5 down, 3 to go (semesters, that is)

I try to keep whiny introspective blogging to a minimum around here, but I allow myself about one or two of these a year anyway. So here we go.

I just finished my last final for the semester and feel completely brain-fried. That must mean it’s time to do a little semester re-cap.

To begin, this has been, without a doubt, my hardest semester of college so far. I’m the editor in chief of our weekly newspaper here at Drew. I took three classes (usually four, but I could afford to take one less to deal with everything else). I also worked three days a week for Limmud NY. And romantically, I’ve had a pretty disastrous time (as usual, but also worse than usual).

I’m told by some housemates at their most encouraging and mushy that they think I’ve grown as a person and been friendlier and kinder, which is good. Except that I can’t see that. I feel more bitter and cynical than ever.

It may sound odd coming from me, but I used to believe that people in positions of power were generally well-intentioned people. Not that I thought they always did everything right, but that I believed they always want to do the right thing. My attitude toward authority has shifted dramatically this semester, mostly because of some interaction I’ve had with administrators and student government folks here at school.

I also announced this semester that I was putting an end to my association with organized Reform Judaism. I still feel a part of the Reform intellectual community, but organizationally, liturgically, and in terms of leadership I feel that the organized Reform world has failed me and told me in numerous ways in recent years that it doesn’t want me. I kept getting told how smart and promising I was, but I couldn’t find anyone interested in doing anything that I or the rest of what I’d call the Reform intellectual community is saying.

Good things?

I’ve now been writing at Jewschool for about nine months and I still feel like a kid in a candy shop every time I log in to the administrative side of the site and post something.

I’ve definitely learned more about who I am and what I want that I ever have before. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely happy with what I discovered.

I’m gonna go spend a few days in Denver with best friend Leslie Bass in a couple of weeks.

I’m gonna do a senior thesis about religion and science fiction.

And I’m gonna go back to Israel for a semester in the fall (probably).

So Chappy Chanukah and let’s hope next semester is an improvement.

I think I need a haircut.

11 Responses to 5 down, 3 to go (semesters, that is)

  1. Ben Sternman December 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    What can I say? I’m just sorry.

    For religion and science fiction, you have got to read Code of the Lifemaker by James P. Hogan and the Safehold series by David Weber (first book is Off Armageddon Reef). I would throw in Voyage from Yesteryear by James P. Hogan as well, but Code of the Lifemaker would be more directly in your face relevant. If I can think of others I’ll let you know.

    • David A.M. Wilensky December 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

      It’s actually a little more specific in topic that I say here. I’m just afraid to tell people I’m doing a thesis about Battlestar Galactica.

      • Ben Sternman December 21, 2009 at 10:51 am #

        Okay. But you should still read Code of the Lifemaker. I think you would love it.

  2. Daniel December 17, 2009 at 5:35 am #

    I am excited for your thesis! BSG.
    Having been reading your blog and having had more knowledge about the movement, I’ve also been questioning it and can see where you coming from (from my limited knowledge of your interactions with it)

    Where are you going to do your semester in Israel HU?

  3. jepaikin December 19, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    David, your continual willingness to reach deep into yourself and your absolute revulsion for status-quo mongering is, and I hope always will be, an inspiration to me.

    Kol hakavod!

  4. ML December 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    David, could you elaborate a little more regarding the Reform intellectual community. What is it exactly and how does it stand apart (or not) from the rest of the Reform world?


  1. When I say “Reform intellectual community”… « - December 21, 2009

    […] community” around a bit since I declared independence from the Reform movement. Recently, commenter ML called me out on the term: David, could you elaborate a little more regarding the Reform intellectual community. What is it […]