On Tuesday, the 24th, I finished up my application for library school and mailed it off. I got some help from Jennifer and from a couple of librarians I’ve corresponded with on-line and got some good feedback on my personal statement… and finally decided that I was just going to send the darn thing in, because I was quickly reaching the Endless Revision stage: you know, that stage where you will always find one more word to change, one more grammatical structure to improve, one more… And so on. For me, it’s the most dangerous stage of writing (not the hardest — the hardest is getting started). But I finally got done, and I went to the Post Office and sent it certified mail. I haven’t yet gotten the return receipt. Hm, I wonder if I should be a bit concerned about that?
At any rate, now it’s just down to the waiting. I figure my chances are pretty good, but I just don’t feel alive unless I’m fretting about something, so this week I’m fretting about my application to the MLIS program.
Today was the last session of the Islam class that I’ve been teaching at our church. It wasn’t really a class so much as a guided discussion group. I started out the first week by talking about some of the common myths and misperceptions about Islam. Week Two was about the role and status of women in Islam. Week Three was about the Crusades, and the relationship between Islam and Christianity. And today I did my best to go over the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire and the role of western colonialism in leading up to the current crisis. In other words, I tried to give some perspective on the current conflict and its roots in history; and how some of what we know if Islam today is deeply rooted in the history of Islam.
It was an interesting thing to do. I learned more about Islam than I had ever known, and some of my own illusions were fixed. I discovered that there are elements of Islam that I don’t like after all, although the good of Islam far outweighs the bad. I could never be a Moslem myself; my notion of God is much more compatible with Christianity than it is with any other religion.
At any rate, I received a number of compliments on the way I taught the class, and one of the members of the church’s education committee told me that she would probably ask me to teach this class again next time, or possibly some other classes. I’m interested in doing some classes on world religions, and also a class about faith and religion. That could be interesting.
In other news, Jennifer and I are flying out to Chicago tomorrow for two weeks of hyper-training for Benthic Creatures. On Friday we went and shopped for some sort of professional clothing (I have a blazer now! My goodness, I never thought I’d actually own one of those!). We spent an uncomfortable amount of money buying clothing, but we did need to stock up. Helpful hint to the men out there: women like it when you actually take an active role in helping them shop for clothing. Seems to impress the socks off of them. At least it did for Jennifer, who said to her mother that it was “just like shopping with a girlfriend”.
Of course, when we’re in Chicago, we’ll be getting our new laptop computers, which brings up a whole host of questions. Moral dilemmas aside (the computers will be running Windows XP) I have to figure out if there’s some way of getting the two computers to share a phone line, and how to hook up to my Linux box from a Windows XP computer while on the road.
I think that’s it for now. Anything interesting on your end?