Journal of the Grad Planet (Vol. 1)

So these days I have been working really hard on things that are easy and fun. This is a strange predicament that usually causes cognitive dissonance in me. I enjoy this! But I have to read how many pages? By tomorrow? How can I truly enjoy this that way? This dissonance is definitely something that needs to be fixed in my brain.

Lately I’ve been trying to seriously change my study habits, in the hopes that it will also get me to change the way that I interact with studying–so that I don’t feel as if I am again an undergraduate. (I like to follow a model of progression always, when I feel like I’m “going back” to something, it makes me upset. Probably another dissonance that needs to be fixed, but that’ll be for another rainy day.) One of the things I’m stressing on myself is using digital study methods. That means that I print less, waste less paper, and spend less time cutting up 3x5s for greek flash cards. That’s good for the environment, AND it’s good for my room, where I do not accumulate papers after papers after papers that I feel obligated to keep. All these things can easily remain on my hard drive FOREVER and it is very easy to bring from place to place. And it’s searchable. That is going to make research very interesting.

I’ve been using Adobe Acrobat to annotate my work, but it is kind of cumbersome, so I am looking for something that is a little bit less heavy. I’ve also been using Anki for my Greek flash cards, which fulfills my epic database geekiness while also getting me to study my Greek vocabulary. Anki lets you add multiple fields to your flash cards, meaning you can switch facts easily if you want to drill on different aspects of the same word. I can do English > Aorist (a verb conjugation), or for those particularly annoying and difficult Second Aorists, I can simply change the outline of the card to make it Aorist > Present, or Present > Future, or whatever I want, really. That means I don’t have to make a second set of cards. I’m not so sure I like the style of “study cycle” that Anki likes you to do… It wants you to learn such and such an amount of cards, and I haven’t figured out how to get Anki to “mark” cards to return to later. My geekdom is satisfied by building up the database and typing in Greek… so far that’s been helping me get through it.

The Greek class is moving faster than anything I’ve ever done. I really enjoy learning languages but I wish that we had time to really drink it in. I can’t see a world in which this pace really ads up to successful translation even one year from now. Cramming doesn’t end up being successful for me. That means I will have to put forth a real effort to keep it up. We’ll see how that goes. I really enjoy being able to read the Bible in the original though, and knowing the nuances of grammar, and the intriguing things that are going on. It makes me believe that I can do anything, too. I’m sitting there in class saying to myself “And next year I’ll take Hebrew, and then in my “elective” year I’ll take all the Islamic Studies classes and Arabic. And then I’ll graduate with a year of ALL THREE languages and I’ll just rock this.” But then I think about how that would be effective in the real universe and I realize that two years of Arabic is probably better than one year of Greek, Arabic, AND ancient Biblical Hebrew. But a girl can dream, right?

Anyway… recently purchased on Amazon MP3 a triad of super brain-melting club-like songs, which I can only describe as “21st Century Mystical” and it is a. making me want to write my Michael and Arie novel, which still refuses to be born (ουκ μελλῶ εγενετῶ) and b. making me want to study the potential connections between rave/club culture and mysticism. That sounds like an excellent way to get the University of Chicago to pay for me to go dancing 5 nights a week. I think of this only because I am reading a really interesting PhD thesis turned book from the 70s in which a guy literally hung out at a street corner liquor store in the South Side and wrote about people’s stories. THAT is quality academia to me, friends.

Now I have to shake off the laziness of the weekend, cook myself some food for the week, and read like 200 pages. Good luck with that, Maggie. ^.~

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