Welcome to hell. Where tuition is only $30,000 a year.

I’m (almost) finished with grad school applications. My final school is the one I’m fairly certain will accept me, so one would think that I’d jump right on that bandwagon, right? Wrong. They require a very large check and have a much later deadline. So…we’re going to wait until after the holidays…

They do not require quite as large a check as Northwestern requires. I’m applying to Northwestern because I think it’s a pretty cool program. Terminal PhD, full tuition and living stipend, and the ability to wear a “Northwestern” sweatshirt unironically. Take away the 89-mile one-way commute and I’d be all set. However, I’m almost 100% positive that they won’t accept me. Not necessarily because I’m unqualified (or because I had to use spell check to spell “necessarily”), but because they’re pulling from a much larger and more prestigious pool than…oh…EVERY OTHER PLACE I’M APPLYING TO. So. There’s that.

Nevertheless, there will probably be tears and large drinks when they do reject me. You won’t hear about it for about three weeks, at which point I will have gotten over the humiliation and be able to turn it into an amusing blog post.

The cost for the application that they will most likely reject? $75. SEVENTY-FIVE. Look. I know it’s not like a huge amount of money, but it kind of is, and it’s a good 150% more than ANY OTHER FEE I’VE HAD TO PAY. And I’m applying to pretty much anyone with an application.

That’s just adding insult to injury, Northwestern.

Meanwhile, today I did research in and “archive” that was, I’m not even kidding you, a file cabinet. Yeah. That was productive. I did, however, come to the conclusion that Moses Montefiore Synagogue? Looks like every ’70s era Roman Catholic Church I’ve ever been in. And I also found out that the rabbi had a married daughter, a seventeen-year-old son, and a three-year-old. Wow. That three-year-old must have been a surprise.

I don’t know what Northwestern wants if it isn’t very important historical research like that.


It’s going in the blog.

Television: *has a commercial that uses the word “tchotke”*

Mom: Ugh. The tchotkes.


Mom: I think we’re getting better though. We really got burned by tchotkes.

Dad: What? Did we have a tchotke problem?


A problem? A problem? I’m not sure I’d call it a problem. A giant sucking hole of evil that required painting and “Human” by the Killers came up on my iPhone yesterday and I swear to God I felt a little bit nauseous because I listened to that a lot while painting shelves and I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING INTERNETS.

THAT’S what I’d call it.

The man. Is oblivious.

I’m wasting my time in Milwaukee.

I have this professor. I really like her. She went to Yale. I know from other sources that she’s really proud of the fact that she went to Yale.

(Hey, why not? You got a doctorate from YALE. I’d be handing out flyers.)

Anyway. Our Thanksgiving break starts the day before Thanksgiving. So Tuesday is the last day of classes next week. The class that she teaches is from 3:30 to 4:45 at night. Or, the time that no one wants to be in class.

On the syllabus, there is a movie scheduled for that day. Immediately, back in September, I’m like, screw that. I’ll be at home, starting on my pies. Then she announces that she won’t even be there, there will be a sub to insert the disc and press play. She has to go to a “book event”. (I think that’s more like, “start drinking early”.)

Yes. Because EVERYONE is going to show up to watch A FRIGGIN MOVIE with a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL on the DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING. Ha. Hahahaha. I would almost like to come just to see NO ONE ELSE COME.

I think this must have dawned on her, however, because today she finally cancelled class altogether and now we just have to watch the movie online.

See, I don’t have a degree from Yale, and I figured out back in September that that was just going to crash and burn. Maybe I should be applying to the Ivy League.

Sunny Day

I was a Sesame Street kid. Like, hardcore. I wanted to link to this entry I wrote about the Joe Raposo songs, but I can’t find it. I think it was on some national holiday? But I’m not finding it. Anyway. LOVED Sesame Street.

So when I discovered that there was a book, Street Gang, about the creation of Sesame Street, imagine my glee.

Except I was little bit trepidatious. Because sometimes when you read books about the adults involved in kid’s shows, particularly shows that you absolutely loved and quite literally defined your life, you discover that they were all horrible people who were all sleeping with each other and getting high and coming to the set drunk and whatever. I really didn’t want to find that out about Sesame Street. However, I picked up the book anyway.


