Friday, October 05, 2007

Update: Busy Busy

So... it's been a while since I've posted, but I'm sure you can all forgive me. Here's the top ten of things that have been keeping me busy:

1. GREs
I've studied for the GRE's twice in my life. The first time Heather Battles and I "studied" at Panera Bread every Tuesday. She for the MCAT and me for the GRE. She's an M.D. now, and as of last week, I hadn't taken the GREs yet. So, I had Rachel sign me up, and I took them. I really should have studied more, but I spent most of my study time preparing for the Math section. I figured it would be better for me to relearn the rules for exponents and statistics than to try to memorize every twenty dollar word in the English Language hoping to see fifteen of them on the test. So, after a few days of Math review (and realizing that a Math prep test took me just under 12 hours to complete.) I drove up to Pittsburgh on Thursday and just took the test. I got a 570 on the verbal, and a 600 on the math. I'm not sure if those are good scores or not, but everything I've looked at say they are anywhere from slightly below average, to slightly above average. So that's good. They aren't out of the ball park, but they probably won't make any one think I'm mentally handicapped when I apply.

2. Grad School
I'm applying for Grad Schools right now. I have to speak with some of my old Professors from Malone to get some advice (if you're an old Professor from Malone, and you have advice... ) but right now I'm looking at University of Chicago, Duke, Princeton, and Boston University. My hope is to study the history of World Religions wherever I go. U Chicago has a pretty great reputation, and I hope to study there. But it's ULTRA expensive, and I'll need some serious fellowship opportunities if it's going to work out. We'll see. If you have any other ideas let me know... I'm somewhat afraid that the GRE scores will knock me out of the competition for some of the schools I've listed.

3. Norah and Rachel
We just had our most recent Sonogram today. It's so neat to see her moving around and sucking her thumb in there. We're reading her Peter Pan right now. I bought a beautifully illustrated copy a few years ago, and Rach and I are reading it to Norah when we go to bed. She seems to like it and kicks around a lot while I read.

4. Work
Work is nuts right now. Lots and lots and lots going on. I've had to do some serious dancing around the "regular office politics" lately, and there have been some factors that make work very difficult from time to time. I can't go into specifics, but that's been eating away at my time for sure.

5. New Database
I'm working on a new database to house the information for the Student Conduct process. Our old database was in a program called FileMaker Pro. It wasn't a very good program, and was very difficult to use. Once the program was set up, we couldn't access the data very easily, so we are in the process of switching to Microsoft Access. Because no one in the office (including me) knows how to use Access, I've taken it upon myself to learn the program and set up the database. So I've spent a few nights and days curled up next to the University's thirteen hundred page edition of "How do Use Access" learning how to create a viable database. I think I'm there and when I get the kinks out of how to secure the database on the server, it'll be up and running.

6. Learning to cook indian food
Yum. I love it. But it takes a very, very long time to create curries sometimes. We went to an Indian food class a while back, and I can't wait to get back to the Indian grocery so I can pick up some curry leaves, and "estrogen." (We didn't know what this particular spice was, but Hari kept calling it "Estrogen." Later we learned that he was actually saying that the spice's flavor was "astringent." Seeing as I haven't grown boobs or anything I can only assume that it was "astringent" and not "Estrogen.")

7. Reading all the books you have to read before you can have a baby. Baby Wise... Baby Signs... How to be a Daddy... THE Book for First Time Daddy... The Baby Name Bible... (We're done with that one) The Father's Survival Guide... Jesus and Pacifism... All the books you need to read in order to qualify as a guy who can change a diaper without breaking the kid. I think I have a long way to go, but at least I now know a heck of a lot about breast milk, moisture wicking gel, and how big FREAKING HUGE 10 cm is.

8. Watching the Browns
Go browns. Seriously... we're looking like a real team. ESPN even said that the game against the Pats would be a good one to watch! Really?! Someone told people to watch Cleveland? Wow.

9. Watching the Indians
BAM! Take that Joe Torre... Kenny Lofton's smiling his rear end off because you wouldn't start him because he's black, and now he knocks you right in the mouth with two hits and four RBIs and ties the record for post season stolen bases all in the same night. Way to go Cleveland... no one should be able to compete with the pay roll of the Greedy Yanks, and yet here you are, showing "The Man" how it feels to get kicked in the shins with steel toed boots... thirteen times. Keep at it boys!

