Aug 26, 2008

A few randoms.

A few of the randoms to help you sleep at night.

  • BIBLES: I bought my first Holy Bible today. It's the Revised Standard Version, and it cost me about $12. Yes, when I say Holy Bible I mean the whole thing -- that Hebrew Bible and the new stuff, too. I don't do the whole "New" and "Old" bit, simply because, well, some people just don't like the way it sounds. Some, they say, think that by calling the Hebrew Bible "old," it's implying false or impractical or completely out of date and obscenely wrong. So I've got the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible (that works, right?) here in my clutches. I owned a Holy Bible once, back in the day, that was a gift from my parents when I was a wee lass. It was a Precious Moments bible, and I loved -- I repeat loved -- that thing because of the neat pictures it had. I remember at a very early age trying to get through Genesis, but all the so-and-sos begatting so-and-sos left me feeling empty, so I went back to the pictures. I will say, though, that it was, well, unsettling to have to buy this Holy Bible. Why? Because I'm moronic sometimes. Yes, every scholar should probably have a copy of the working Holy Bible, but I guess I've just never had a use for it before. But now, with my Bible Topics class, I have to prepare to delve into the Christian side of things. It makes me a little nervous ... everything I've ever read out of Paul just makes me want to ... well, that's a different discussion. Let's just say that I prefer my JPS Tanakh. 
  • NAMES: I realized that Chaviva is a more practical name than some might thing. Yes, it might be difficult for the masses (Jew and gentile alike) to pronounce, but when I was walking through the dining hall tonight I kept hearing someone yelling "AMANDA! AMANDA!" and I, of course, looked. It isn't like I know anyone here, but I still had to perk up my old ears because, well, for nearly 25 years people have been yelling "Amanda!" I'd prefer to be able to not perk the ears any more with such a common name. I mean, how often do you hear someone yelling "CHAVI!?!?!" across a college dining hall? Yah, I'd know it was for me.
  • NERVES (not of the steel variety): I've decided that the stomach ache I've been nursing since Monday evening is a big pile of nerves mixed with stress stewing in my insides. I get so worked up about things, even when, well, it isn't outwardly obvious. I'm really focused on doing things right, especially this first semester. It will likely result in anti-social behavior (sorry fellow graduate students -- read: Jess!), but I'm going to devote myself to studying olam in the realm of Qohelet, mastering the Hebrew language, and hopefully passing some tests and writing some massively lengthy papers. I figure if I can get through my first semester with brilliant, flying colors, then I will feel a bit better about everything.
  • LUNGS: I've also decided that I need to breathe. 
  • KASHERING: Unfortunately, I have yet to set foot in the kosher dining facilities. You see, I'm over here, and they're over there, and it's a bit of a jaunt. Yes, there are people who live even further south in the alumni dorms who I know are kosher and who trek over to Nosh for meals, but, I'm just not there yet. I mean, will it be awkward if I go into the kosher dining hall wearing capri pants, a tank top and a cardigan? Is there a typical dress code for fitting into the kosher dining hall? In truth, it isn't that that's keeping me, it really is the distance. It's a schlep and a half, and if the Hillel building were actually functioning, well, it'd be worth going over there for dinner at Nosh, then studying at Hillel. But that's a no-go so my inspiration is nil. On the other hand, I have eaten vegetarian since being here (well, if you don't count the chicken at Panda Express on Sunday when I had visitors), so that's a start, right? No opportunity to mix meat and milk there. 
  • GRAD GUIDELINES: Someone really needs to write a book about the tricks to graduate school. On day one I was thinking, so I bought this UCONN t-shirt, right? I figured, school spirit, a new t-shirt, it's a win-win. But then I started thinking ... if I'm a grad student, should my loyalty continue to reside with my undergraduate university? Should I not show grad school pride? Is it one of those, once you're done you can exude pride kind of things? It was suggested that the UCONN t-shirt should be worn passively, perhaps under a sweater or other shirt. As a graduate student, am I to get involved on campus with groups? Or should I steer clear? What are the policies on campus pride, darn't!? I mean, I'm not about to go to football or basketball games, simply because they won't compare to Husker games (I'm a Husker for life), but add to that that I'm a graduate student and it seems to label me "apathetic, disinterested, nose-in-a-book student." Someone, please tell me the rules of the game?
Well, I think that's all for tonight. I'm trying to extend my awake hours so I can adjust for those nights that I really, really need to be awake to study or write or read or cry. This going to bed at 10 p.m. thing just isn't going to fly in this world. 


shavuatov said...

