Friday, October 30, 2009

I know what I'm doing, trust me.

Another pearl of wisdom from the Applying to Graduate School Files. People will try to give you advice. That you don't really care to receive.

Not even like the guy who sat in my little information meeting and droned on and on about how your forms of ID for the GRE have to match even though that's not true, in fact, I don't think they even looked at my driver's license when I took the GRE, but whatever.

I mean more like when you e-mail the secretary drone at Unnamed University asking a very simple question- do you have a form for letters of recommendation for history and religious studies, or should I just have the professors mail the letters alone?

Note that I did not ask for spiritual or academic guidance. I just need to know if your massively confusing website is holding on to a waiver that my not finding will screw up my career goals. Also, you are simply the name at the bottom of the graduate school form. You are not an advisor. You are not my advisor. Presumably if I'm intelligent enough to get through college and consider grad school, I actually sought the counsel of an advisor.

So please do not e-mail me back going, "No, there isn't a form. But why do you want to do two programs? We don't want you to fail. And why those two? What are your career goals? You'll probably fail. No one does two."

Well. Okay. I added that last part.

But still. First of all, tons of people do two master's programs at once. Second, I have nothing going on. Like, I'll be upset if I have to miss a Criminal Minds episode to go to class, but I think I'll be able to handle it. Third, I'm willing to pay you for two master's programs, so what the hell do you care? Fourth, do you have any idea how many idiots I know who have gotten master's degrees? Some two of them? TONS. So please do not tell me that I am not capable of doing a dual program, because I have yet to put up any embarrassingly drunk pictures on Facebook like these people may or may not have done.

Yes. I realize that most schools are slightly wary of accepting someone who doesn't know what they want to do. But I do know what I want to do. Marry wealthy Teach history and historical theology. Here's the thing- you need graduate degrees in both history and theology to do that! And if this person had read my statement of purpose, they would know that this is what I had planned.

And yes, I realize that it may not be the smartest thing to attempt that much work at once. But I don't know where I'm going to be accepted. Until I know where I can and can not go next year, I'm not closing any doors. You're lucky I didn't apply for kinesiology or something, lady.

Finally, Marquette offers a dual master's program. And Marquette? Is a million times more difficult than you, Unnamed University. So I do not appreciate your sass.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Much is made when you're applying to graduate school about what languages you can speak and/or read. Presumably because there are important sources that you would not be able to decipher if you can only speak one language like a plebeian.

(This is why I'm doing British history. They conquered everyone. And made them speak English.)

Now. I am pretty much monolingual. I speak English quite well. I can read a lot of Latin. I can read some French, with a lot of time to translate, but please do not ask me to tell you how to say, 'The restaurant is to your right," because I can't. Other than that...not so much.

I never really thought it would be a problem, either, because I'm sorry, but almost everything has been translated into English.

Except for John Paul II's speech at his first visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome. That is still only available on the internet as Italian or German. Except for "buon giorno principessa!" that I picked up from Life is Beautiful, I know precisely no Italian. And even less German, despite the week-long attempt when I was twelve to get in touch with that part of my heritage.

Anyway. I needed that speech for my thesis. And I couldn't have it. And that made me mad and also question my own personal constructs because MAYBE THE CRAZY GRADUATE SCHOOL PEOPLE ARE RIGHT AND I WILL DIE ALONE WITHOUT A PH.D.

Then I realized...wait. Google Translator.

So now I have the text of the speech. And I didn't even have to learn a modern European language. And I can't see why anyone would waste time doing anything other than that.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh yes, I just used "Dalek" in a sentence. AND I'm a real girl.

I watch a lot of Doctor Who. You put together my love of guys in suits, guys who are adorably awkward, and guys with accents? You're lucky I haven't moved to London to stalk Russel T. Davies.

Because I have always thought I would make a good companion. I'm not too talkative. I have decent hair. I'm a normal size. (I love that the companions are normal sizes. Except Martha. She was kind of a skinny little twit.) I'm not secretly in love with David Tennant. I would be a perfect companion.

Anyway. I'm going somewhere with this, I promise. Thanks to the H1N1 hysteria (My sister: People forget that during the Plague there were literally piles of bodies in the streets. When I see a pile of bodies, then I'll freak out.), there are dispensers of alcohol-based sanitizer all over campus. And I usually use it, because I am a freak for hand sanitizer. I am. I even was before the piggy sniffles took over.

