yet. And then two weeks and Milton is due. And Reformation. And ISM. I may ask for an extension on the Reformation paper by a couple of days. It's a comparison of two historiographical views based on two monographs, which isn't a big deal, I just need the time to sit down and read the books. So I figure I can use a weekend to do that. And hopefully my TA will let me turn it in the Monday of reading week. I'm just not sure how I could get it done (well) otherwise, and it's a topic I'm interested in so I want to do the paper justice. Milton is the paper I'm most looking forward to, so hopefully I can get Chaucer and this OT thing out of the way and get started on it. I'm building off of my other paper for that class that was due in Feb., which the professor seemed really to like, so I have some basic stuff already done for that one, and 4.5 pages written already. Woohoo!

Other than that, I've just been enjoying the spring weather. My friend Sean was confirmed yesterday, so Rick and I went to the service. Before that we went to the mall, which felt very teenager-ish, because I wanted to look at Penny's for a pair of capris. They only have them online, it turns out, but we ate a tasty lunch at B-dubs (which I didn't know they had up here!!!). And we got a nice coffee treat and I tried on some Keens. I ended up buying a pair online for a good price...these will be PERFECT for the summer, and they're so supportive! So I'm excited about that.

Rick and I went for a bike ride today. I found where that trail picks up, so we did a 20 mile ride. It felt good but I was starving by the end and "bonked" as Rick says (which means my blood sugar dropped). But all in all it wasn't a bad start to the season. Hopefully we'll have even better weather next weekend and I can put similar miles on the Trek. Woohoo for warmer weather! Alrighty well I should go. I have to do my homework for the week tonight so I can write tomorrow night.

And I should find out if I got the chapel minister job early this week. Hopefully tomorrow. Hopefully.

And I'm teaching clarinet lessons now to a friend of mine's daughter. It's pretty fun helping a newbie learn the ropes, and she's better than she thinks she is (before we played she claimed she couldn't make a sound, but oh was she wrong...). Ha.

Hope it's spring-y where you are. The daffodils and crocuses (crocii?) are starting to bloom here. As Dr. Zoidberg would say... Hooray!

PS I've decided instead of saying I'm going to be a priest, I'm going to start telling people that I am going to be a "Christian enthusiast." It's a Family Guy reference, but I think it works.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Anne Rice

One more thing...

The above here is an Anne Rice article about her faith. It's a pretty beautiful expression, I think, and once that may surprise a lot of people, coming from her. But it's interesting, and I thought given the Easter season it would be appropriate. Apparently her new book is really good (I heard this from a reliable source who is ordained and is smart and understands the importance of Biblical scholarship...).

He is Risen! But my job prospects are not...

ALLELUIA!!! Sorry this comes a bit late, but Easter has come at last! I had a great holy week, and ended it up with a wonderful weekend of services at St. Luke's Worcester and a great steak dinner with Rick. Awesome. We went to the Easter Vigil at St. Luke's on Saturday night. Having attended the vigil at Copley Square for two years running, I was afraid this one might seem to be a let down. Never fear, though, because it was AWESOME. Warren had us reading different translations of the different scripture readings (whatever the translation of Genesis 1:1-2:2 was is fantastic) and the music team did an excellent job. I love the traditional exsultet, but the one they did was amazing...and the congregation was able to participate in the singing, which was very appreciated on my part. Overall, the service was great! Rick read part of the prayers of the people. I have to say I'm so thankful that they asked him to read. Talking with friends here at YDS, it seems that partners and spouses sometimes get left out of the mix, and are consistently identified with the seminarian. But the people of St. Luke's asking Rick to read felt, to me at least, like they were affirming him apart from his connection to me, and I think that's incredibly important! Also, I've come to realize that the older I get, the more the Easter Vigil becomes my favorite service of the year. I literally get goose bumps every time. I used to think Christmas Eve midnight mass was my favorite, but living in New England...Easter seems to herald the spring and bring renewal right when I need it. That and I realize more and more how much we need to be an incarnational easter people. I think some year I'm going to preach Easter at Christmas (reminding people of why this child was born) and preach Christmas at Easter (reminding people of the sacrifice and miracle that is involved because of the incarnation). 'Tis a good thing.