Because Sesame Street? Is as awesome as you remember. It was created by an incredibly gifted group of people (no, seriously, they like all had PhDs in early childhood education or something) who were concerned entirely with providing underprivileged children with a good example and strong background in basic skills so that they would enter kindergarten preliterate.

AND THEY DID THIS ALL WITHOUT BEHAVING LIKE DRUNKEN ASSHOLES. (Well. Okay. There was one drunk. But even he was nice.)

It’s an absolutely adorable book, and so interesting, and everyone should go read it. There was a lengthy section on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, including some of the dialogue. Which I remember. And it made me cry.

Except they seem to be operating under the illusion that there are people? Playing the characters? Which is OBVIOUSLY COMPLETELY FALSE because um, Big Bird is totally real. Obviously. He is in no way the same person as Oscar the Grouch. They are completely separate and are not put away at the end of the day.

Other than this fallacy, perfect book.

Two shout-outs?

Today in Jewish Wisconsin we got the why-I-became-a-Jewish-studies-guy speech, and frankly it was disappointing and not at all clear. My money’s still on a woman.

Anyway. Then we got the why-you-should-become-a-Jewish-studies-major and he said, “We even have a few Gentiles!” and smiled at Katie and me. Woot. Represent.

Later, when discussing the movement of Jews from the East Side to the North Shore, he started talking about how Whitefish Bay has an ordinance where you can’t have gatherings late at night and they enforce it for weddings at the JCC? But not St. Monica’s down the road? And in my head I’m all dude, I go there! I have very little to share during that class because I’m a.) not Jewish, b.) less than ninety-years-old like the rest of the class and c.) really not Jewish. But I could have shared something about that!!!

This has nothing to do with anything (like the rest of the post did?), but I went to Marquette’s Grad School Open House tonight (Worthless, in case you’re wondering. But I did get a waiver for the application fee! Which means my parents I won’t have to pay yet another $50 for the privilege of being rejected. Life is good.), and the financial aid guy seriously said, “All other schools are $865 a credit, but there aren’t any other fees.”

Oh. Good. So I’ll just have to take up prostitution, but I can keep both of my kidneys.

I love private schools.

It’s a good thing I bought some skirts.

So I volunteered to be a lector at my parish. This is pretty cool, except I have to speak really loudly? And I’m not good at that? But whatever. It’s exciting.

First of all, this has led to a HUGE influx of e-mail. Like, St. Eugene’s is spamming me now. For reals. I can’t get my advisor to respond to my e-mails, but somebody is going to be out of town in two weeks and will somebody please distribute Communion for me pleeeease omg??? So I logged on to sort through all that stuff and the new schedule is up. Very exciting. Let’s see when I’m scheduled…

Okay…a few Masses as the lead cup…very cool…oh! And there’s a word ministry one! On a Friday? December 25? CHRISTMAS MORNING? Yes. Let’s get the 22-year-old who has never done this before up there on CHRISTMAS MORNING.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited, but CHRISTMAS MORNING???

So. Yeah. I’ll need a new dress. Too bad.

In other news, I got a job today! I don’t want to jinx it by putting it on Facebook or anything, because there’s a little part of me that thinks it won’t work out because I didn’t get any work/study this year, but I’m going to help organize National History Day at UWM!!! And be paid for it! A LOT!!! Like, way more than the job I show up for occasionally that is on Facebook!!! Hell, if this position lasted past March I’d quit that sucker so fast some of the books would catch on fire.

But you want to know the best part? (Other than the fact that the girl who did it last year was accepted to the master’s program and THANK YOU BABY JESUS WHOSE STORY I WILL BE PROCLAIMING APPARENTLY.)

They might get me a desk. I could have an office. With a desk. That I could sit at. Like a real live adult. I know, right? It’s pretty important.

So. This was a good day.

I’m never teaching night classes. I may be scheduled to. But there will be no teaching going on.

I don’t work well in the evenings. I went to school all day today, and I had a ton of stuff to do. Of course, because I was at school all day, I got a fraction of it finished. Then I had to go to a lecture by my thesis advisor because I felt badly about ignoring him for the last few months (John Paul II and Poland- very good) and just got home and yeah, I’m tired and hungry and like hell I’m writing three pages about Hadassah/Zionism/the Nicene Creed.

In other news, Katie and I get to go to do research at the Small Jewish Towns Fake Society and yeah…I’m pretty sure it’s just going to be this guy’s basement, and that bothers me a little bit.

Ugh. I’m going to bed.