But then I start to think, wait. What's really in those dispensers? Is it maybe less Purel and more some out-of-this-world substance that will turn us all into willing participants for the Dalek takeover of the human race?

Because that could totally happen. David Tennant would be completely stumped as to why the humans stopped caring or something and he'd ask me, his new companion (shut up, I know he's not the Doctor anymore), if anything weird happened in 2009 and I'd be all, no, wait! The universities started pushing hand sanitizer on us! (Much like Donna's, "The bees disappeared!") And then he'd get all excited and hug me and save humanity.

Okay. That's maybe a little bit far fetched. But it does mirror a few episodes quite perfectly. (I'm thinking of the french fry in grammar school one.)

I'm going to stop using that hand sanitizer. Just in case.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

He's weak. I can take advantage of that.

One of my major semester papers is on Iran. I've decided that the only part of Iranian history I find remotely interesting is the hostage crisis. Mostly because the Republican in me rejoices when she sees examples of Presidents who were far more inept than George Bush and far less hated for it.

(Like I know. I wasn't born until six years after the hostages were freed.)

Well, that and the part where I realized that I'd read the memoirs of the Shah's wife and DIDN'T REALIZE IT. Yes. I am so stupid that I've studied her husband in three different classes and I didn't put it together with that night I couldn't sleep and read this book about an angry royal Iranian with delusions of grandeur at four o'clock in the morning.


So. I'm going to write about the hostage crisis.

Problem. I told my professor I'm writing about the revolution and the switch from autocracy to theocracy and it's impact on the modern Middle East.

Solution. He's probably in a Tylenol with codeine haze and I'll be able to manipulate this. I don't know what you're talking about, sir, you e-mailed me and told me it was totally okay for me to write about the US involvement in Iranian politics.

Monday, October 26, 2009


This evening, I logged on to Facebook.

This is not important. I do this...ooh...constantly. Thanks to Heloise the iPhone, I can do it even more. Although I do not appreciate Facebook Version 378,924,185 urging me to write on my cousin's wall because I haven't in awhile. Facebook. Back off. Paul and I are fine. We don't need your help with our relationship.

The important part was that I had a notification from Josh Groban.

(Not the real one. I don't actually know him. Despite my best efforts.)

Turns out there will be a NEW come November 9.

And that made me realize that there was a time that this announcement would have caused major freaking out. I would have squealed a little bit, I would have had to discuss it on the message boards, I would have to blog about it.

(Some things don't change, I guess.)

Now? I realized it's been like a year since I've even been on the site. I haven't belonged to the message boards in years because I decided that paying $40 a year to listen to post-menopausal women have orgasms over a twenty-four-year-old was kind of ridiculous. I'm still blogging about it. So...there's that.

This isn't really about Josh Groban. I still love him. I still listen to his songs more than any other artist's probably. And I definitely would not have driven to St. Paul to see anyone else. It's not really even about fandom on a whole. I know that it's a really good thing that I'm more into my own life at 22 than I was at 16.

But it made me realize, more than anything else in awhile, how I'm really a grown-up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I don't want to be an adult now.


Two and a half years ago, as a wee little freshman enthralled with all (and yes, I do mean all) of the aspects of History 204 I decided that yes! History! That would be my career path! It was perfect! Esoteric knowledge, not having to work continue in the journalism department that scared me half to death, and getting to drink in the afternoon because you're an academic, so it's totally cool. PERFECT. And, get this. I'd get to put off the real world for a few more years. No resumes, no job hunting. No drinking in the middle of the afternoon because you're unemployed. PERFECT.

Except I have to apply for graduate school. And I didn't really realize that this? Would pretty much be a job on it's own. I had coffee this summer with a friend of mine who's a professor and she told me not to underestimate how much work these applications take. I kind of scoffed into my mocha, like, yeah, I'm not applying to Yale. I don't think the UWM application is going to be that difficult.

BUT IT IS. There are a ton of different things that you need and different deadlines and it's expensive and the letters of recommendation- oh, my goodness, those letters of recommendation.

Because I'm not just applying to one graduate program (e.g., history.). Well, at some schools I am. But at some schools I'm applying to history and theology, which requires an entirely different statement of purpose an also different letters of recommendation. Two of the five schools I'm applying to require three letters, three require two. The two that I need distinct hey-she-likes-Jesus-too letters for are in both categories- one needs three, one needs two. So all three professors have to write two different letters. Which is annoying. And the forms.

