Grad School and Other Things....
Forgive me blog for I have sinned.
It's been almost a month since my last posting!!!
Well the first thing to dispense with is an update on my grad school situation. As I mentioned in my last posting, I really wanted to go to McGill. I spoke with a professor from the Cognitive Psychology program 2 or 3 times over a couple of weeks in April, thinking that the path to grad school next year was being paved for me. Unfortunately I had caught this professor at the wrong time, as she is pregnant and expecting to give birth at some point in the beginning of the school year. This would mean that most of her time during the school year would be devoted to her baby, facilitated by maternity leave. She would consequently not be able to spend much time being there for her graduate students, and doesn't like that prospect. She still expressed interest in me applying next year, and even said that she'd help me apply for scholarships and the like along the way. I'm going to take her advice, but I'm not going to like certain givens of my new situation.
Given A: Starting September I will be responsible for making payments on my OSAP loan :(
Given B: I have to work hard this summer to secure an RA job in Academia which I could work at for the whole year
Given C: The cost and uncertainty of applying again to Graduate School!!!!
Anyway it is not all negative. I will get to pursue my reading interests, and my hobbies, throughout the year! One hobby which I've been pursuing since last summer has been learning Hebrew. I've very much enjoyed it. My Dad made a comment about language learning once which I very much agree with. He mentioned that he wanted something to keep his mind active, and language learning fit the bill. I find it to be a constant challenge, as I always seem to be learning more about Hebrew. I've been lightly reading a couple of grammar books throughout the year. In addition to that, I've made weekly efforts, large and small, to understand the weekly Torah portion using a Hebrew-English dictionary. Lately I've been chatting with Hebrew speakers on MSN/ICQ, or e-mailing them when necessary. I've also found a number of great Hebrew language resources off the net:
Babylon-Pro: Computer program that can translate English to Hebrew and vice versa
Milon-Morfix: VERY Comprehensive online Hebrew-English dictionary, with nikkudot (called diacritical marks in English)
Hspell: An excellent online Hebrew conjugation utility
Hebrew@Stanford: A fantastic collection of videos that can familiarize you with the spoken word
Tikva BarOn: A hefty series of Hebrew e-books with mp3s of someone reading them in Hebrew made available on the site
Site: Tikva BarOn
Hebrew WordReference Forum: A great online forum where you ask native Hebrew speakers any questions you have about how to translate anything into Hebrew (Mostly for English speakers)
Site: Hebrew WordReference Forum
Morim - Videos: A Hebrew education site - in French! They have an interesting video section, where not only do they make Hebrew language videos available, but they also have typed out the dialogue from each video into individual PDF files so that you can listen and read! If you don't mind the French, it is a pretty decent site.
Those have been my favourite Hebrew resources I've found on the net. If anyone reads this and knows of an equally excellent resource that I'm forgetting, don't hesitate to leave a comment with its web site address!
Another hobby of mine that I only started up recently is biking. I got a nice new bike (Trek 3700) for not too much money, and have been getting some good exercise. I'm hoping that even once I start working more often during the summer (which I hope will be soon) that I'll be able to go out biking at least 2 or 3 times a week. So far I've been getting more than that, because I've been less busy. I put an odometer on my bike to track my performance each time I go biking, which I think helps a lot!
Well that's all for now.