Indians over the Yanks in 4! I said it!

10. Death of Will Ruberg
Will Ruberg passed away last week. He was a great guy, and was dating one of the students that Rachel and I are working closely with. Rachel and I met him on our second New Orleans trip. He came out to help rebuild the city, and we later learned that he lived in the city when he was a kid. At first I was intimidated by him, because he just looked like such a "cool" kid, but later I realized what a fun and energetic guy he really was. I liked him a ton. Needless to say, his death is a serious blow. We're working with Kate (his girlfriend) to try to help her cope... but honestly, how do you possibly "cope" with something like that. I can't imagine being in her shoes... it's just terrible. Please be praying for the Ruberg's and Kate.

That's will on the far Right. Look at that smile.
We'll miss you Will.

I'm finished with this post, and I can't help but think how terrible it is that I don't spend more time talking about him. I'm sorry. This isn't meant to be a memior for Will, just a description of what's going on in my life right now... it seems a very selfish way to talk about him. I'm sorry Will, but I know you wouldn't take any offense.


Carrie Babcock said...

Advice about school - How about going back to Malone. Just suggesting this out of me being selfish and wanting you, Rachel, and Norah to live in Canton.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful you are WJU rigt now for the students, especially Kate as all of the students deal with this death. A campus death is always hard, but I find peace in knowing you, Rachel, Karen and others are there for the students.

I, selfishly, think you should go into Student Affairs, but I know you have stronger passions.


Ryan said...

Go Browns! I actually look forward to watching Sports Center now...

Nathan said...

Josh, say more about the specific programs you're interested in. Or email me:

Joshua said...

Carrie - I wish I could study in Canton. I miss everyone badly. Sadly, there are no study programs in Canton that would meet my needs.

Tracy- Thanks for the words of encouragement. Lisa actually mentioned the same today, but I just don't think have the passion necessary to maintain the energy required by a career in Student Life. The thought of going back to school, and studying, and learning about ancient things is just too tantalizing to me to ignore.

Ryan- Go Browns.

Nathan- I'm actually looking to study for a masters in the history of world religions. I was very impressed by the description I found on U Chicago's website, I think it describes my ambitions very succinctly. It reads:

"The academic study of religion(s) is complex not simply by virtue of its diverse subject matter, but because of the many different perspectives from which scholars investigate and define the subject. Scholars of religion throughout the academy engage in research that emphasizes historical, comparative, literary critical, philosophical, social scientific, or ethical methods and questions. The Divinity School faculty believes that the capacity to engage in this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the student’s scholarly agenda. For that reason, the A.M. program requires enrollment during the first year of the program in the three-course sequence listed below. These courses accomplish three purposes. First, they illustrate the types of questions that are pursued within the three committees of the faculty: the Committee on Religion and the Human Sciences, the Committee on Historical Studies in Religion, and the Committee on Constructive Studies in Religion. Second, they situate these methods and questions in the wider sweep of Western inquiries into the nature of religion. Third, they assist the A.M. student in defining the distinctive character of his or her Ph.D. project, and the group of written examinations that would best enable the student to pursue that project."

Adam said...

Joshua -

I started studying for the GRE's myself... 11/14 is the day. Ugh.


Joshua said...


Good luck man! They're much more difficult than I gave them credit for. I didn't study enough at all. (All I did was to work through a math worksheet) My advice would be to focus closely on Statistics for Math, and vocabulary for the Reading. On the whole the GREs are a terrible indicator for success in Grad School, and I'm pretty sure schools are learning that.

Nathan said...

They sure haven't learned it yet! Regretably, most schools take the GRE very seriously.
Josh, another question (not rhetorical!): how will your research of world religions help the church?

Joshua said...

Nate, may bounce the question back to you? How do you think the church would benefit from someone who has studied the religions of the world?

Nathan said...

Interfaith dialogue. But I'm assuming you've thought about it more than I have so I'll bounce the question back again.

Joshua said...

Yes, it's true. I have thought about interfaith dialogue. However, I think that studying the history of Religions has a lot more value than just allowing us to talk to people of other faiths about their own.

I have been asked this question very often lately, and I am preparing an answer which I have published as a second post. I believe you are someone asking the first question, but I think I have answered your other question as well. If not, let me know.