There are forms. That are not online forms. (Except Northwestern. God bless Northwestern. I don't even have to go pick up the letter from the professor- it's all online.) Most are forms that I have to print out multiple copies, take them to offices all over the frickin' campus, and have them sign/fill out.

Oh, so much work.

I think it's to weed out the people who actually want to go to graduate school from those who are just really sick of their retail jobs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So much correspondence lately.

Dear Guy Standing Behind Me in Line,

Hi. First of all, could you take a giant step back? Because there's kind of an honor system here in...oh, any place with stores, really. You're not supposed to violate the bubble around a girl who's desperately hoping her credit card won't be declined. (It wasn't! Whoo!)

Also. I appreciate your thinking that the coat I'm purchasing is pretty. I really do. It is pretty. I friggin' love it. (Hence the need for the possibly overdrawn credit account.) However, you don't need to keep commenting on it. And how beautiful you think it is. And you really need to stop looking at me.

Because see that woman over there in the next line? Yeah. She's my mom. And despite the fact that I'm 22 and can take care of myself, she's about ready to beat you over the head with a hanger. Possibly from the coat you keep admiring. I know. Even though I can't see her because I'm trying really hard to not make eye contact with you, I can feel her freaking out.

Also, I'm wearing what could very easily be a wedding ring. Now, it's not actually a wedding ring that I received at a wedding in which I was the bride. But it is a ring set, and one of them is a simple silver band (I use it as a guard ring.) It's even on my left hand, because I was trying on rings before. You have no way to know that I'm not actually married. So you're being a jerk on top of being creepy.

So. Please pay your Kohl's bill and then leave me alone. Thank you very much.

Well, I don't want you to know my name, actually.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Professsor, (CC Jesus)

Hey. It's Kathleen. About last night.

First of all, Jesus, I've got to say, You came through. I was remembered almost everything and hey, maybe Katie and my sister were the only ones who remembered Henry Ford. I had bathtubs and street addresses and all sorts of other random crap and I didn't call Kaiser Wilhelm II a product of incest and "stubby-armed" like my sister but I did say that I liked the author's analysis of the annunciation ("But I haven't even had sex yet!) so I guess maybe those cancel each other out. Anyway. So, thanks. I really appreciate it.

However, Unnamed Professor. We need to have a talk. You need to learn how to write an exam. For instance, the topic, "Discuss the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth from his birth through his death. Discuss the four gospels and who they were written for as well as they how they differ. Finish with a description of the textbook and what his excerpt on Paul means." IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR AN ESSAY WHICH WE HAVE TO COMPLETE IN HALF AN HOUR.

Now, I get that you're not a theologian. But do you have any idea how many millions of pages have been devoted to each of those things? And you want us to, what, like skip stuff? What do you skip? I mean, that last week was pretty important. I've read A Marginal Jew. I've read Death of a Messiah. I know TONS about that stuff, and I want to write it all down but I can't if you give me ridiculously huge topics like that.

The class period was over at 12:15. At 12:09 I hadn't even killed Jesus yet and still had all that stuff to get through. My essay? Was basically the Nicene Creed. Because I couldn't think of any more concise way to put it than "He was crucified under Pilate, suffered, died, and was buried."

So. I still love you. Because you give me 105s regularly. But THIS IS NOT COOL SIR.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Jesus,

Um. Hi. It's Kathleen. You knew that, though, I guess.'s the thing. I have a few tests tomorrow. One is on Jewish history, and you know, they're Your people and all. The other is on, well, You. And let me tell you, those gospels? Are all different and require a lot of memorization.

I've been kind of busy lately, Monday with confirmation class and Tuesday talking about your followers and I'm kind of exhausted right now.

So if you feel like writing a few essays tomorrow morning, that'd be awesome. Because I really, really don't.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whatever, this counts as last night. I'm working on like five hours of sleep.

So, if I were typing this somewhere other than class and had more than ten seconds in between important points about post-WWI US politics (*yawn* sealed borders, economic boom, mafia, heard it all before) I would link to this, but do you remember Big Daddy? My methods professor whom I hated, then loved, then cried over because I had a breakdown during finals week, then he told me I was an astounding student? Of course you do. Because I'm that interesting.

(Apparently the Catholic Herald finds me interesting. They're following me on Twitter. This is disturbing.)