In other news, I didn't get the job at the Food Project, and I have no clue why. I didn't even get an interview. I feel that I'm incredibly qualified for that job, but oh well. What are you going to do? It's a bummer though, and now I'm looking around for another summer job (which is the last thing I need to add to my already overfilled plate right now). I did interview for the Berkeley chapel minister job today. There are 4 positions and 6 people applying. I would like the job, but if I don't get it I guess I'll just deal, you know? No sense dwelling on it, because all of the people applying are top notch and I have no clue how they're going to decide who to pick. We'll see, though. They said today they would let us know early next week. Woowoo.

Schoolwise things are going ok. I got a 97 on my OT midterm and a 93 on my history midterm (which, considering the average was a B/B- I'm pleased with). So those went well. I thought I did fine on OT but I didn't expect a 97. It was a pleasant surprise. I'm also making some headway on the Chaucer paper. The research is done, now I need to write. I was going to do some of that tonight but I had such a crappy evening and a headache that it didn't happen. But I don't feel guilty about it. It is what it is. Hopefully I'll at least get a good outline and introduction done tomorrow morning before I have to go to work.

Rick is coming down here this weekend. My friend Sean is getting confirmed, so I think we're going to go to that. We're also going to try to get some bike riding in. I've been trying to find where the East Coast Greenway path picks up near my place...I've been following these little white painted trees on the pavement at every intersection. It's kind of fun, as I don't know where they will lead me next. Anyway I'm hoping we can find the pick up this weekend, because then we can ride off the roads and not worry about anything other than foot/bike traffic. And I think the weather is supposed to be nice.

Other than that...spring is here. I took the interior windows out of my bedroom (they act as insulation during the winter...hard to explain how they look but just believe me) which is a sign of spring, and I put away my sweaters. Even if it gets cold again I'm not wearing cords or sweaters. It is officially spring. Take THAT New England (but please don't retaliate with winter weather!)

WKU is playing UCLA right now. UL is playing UT right now. Can I watch the games? Nope. Oh well. They'd probably lose if I watched anyway. I think I'll go to bed instead.

Hope you all are having a good week. And once more, just because...


Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Good Friday

It's Good Friday today, and I'm not doing anything Good Friday-ey. I was going to go to the services at St. Luke's, but Rick and I are meeting Matt and Emily for dinner tonight. I haven't seen them in a while, and Matt was my first friend at Harvard so I think it's more important to celebrate that friendship than sit in church thinking about how I would rather be eating dinner with them. So there.

Anywho I'm sitting at Starbucks right now working on some homework. I got a reading room privileges card at the main Harvard library, but I couldn't get my computer to log onto the wireless network there for some reason, so i came here and had to pay 10 bucks to use the internet. Normally I'd just deal, but there are about five online books I'm using for my Chaucer paper and I have to connect to the internet and then Yale's network in order to look at them off campus. I feel very yuppie-ish sitting here in Starbucks working on my Mac, though, and yuppie is not something I ever want to be. Oh well.

Maundy Thursday services were pretty good. Rick said it was one of the saddest things he'd ever seen, which I thought was big. I didn't know it would affect him that much, and it was just interesting to see the reaction of new eyes to the whole service. I guess I'm so used to the service (not that it doesn't affect me) that I don't approach things at church in the same way he does. Needless to say, he provides refreshing (and often hilarious) insight into the church world.

I'm hopefully getting a new bike soon (maybe even tonight!). My ankle injury is putting me out of running for a while, and now that both of my ankles are prone to twisting easily, I need to put running behind me mostly. However, I LOVE biking and always have, and Rick's life used to be biking, basically. So I'm going to get a good bike, either a Trek or a Specialized, and we're going to start biking hardcore. Our first ride of the season is planned for tomorrow, and we're hoping to do a century (100 miles in a day) but the end of the summer. Woohoo! There are some really great biking resources around here, as well as awesome places to bike, so that will be good. I also found a website that has women's sizes (as opposed to misses') in bike clothing, so I can get a jersey and a pair of shorts. Then hopefully I'll lose enough weight by the end of the summer that they won't fit anymore :) But regardless, it will be good to get back into shape and there's no way I'd rather do it than cycling with Rick.

Other than that, it's cold and windy here. It snowed last night...on the first day of spring. Damn you Jack Frost! But it's supposed to be 43 tomorrow, and sunny, so that's all good. It had better be. I hope.

I should get back to studying. Just thought I'd take a break and update this thing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring, etc.

