Archive for November, 2005

I remember traffic jams

Monday, November 14th, 2005

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m trying to review all the stuff I’ve ever learned about the Ancient Near East in preparation for this class next semester. In doing so, I’ve begun to wonder if there’s something essentially wrong with the way my memory works.
I’ve gone over Mesopotamian ancient history at least twice in classes. But though I remember that King Shulgi could speak five languages, I can’t remember what dynasty he was part of or what time period that dynasty might date to. (I also obviously can’t remember not to end clauses with prepositions, without excuse).
I’ve learned the Hebrew language probably four different times…and forgotten it four times. I remember the various verb forms and their meanings, but not how to conjugate specific verbs, and whatever vocabulary I’ve learned is 90% gone.
I can remember hundreds of advertising jingles from the 1980s and 90s (Big Mac, Filet o’ Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries. Icy Coke, Thick Shake, Sundaes, and Apple Pies), but at this moment I cannot remember what the abbreviation A.M. stands for. I know that P.M. stands for Prime Meridian, but I don’t know what that means. It seems to me it has something to do with the equator.
Is the situation hopeless? Am I never going to be able to hold enough information about my field of study in my brain simultaneously? Maybe if REM would write a really long song about the ancient near east, and if it were still the 1980s when they were still good and I was still 16 and could listen to the same album endlessly because it was the most profound thing I’d ever heard?

stuff I have to do

Friday, November 4th, 2005

I have a lot of stuff to do this weekend. Here is some of the stuff I have to do:

  • Watch TV. I have a lot of TV to watch this weekend. We just got the 2nd season of Arrested Development [trumpet fanfare], which is calling quietly but forcefully for me to come out to the living room and watch it. We also have had 3 Netflix items for a while: An X-Files one which is waiting for me to watch the final episode, since Andy’s already watched it; and Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot ones which are only for me. I’m a little Netflix hog.
  • Knit. I have a rather large quantity of yarn waiting for me to turn it into something. There is also pressure here beyond the promptings of my rather lackadaisical conscience, as a lady at the church where I work has been helping me quite a bit and I’d like her to feel her efforts were not in vain.
  • School stuff. The dissertation, obviously, and also I think I’m going to be teaching a class on Near Eastern history next semester at a local college. I suppose by this time I should be able to rattle everything off from memory, but unfortunately I have a hard time retaining anything that could be listed under the heading “specifics.” So unless they’re willing to retitle the course “Michele’s General Impressions of the Ancient Near East,” I’m going to have to do some prep work. “Guys, they built some cool pyramids and stuff in the Ancient Near East, but basically they were all nuts! Okay, so why don’t you discuss that amongst yourselves for the next 54.5 minutes.”
  • Work stuff. The separate components of this Sunday’s church bulletin are sitting in a box in my living room. My mission: to stuff the bulletin inserts into the bulletin covers, and return the completed items to church by Sunday morning. Argh! Too much pressure!
  • Eat chocolate. Chocolate from this Halloween still remains in this apartment. This is a situation that cannot be tolerated.

Guess I’d better get cracking.


Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Do I talk about the weather a lot on this blog? I should. I