I e-mailed him to thank him for the whole outstanding student thing and also to totally hit him up for a letter of recommendation, because a.) I need letters from people who aren't hated by the rest of the faculty, and b.) I am in awe of his ability to convince the faculties of major universities that graffiti is serious research material. He wrote back that he would be thrilled to write a letter for me. Aww. Big Daddy. I love you.

Then I applied for a research position, and I needed to give a faculty member for a recommendation. I, of course, called upon my dear, dear friend Big Daddy. Hey. You offer me help, you will be giving me help. Then I realized that I should probably let him know that I put his name on the letter.

After I received a response about how he'd be happy to support any history-related endeavors I should choose to pursue, I realized that I have now e-mailed him twice in a week begging for academic affirmation. Which is a little creepy.

But he hasn't blocked my e-mail address yet. So now I'm thinking about what other endeavors in my life he could help me with. Like, could he help me put together the grad school applications? Can he pay my Capital One bill that I keep forgetting about? Can he drive me to Cafe Aduro tonight so I can drink?

Maybe I'll e-mail him about that one.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I don't know if you've been reading for, oh, longer than a second; but if you have, you know that I'm a little weird. For instance, I love Mondays. I don't dislike the weekends, especially now that I have Sundays off, but they're not terribly structured. Again, I don't dislike that. It's nice to have a few days where I can get all my work done and still have a little bit of time left to have fun.

But I really going back to the routine of weekdays, too. I like having my school bag all packed and a to-do list firmly in place. Unfortunately around this time of the semester the to-do list gets a little hairy- we've reached the "Hey, see that pile of books over there? Yeah. Read those. And then synthesize them into a coherent argument." stage, and that just doesn't lend itself to a to-do list. Because try as I might, a day when I leave the house at 7:15, get home at 4:15, and leave again at 6? Probably not going to get two books on the Iran-Contras scandal read.

Just, you know, probably.

The laundry that's piling up will be taken care of, however. Your time has come, darks and (kind of) separated lights.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How soon is graduate school?

Morena: Hi. Can I help you?

Crazy Lady: I want to return these DVDs.

Morena: Um...they're open. Do you have the receipt?

Crazy Lady: No! But I was so disappointed in them. This one (*indicates an ABC sing-along DVD) I thought was for little kids but the kids are old and they're ugly and my kids were scared watching them.

Morena: O...kay.

Crazy Lady: I mean, it's terrible! Ugliest kids you ever did see. I don't think you should stock them anymore.

Morena: *in head* Of course. I'll get right on that. Truth be told, I'm actually the buyer for Borders. I just like working the cash register on a Saturday afternoon to keep in touch with my plebeian side.

Morena: *out loud* I'm...sorry? I need a receipt if they're open, though.

Crazy Lady: You do? I guess I could go get it...I left it at home.

Morena: I think you'd better do that.

Crazy Lady: *huffs*

Morena: *wants to die a little*

Friday, October 16, 2009

I was inadvertantly productive today.

At the beginning of the semester, I was all over this thesis thing. I had a tentative bibliography made up on Excel where I could check when I'd read and notated; I worked kind of really hard on the proposal; I was going to start writing in November; I was golden. I had visions of other people quoting me in their future scholarly work ("Of course, we would not have that interpretation of that particular schema without the seminal work from Morena.")

(Only they used my real name.)

(And they knew how to pronounce it.)

(SHUT UP I know it's just an undergrad thesis.)

(I have delusions of grandeur, okay?)

(This is why church history interests me. Where else can you use works like "eschatological" and not sound like a pretentious snob?)

(I also like parentheses.)

(Back to the story.)

Then...I had some tests? And some papers due? And I kind of started ignoring it? And, like everything else in my life that I don't particularly enjoy contemplating like the fact that I'm going to be paying off student loans until the day I die, I preferred to not think about it. Much better that way.

So today I was hastily finishing FORMER Archbishop Weakland's book (and I emphasize former because it really makes me mad when they mention him during the Eucharistic prayer and I know that's mean and petty but whatever dude, I don't think you should get to use archdiocesan funds to pay off your boyfriend and still get a shout-out) because I had to return it to work tomorrow- I certainly wasn't going to pay for it. $35, Rembert? Really? You think you're worth $9 more than the average hardcover? I mean, you hardly even talked about the scandal that much.

