The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Monday, October 30, 2006

In which the blogger shamelessly toots his own horn about a recent good grade; Lunar Standstill

On Saturday my graded exam for "Medieval Judaism" came back, earlier than expected, and with a higher grade than I thought I could realistically hope for - an A! No minus sign after it, even! An A of the 4.0/4.0 type! I've looked back at the grade sheet a few times to make sure I read it right. My favorite part of Dr. Bell's feedback was that the "Dialogue of Medieval Biblical Commentators" was "logically ordered" - on my initial drafts of the same paper and the one on "Medieval Jewish Philosophy" he had commented "nicely organized and argued." That means a lot to me. I place high value on clear logic (making no claim to have followed it consistently myself), and wish to learn to be a good practitioner of it.

It isn't that Dr. Bell gushed embarrassingly over my genius or any such thing - he gave much constructive criticism about how I could have gone further with the analysis here or relied less on secondary sources there. Indeed, I'd have to admit that the Philosophy and "Overview of Medieval Judaism" essays were a bit weak on quotes from primary sources. But I felt especially pleased with the "Biblical Commentators" essay, which was the topic in the course that interested me the most anyway.

On the one hand, I have a sense that other profs I've had at Spertus might have given me a lesser grade for the reasons cited above. On the other hand, may I dare to think that Dr. Bell, in his professional judgment, was accurate to think that the strongest aspects of my essays far outweighed their faults? At any rate, I, of course, have no intention of challenging my grade as it stands. You may read my "prize-winning" essays by following the link on the left sidebar, if you wish.

This means that I will soon be going on to the course in "Modern Judaism", though I'd better take care of a few other things on the home front first before diving in.

On another note, it did seem to me that the Moon has been riding unusually high in the sky sometimes this year, unusually low above the southern horizon other times. You can read all about it here. Ironic that the term is "Lunar Standstill" for a phenomenon which seems to exaggerate one aspect of the moon's apparent movement, but the explanation of the term in the Wikipedia article makes sense.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mazl tov - Mediaeval Judaism would make my head spin faster than I can write ;-)

3:37 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Thanks! Believe me, my head did lots of spinning, and less than a month before the due date there was a disturbingly thick fog inside my head as to what in the world I would write. It helped that we get to choose amongst several essay topics, allowing me to sidestep my weakest areas (for the most part). Also, it helped that Medieval studies are among my favorite areas, and I found a few excuses to cite one of my top-ten favorite books, The Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis.

10:43 AM  

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