Saturday, July 21, 2012


Suffice it to say that summer Hebrew is not conducive to blogging.

It's been two weeks since the last entry.  Not at all coincidentally, I've been in intensive Hebrew class for two weeks.  Indeed these two facts are inextricably related.

Put succinctly, this class is kicking my posterior six ways to sundown.  In fact, I am finding it harder than Greek.  Part of it is that there is more occupying my time this summer than last; I have two jobs that I didn't have last summer.  Where the languages are concerned, I am a terrible memorizer (I have many academic skills; memorizing, if it counts as an "academic skill," is not one of them), and vocabulary tends to require memorization after a certain point.  With Greek, there were enough words that had English derivatives or relatives that some of that work was cut out for me.  Not so with this language.

So, all that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for coming up with anything halfway thoughtful to say here.  It isn't necessarily that I plan to quit for now, it is simply that it may not happen a lot between now and August 22.  My apologies to the three or four of you who actually read this.

Not that there haven't been things that could provoke comment.  Certainly Hebrew class itself would probably be worth comment if I weren't dog-paddling furiously just to keep from drowning in alephs and dageshes and hireqs and such.

The world has practically been baiting a blog entry with the things that have been going on.  My denomination completed one of its less impressive General Assemblies in recent memory, in which too many of them sounded like members of Fred Phelps's "church" in Topeka.  The release of the Freeh report on the Penn State child abuse scandal, and the various reactions to the revelations of said report, beg for more sports commentary, and there were certainly thoughts that came to mind to discuss.  For example, here's a question: do we really think this is the only school at which such a thing has happened?  How can we know that this hasn't happened elsewhere, only to have the particularly prosperous boosters step up with the hush money to keep the victims from coming forward?  Do you really believe this couldn't have happened somewhere in the world of big-time college athletics?  My last thought (for now) on this: perhaps the "death penalty" should be applied to all of college football for a couple of years, and probably college basketball too.  Considering the number of famous universities which could be argued to be completely consumed by their athletic reputations, it might be the best thing for higher education in this country.

The mass murder in Colorado is probably best for me to avoid; my rules about blogging angry and blogging smug would be virtually impossible to follow.  Sadly, I keep finding that the two most on-target and on-point bits of comment I've seen so far have both come from the satirical "newspaper," The Onion.  One, too profane for me to link to (even if I appreciate the sentiment), posits the reactions of a studio exec worried about what the violence will do to the overall take for The Dark Knight Rises (yes, somebody at whatever studio put out the film is probably tracking exactly that), and this one, which captures exactly the futility of hoping that anyone will get angry enough to make any change happen in this country, or of hoping that this kind of thing won't happen again, and again, and again... (and The Onion has since added their own little shot at the NRA as well).  Otherwise, most of what I've seen sounds, well, exactly like we've come to expect.

Things are mildly interesting on the personal front as well.  I've been doing a small amount of liturgical participation at the church we've been attending lately, and one of the aforementioned jobs is working as chapel coordinator for the summer at Union.  Normally today's little adventure would also elicit some blog comment; we took a day for my mental health and headed up to Colonial Beach, VA, and swung home the back way, catching the birthplace sites of two American presidents, George Washington and James Monroe.  The Washington site was beautiful; if George hadn't moved after the death of his father when George was age three, and had grown up and inherited the place possibly, one could easily imagine that it would have been impossible to tear him away from the site.  Monroe's birthplace site is a much smaller affair; a visitor center only open on weekends, and a high place in the ground where the house's foundation was.  Guess that's what you get for not being a Father of Your Country and presiding in a period of relative peace and quiet, with only a Monroe Doctrine to your name.

But for now this grab bag will have to do.  If time and my intellectual state allow, I'll post again; if not I promise to try to get back on the beam after August 22.

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