ANYWAY. I was kind of skimming, because frankly there's only so many pages you can really read about a 45-year-old monk discovering his sexuality and the piano-playing always with the piano-playing. And then I got to a whole huge chunk about Vatican II. And it was actually a perfect complement to the other research I've been doing, which is generally pretty positive and this was pretty much, well, yeah, we were fine until Paul died and then, well, we were screwed and I BEG TO DIFFER REMBERT but then again, I beg to differ with most of your decisions.

Including the, you know, paying off your boyfriend with money that wasn't your one. Especially that one.

So! I've gotten back into the research thing, and I guess that's better than burying my head in the sand and then breaking out in hives the week before I'm supposed to turn in the paper.

Although that probably will happen anyway.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This was lovely.

I love Wednesdays. Especially when I'm an awesomely motivated student and finish all my work on Tuesday so I have nothing to do on Wednesday except sleep in and attend one measly lecture where again? Avignon Papacy? Hardly even worth it.

One of the things I accomplished yesterday was a draft on my statement of purpose for graduate school. Something which I've been freaking out about since...oh...about freshman year. Until yesterday when I went to an information session led by the lovely head of graduate studies and professor who adores me, where he told me it was worth, like, next to nothing. Only slightly better than GRE scores, which, THANK YOU GOD. So it's basically two pages of why I'll be able to do graduate level work, and I found it disturbingly narcissistic. But oddly uplifting because it was like, why, yes, I have written tons of papers using primary sources and yes, I have written extensively on the Northern Ireland conflict, and yes, my background in Jewish studies does make me more apt to be comfortably using sources from antiquity.

Now I just need to modify it for the theology applications, which shouldn't be too tough.

Although the thought of my future being decided by eight guys sitting around a table makes me want to throw up. Just a little.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kohl's. That's what did it.

Movie day in Jewish Wisconsin. This is terribly exciting for so many reasons. First, it's a movie. I don't care if it's that piece of crap Brown v. Board of Education with Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that I've had to watch twice or From Jesus to Christ which, dude! I own!, I freaking love movies in class. Second, the class is full of auditors, who are always fun to watch during a movie. Half of them fall asleep, and half talk throughout the entire thing. It's hilarious. Third, it was, quite possibly, the best documentary ever. My music professor made an appearance, which made me laugh, there was much grumbling by old people, Folksy Wisconsin was front and center- I'm thinking of buying the DVD.

The second half was kind of a downer, because it talked about how all the Jews left these little villages and there is no one for their kids to marry and for heaven's sake they have to marry Christians OH MY GOD, and so everybody is packing up and leaving. One guy sold his family business because he really enjoyed retirement in Florida. The family business that HIS MOTHER LOVED. She was talking about how much her husband (the Selfish Bastard's father) loved the store and every piece of clothing, and all the people and she was devastated. Her heart was literally breaking. And her selfish ass of a son sold it to go golf in Boca. Selfish ass.

So that made me sad.

Finally, one old guy was standing on the street talking about how there used to be four Jewish clothing stores along this road and now there are none! What happened?

Katie turns to me and goes, "Kohl's. That's what happened."

And she's right. Because I would sell my father's store that my mother loves if we got a Kohl's in Podunk Wisconsin. Stop crying, Mother, I've got Kohl's Cash that expires on Wednesday.

My devotion of the cult of low-cost clothing in southeastern Wisconsin is so great that I went shopping yesterday. In my sister's bedroom. She decided that she didn't want one of the sweaters that she bought last week, and was going to return it. Well, dammit, I wanted it. So I wrote her a check and I now have an adorable flyaway cardigan.

What's worse? I have to go back today to return a blouse. It could get dangerous.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First of all...

...I'd like to thank my parents for taking me to Mass when I was little. Because if working with confirmation kids has taught me anything, it's that that? Is really important. Also for making me say the little, "God please help them" thing whenever you hear a siren. Which could be why I, at 22, said that like six times this morning because something was going down near Silver Spring- I don't know, lots of emergency people.

Secondly, and much less importantly, I have a huge pimple. One that is impossible to cover. Right in the middle of that little dip in your lip that I'm sure has a name but I'm a history major so of course I don't know what it is. It's really annoying because I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't worry, I haven't been kidnapped.

Regarding the last post- I do not have a 2.5 GPA. I have a 3.9 GPA. I meant to say "at least" like six times in there, but I was so mad at my stupid childish professors that I didn't. And my mom read it and was all, "OMG PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK YOU'RE DUMB!", so, rest assured, I'm not dumb. Just have very little going on.