Happy first day of spring! I think. At least, Rick told me today is the first day of spring, and as we both hate winter I'm willing to believe him. And the weather channel website had changed the banner to a more spring-like flower, so sure. Happy first day of spring. Too bad it looks nothing like spring outside! It's cloudy, windy, and about 40 degrees right now. It could be worse, but it could most definitely be better. I've noticed buds on trees earlier this year than last year, which is a good sign. March in New England is a hard month for me, but hopefully the blooming will happen at a more normal time! (although I recently read an article about how spring has been coming earlier and earlier due to global warming). My allergies have switched into spring mode, but the weather hasn't. Oh well.

My ankle is still swollen and sore, both on the inside and the outside. Luckily biking shouldn't be a problem (I tested myself on the exercise bike and I was fine). It's just walking and therefore running that are problematic, which is a bummer because I was hoping to get back on a running schedule now that spring is here. Hopefully within a couple of weeks I'll be good to go. I think I'm going to get ankle braces for both ankles, however, as I sprained the left a few years ago and the right is now turn-prone as well. Just for a precautionary measure, but still.

I still haven't heard back from the Food Project. I don't know if they've called anyone or if I just didn't get an interview. I did however find another job I might apply's basically being the camp director for this 8 week music camp in Waltham. shouldn't be too bad, from the looks of it, and it's a daytime thing. I'll just have to find time to fit in studying for the GRE (which I HAVE to do this summer). Speaking of grad school, I spoke with an old prof of mine from HDS and she seemed pretty excited about the possibility of me applying to the ThD there in history of Christianity. That's exciting, too, because I'm really trying to create relationships with potential PhD advisors and everything. I'm going to start emailing people this spring, and then hopefully meet with them in the fall right before I send in my applications.

On another note, today is Maundy Thursday. I am perpetually asked what "maundy" means, so I looked it up in the OED, and there are several definitions: One is the ritual of footwashing, originally where royalty would wash the feet of the poor to commemorate Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. This is the meaning we have now. Almsgiving is an obsolete definition of the word. It can also refer to the money that the monarch would distribute at the Maundy Thursday ceremony. There are also several more obsolete definitions: to take part in the Last Supper, the Lord's Supper or Eucharist, and also to feast or take part in a feast. There are also several compounds, but I thought my loyal readers would be interested in the general meanings of the term.

I'll be going to Maundy Thursday services at St. Luke's tonight. The past couple of years I've gone to Trinity, but now that I've found a new church home I'll be going there. Rick doesn't get home until about the time the service starts, so he's not coming. Oh well. It's funny--I was telling him about the first Maundy Thursday service I remember and he drove home to me how much of a church nerd I am. I was probably 7 or 8...old enough to remember the service even now but young enough that I didn't remember the service from the year before. Anyway, when it came time for the altar to be stripped, everyone was kneeling and reading Psalm 22 while church members stripped the altar. I had no idea what was going on, and was getting really upset because I thought they were closing my church and I had no idea why and no one had warned me about it! I don't remember being visibly upset, but I do remember this inner anguish at the prospect of St. Peter's closing, and I thought the stripping of the altar was some sort of liturgical way of doing this (yes, I am a nerd). Well, when you leave the service you're not supposed to talk so I had to wait until we got in the car to figure out what was going on. Rick's reaction to this story: How old were you? You were really that upset?

Yes, I am a church nerd. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break

Hello everyone. It's week number 2 of spring break (yes, Yale gets 2 weeks!) and I'm sitting here at the kitchen table in Worcester working on a paper. It's been a relaxing break so far. I had some more asthma trouble last week and then on Friday sprained my ankle really badly. It's still swollen but the doctors say it's not broken, so that's good. But it is about five different colors, which is fun I guess. Monday was St. Patrick's Day and Rick and I met up with his old roommate Felipe for dinner, which was fun. We were supposed to meet up with Matt and Emily, but Matt is sick so hopefully he'll get better and we can meet on Friday instead.

I've pretty much just worked on this Chaucer paper over the break. I have two 20-30 page papers due on April 28, a 10 pg. on Apr 11 and a 5 page on the 28th. So I'm just trying to get a jump on this one. On top of it all, I'm presenting on my paper topic on Monday in Chaucer, so this gave me a reason to get a bunch of the research done. I'm about halfway done with researching the topic I think. I'm just a little nervous because I'm not sure I completely have a thesis for the paper yet, but hopefully one will come to me as I study. I just want to get this paper and the two shorter ones done so that I can work on my Milton paper, about which I'm pretty excited. I'm also hoping the Milton paper will be good enough to be my PhD writing sample, so I want to make sure it's extra good. I just need to get this other stuff done first so that I can work on it!