Nerves - it probably IS nerves causing you to have stomach ache. I get it too - sometimes it is only then that I realise that I've been nervous about something. And sometimes it appears AFTER the stressful event has passed. You've moved across the country to a mew state where you've not lived before, are entering a new environment where you have to make new friends, meet new tutors/lecturers, go to a new synagogue, work out how to deal with the ealting arrangments.... need I go on? Oh yes, AND you want to do your best in each of your classes? Take some time and RELAX!

Jessica said...

My husband goes to NYU and I've eaten with him in their kosher cafeteria several times. There are all different looks, no specific dress codes. There are girls who come in wearing tight pants and short sleeves, while other girls come in wearing a long skirt and long sleeved shirts. I assume it is a similar atmosphere at most college campuses so I don't think you need to worry about wearing capris. Wear what you're comfortable in.

Jess said...

lol to anti-social behavior cause all last year i was anti-social and where did it get me??? all B's and im still furious lol. so don't panic or worry too much cause its def not worth it. But if u ever wanna study together PLEASE let me know because i dont have anyone to study with.

And about the whole spirit thing- stay loyal to both schools. you can have pride in all the schools u go to. i still wear my Uhartford stuff as well as the UConn stuff so haha dont bug out about that- i love showing off both my schools :)

last night i had a pretty crapola night myself - im gonna write about it now so i wont bore you here lol


Jess said...

i just wanted to add one comment. i think it is important that no matter what religion you are, especially if u are studying religion/cultures, that one should own a Bible w. the Hebrew and New Testament, (and even the Qur'an) because the writing is amazing. One must be reminded that the N.T was also written by Jews, so it does have to do with Judaic Studies, so it is a very good thing to expand your knowledge with such. study bibles are the best esp if ur not familiar because it helps you with tid-bits along the way

chaviva said...

Jessica: Perhaps I'll venture over there for dinner tomorrow. After all, I don't have much going on after class, so why not, eh? Thanks for the comments!

Jess: I *will* let you know. I've found a Hebrew study buddy (a 24-year-old Jew outta the Navy who lives here in Grad housing no less), so I feel good there. I'm glad you could give me some tips on the school spirit. I fully intend on busting out my HUSKER hoodie come winter :D

And about the Holy Bible issue, I know it's important. It just feels so weird. I think it's coming from the convert standpoint of sort of rejecting in a way all of that which I grew up with, if that makes sense. When I go to a shul that feels even slightly like church, it feels almost oppressive in a way. Does that make sense? I'm not getting out what I want to say. I just have to get over Paul :)

Abi Jones said...

Hey Chavi, find a bike on Craigslist and you'll be able to jet all over campus (so long as it isn't snowing)

Also, a bunch of us (grad students and SO's) went to Stanford's football game last night and had a great time. We just had to prep ourselves for being the 'old' people in the student section.

Christopher said...

You know, kiddo, without remarking on the New Testament or its contents, I am curious how the Hebrew scriptures relate to what Christians refer to as the Old Testament*. There was a big fuss about five centuries ago when Martin Luther threw out some books of the OT, ostensibly because he couldn't find Hebrew text for it (though one can imagine there are enough conflicting reports of motivations that one can't be sure of what he was thinking).

So here we've got about six books the Catholics recognize that the Protestants don't--newer ones, certainly better known in Greek than Hebrew, plus the other ... 39 I think in the protocanon; of those, we talk about the books of the Law, the Historical books, the Wisdom books, and the Prophetic books; and of those deuterocanonical books, I think Tobit, Judith, and the two books of Maccabees are 'Historical', Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach are 'Wisdom' books, and Baruch is a 'Prophetic' book... there are a handful of other bits that went missing in the 1500s, too...

And for good measure, there are Eastern Orthodox books in usage which don't even show up in the Catholic scriptures--I don't know what's in the third book of Maccabees, for example, though I'll probably find out sometime.

So, as a Jewish convert who's probably educated in your end of this stuff if not so much in mine, and who's now got a copy on hand to thumb through and study--Any words of wisdom on how the Hebrew scriptures in use by Christianity relate to the Jewish notion of Scripture? Are they by and large the same books? Are there differences in the notion of what is or isn't canon?

Or is email a better format for this?--it's admittedly a big question and one perhaps begging conversation rather than a short response--actually, it's one that I'd love to talk about over a really large cup of coffee and a stack of books with you, but that's not gonna happen right now... :)

Always curious,


* Please excuse the term; I know you don't like it, but I don't equate 'old' with 'obsoleted' here--merely that it predates the Christian New Testament. The nature of my question of course means I need to differentiate between the Christian notion of Old Testament and the Jewish notion of the Hebrew Scriptures--to which I refer herein by those names to distinguish.

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