Other than that...I worked yesterday. I know, right? Some kid asked me for a library card, and I really hope he was kidding or else his parents have seriously failed him.

My sister ripped the sleeve of my dress while trying it on("Don't worry! Mom says she can probably fix it!") and then wanted to know if she could wear it to work. That made me laugh.

Finished the multiple papers that are due kind of soon, but I still need a topic of my huge Arab/Israeli conflict one. Any thoughts? Arabs? Israelis? Please, could we find a Christian that I can write about?

Friday, October 09, 2009

It's like high school. With less money, actually.

Okay. There's this department at school. A department that shall remain nameless. A department that's actually quite easy to figure out because I'm really only intimately acquainted with two departments, and, well, this is one of them. Anyway. The professors in this department are basically little children and spend their days searching for ways to screw each other over.

Unfortunately, the students involved sometimes get screwed over, too.

Like me. Who is enrolled in an advanced independent study course in this unnamed department. At UWM you need to fill out a study proposal form detailing exactly what you're going to do for the class in order to get credit. I talked to my professor, he told me what to write, I turned in the form.

Except the second person who had to sign the form doesn't really totally like my professor. And maybe kind of totally didn't accept the form because (s)he didn't like what my professor wrote on it. Leaving me without the required study proposal form completed.

Cut to Wednesday, when I happily go out to get the mail. Look! There's a letter from the College of Letters and Sciences. Ooh, this is exciting. I love getting letters from school. Since they stopped sending paper bills, all my correspondence from UWM is always happy- I don't want to toot my own horn but they don't send out letters unless you're failing or doing well, and believe me, you'd know if I was failing something. Hell, you'd know if I got a B.

Except this was not a happy letter. This was a mean letter, yelling at me about this study proposal that I have yet to submit. AND HEY, MAYBE YOU'RE NOT A SENIOR AND MAYBE YOU DON'T HAVE A 2.5 GPA STUPID WHORE.

What. Oh, no. You do not tell me that I'm not eligible for independent study. I am a senior. And I do have a 2.5 GPA. In fact, the only reason this is a problem at all is that MY STUPID PROFESSORS CAN'T ACT LIKE ADULTS.

So I had to fill out a new form with way more information (field trip- whee!) and turn it in have Katie turn it in, and so help me God, you guys in the Unnamed Department had better put on your big girl panties and DEAL WITH IT because I AM AT THE END OF MY ROPE DO YOU HEAR ME? 18 credits, cancer, thesis avoidance writing, grad school applications, and mounting credit card debt because shopping is a way better way to deal with this than, like, actually working.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

IMDB to the rescue.

IMDB has saved my life on several occasions. And not just he "oh, crap, I know I know that guy from somewhere...maybe a CSI?" occasions. No, real occasions like the ACT.

When I took the ACT one of my vocabulary words was anachronistic. As ridiculous as it is, I didn't technically know what that word meant. But I did know that it was sometimes listed a goof on IMDB, and therefore probably meant something about being in the incorrect time period. And I got a 35 on the verbal portion of the test.

On my Jewish history exam this afternoon my extensive Nanny viewings came in handy, as most of the questions were about your garden-variety Judaism like "can they eat pork?" and hello, I did not spend hours of my life watching Nick at Nite for nothing, mister.

So...I'm not sure where I was going with that. Except maybe to tell any youngsters out there to watch more TV? Because it will help you later in life?

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Midrash is just so not as exciting.

Good weekend, y'all. We roadtripped it up to Door County, which is massive amounts of fun. Also massive amounts of fun? Eating massive amounts of food. Which is pretty much all I did this weekend. Which is why I'm kind of impressed that my dress looks good this morning because my people? They tend to bloat.

There was quite a lot of talk about my Jewish WI class, in fact, there may even be pictures of Colleen and me pretending to be Jean Nicolet underneath a sign. I may have made my dad turn around so I could take a picture of the Two Rivers sign because dude! Joseph Mann became mayor there in 1866! And this is very exciting! (Two Creeks or whatever it was that followed it? Meh, don't care so much. They had no Jews.)