Other than that, there's not much going on here. The weather sucks--it's cold and rainy. The past month has had cold and rainy weekends. Needless to say Rick and I are both ready for some sun. It's also Holy Week. I'm reading at the vigil on Saturday night, specifically the flood story, which given the current weather situation seems fitting. Rick and I watch Jesus Christ Superstar last night, which he had never seen. His take: "Wow, my Lord and Savior has got soul!" Ha. I love him.

Hope you are all staying dry wherever you are, and having a blessed Holy Week. Spring and Easter are almost here!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Democratic Primaries

I'm poking my head out of 16th century Germany to make a comment on the Democratic primaries. At first I was stoked about all of the choices. I mean, this wasn't going to be about voting AGAINST anyone! It was going to be about voting FOR someone. And then my guy (John Edwards) dropped out of the race and I've been at a last about who to vote for. However, given recent events and a news article I just read about how Obama is now going to criticize Clinton even more and raise MORE doubts about her ability to lead, I wonder what kind of benefit this is going to have in November. What if Hillary wins? Will voters in the fall just remember what Obama said about her? I understand each one is trying to win the nomination, but there's so much mudslinging going on that I feel both Democrats will be stained by the time it's most important to be squeaky clean! Especially considering that the Republican nominee is going to be McCain, and last time there were many Democrats who were willing to vote for him. I don't know if that is still the case now, but I wish the Dems would LAY OFF IT. I don't want to know why you're better than she is, or why he is less prepared than you. I want to know things like: what are you going to do about the rising problem of debt in this country? How about the war that's draining our budget, draining Iraq of lives, and draining our military of soldiers and confidence? What are you going to do about the rising costs of higher ed and the rising problems of debt among young people? And what about all of those under 30 without health care? And what about education in poor sections of the country where all sorts of kids are being left behind through no fault of their own? And what about social security? If it's not going to be around when I'm old, what are you going to do to help me out, especially since retirement is becoming more and more costly while less and less people are able to afford it? And then there's the issue of a job...what about all of these great educated people I know who can't get a job? What are you going to do about that?

So, Obama and Hillary, get over it. I don't care what you think about the other person. I care what YOU think. Let me make my decision based on that.

Oh and Obama--plagiarism IS a big deal.

One down one to go.

Well the OT midterm is done. Not too bad, at least that's how I felt coming out of it. I felt that I wrote all I could on the first question but only got three pages out of it (in my tiny handwriting) and the second I did five. So hopefully that will be good. I was going to start studying for Reformation right after but I'm realistic and knew my brain wouldn't be in retention mode quite yet, so I'll probably start studying after section. Woowoo.

Found an awful website. It's called Gradcafe. Some people love it. Right now I hate it. I've just been reading and all of these people are getting rejected from PhD programs--and many of them have applied to the same schools to which I'm applying AND they're applying for a second round. It's a bummer. A good friend of mine who is brilliant hasn't gotten in anywhere yet, and everywhere else has rejected him (again). Sheesh. It's very very disheartening. Needless to say, it's gotten to the point that when I think I'm going to stop studying for the night I say "PhD" to myself to keep myself going. Everyone around me seems so confident that I'll get in somewhere, but I guess I'm more realistic? Hmm. I'm not bashing myself here, I just know that next year hopefully by this time I'll know something.

I had a meeting with my history prof last week to talk about PhD stuff, which is good. My languages will be out of the way when I apply (I've done French and will do German next year) which is apparently a big thing for history programs. At this point I think I've decided that if I get in to any history programs I'll go for those over religion, mostly because I have a better chance of getting a job AND I could teach in either religion or history. So we'll see. I have to get in first. At this point I'm thinking my top choice is Brown, but all of the schools I'm looking at (History-Harvard, Yale, Brown, BC Religion--Harvard Div, BC, BU) are good schools. I'd just like to get in to one of them. Luckily I've already figured out professors, and am hoping to read some of their work this summer and meet with them in the early fall. I'm also hoping to have a writing sample from one of my lit classes this semester. I think the Milton one would be most applicable, as it's a combination of lit, religion, and history, which is my interest, but we'll see. I'm hopefully meeting with the prof tomorrow.

Anyway I have a meeting about my exegesis so I'm gonna peace out. One more midterm left and then spring break. Woohoo!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Still Here.

Just wanted to let you all know I'm still here. One midterm tomorrow, and another on Thursday. After that I'll (hopefully) get an opportunity to write more. Right now all I can think about are Old Testament prophets and German and Swiss reformers...