The class that didn't get talked about so much? The one I have a test in tomorrow. A test that I think will be difficult. For no reason. But I do. And I don't have a clue who Samuel na Hagid is. I don't even know if that's how you spell his name. And I'm having a major problem keeping all the terms straight because it's not my religion and I haven't been raised with it and my Gentile mouth doesn't even make some of those sounds (Transubstantiation? I can say that no problem.) and ugh, I can never remember what "halakah" means.

Yeah...we'll see. The first half is matching and hopefully the essay is something easy, like "Write about the rise of Christianity."

Because I've discovered the secret. It's an awesome secret. I'm thinking of composing a Guide To Being A Jewish Studies Major For Little Irish Catholic Girls. It's quite simple really- genius, in fact. Write about Jesus. Just...write about Jesus and throw in a little bit of background about the Pharisees and the Sadducees or something else kind of remotely Jewish.

I'm writing two papers for two different Jewish studies classes right now- one's on how St. Jerome's choice in picking the word for "horns" instead of "glorified" (and yes, it was a choice not a mistake, and yes, that is my thesis) impacted the representation of Moses in art; the other is about Father Marquette. I'm writing my freaking thesis on Vatican II and getting Jewish credit for it for heaven's sake- I just need to shove a paragraph in there about Nostra Aetate and we're all set.

The true test will come when I need to pick a paper topic for my Arab/Israeli conflict class. Hmmm. I'm sure I'll come up with something. The secret does not disappoint.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I do so love academic ceremonies.

Sooo...I really want to join Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society. Because I fricking love being invited to honor societies and look, okay, I know that it's hardly a real honor society because you only need a 3.1 GPA, but whatever, I want in. Except they want $40. Which I don't technically have to spend right now. And it's less impressive to have to ask your mommy for money to join an honor society.

I probably will still do this. I have no pride.

Also I desperately need something to recommend me. I need to write my statement of purpose in the next few weeks (or rather, like three different versions of it, depending on the school and whether I'm applying for a history or theology program) and I just realized that yes, I have a 3.9 GPA and a fantastic academic record, but because I have spent the last three years of my life maintaining that 3.9? I don't have a whole lot else going on to put on a resume.

I don't know how impressed the history department at Northwestern will be when the most I can give them to work with is "can watch a staggering number of Law and Order: Criminal Intent episodes in a row and knows all the lines to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie." Not totally sure they'll give you a Ph.D for that.

Maybe. I mean, I guess I don't know.

So this would look good, and they're also looking for volunteers to help organize the induction ceremony, which, dude, sign me up. An academic ceremony? I am there. I don't care if I have a reason to be there, I am.

I think it's the latent distress over never ever having a graduation.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I picked the right career path.

(No, not the marrying up one.)

(Although my mom did come home from the doctor the other day saying, "Yeah, he was adorable. I really wanted to say, hey, do you want to come home and meet my 22-year-old?" And honey, the 22-year-old is totally down with that.)


During The Office tonight Oscar was joking about the problems with having two managers and said, "I mean, where would Catholicism be without the popes?" And my first reaction was, ooh! The Avignon papacy! That didn't work so well!


Three out of five tests finished, and they're the bad ones. The only two left are Jewish history, which I'm anticipating is going to be pretty easy's matching? And I'm pretty good on my Jewish history? I don't know, I don't care anymore. Renaissance Architecture is just an online quiz so...not seeing a whole lot of problems with that one.

The bad one, Arab-Israeli Conflict, was today. I think it went alright, even though I completely ran out of time and room and my right leg alternated between piercing pain and numbness because of some spastic pinched nerve thing. Whatever. The final essay was Palestine from 1919 to 1939 like THERE WEREN'T A MILLION DIFFERENT THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THOSE TWENTY YEARS. But I think I got everything.

My problem with this one was that it was basically an amalgamation of stuff from other classes I've taken. So I knew all the words, I was just less than certain that I could put them in the right order. I mean, you say Peel Commission to me and I can tell you it was from May to July of 1937 and suggested an 80/20 partition of Palestine, establishing Tel-Aviv as the capital of Israel, but I'm not sure I'd remember to put in the middle of an essay about the 1930s in the Middle East.

(Except I know I remembered that one.)

Oh well, it's over. I'll find out in a week how I did, so, yeah, stay tuned for that.

Then I came home, backed a Due Date Cake for Colleen (who is not, in fact, pregnant herself, rather commemorating our mother's pregnancy with her), and watched like two hours of The Big Bang Theory.

Way more fun than the French bombing Damascus on October 12, 1925.