Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Day 96: Passover Seder

What went well? 

  1. Productivity is back (for the moment! everything is anicca (impermanent), after all...no grasping!), apparently. Got about 4200 words on the page for my Buddhism paper, with about 4.5 hours of work. A lot of this was direct quotes so I haven't actually paraphrased or "written" it properly yet, but it still feels good to get everything I think I want to include on the page, and to refresh my memory on the ideas - that's one thing I've found with this research - it's hard to keep track of all these complex ideas at the same time, and yet that's what's important for drawing connections. Will need to think about a system to deal with this issue for future work, especially things like theses and journal articles.
  2. Went to a Passover seder, organised by a classmate. It was really interesting to gain some insight into Jewish culture, because I really don't know much about Judaism, and am actually quite interested in different religions now (not in converting to anything, but in understanding what people do and what it means to them). It was great to have this new experience. Also, I appreciated this:

  3. Got a lot of potential RSVPs to my solo recital in two weeks! It will be lovely to have the support of friends there.

What did I learn? 

  • Asana looks like a great tool for project management & organising communications. My mentor in Melbourne emailed me this morning about it, asking if I thought we should use it for our journal article project, so I checked it out and thought it looked great - definitely saves a lot of emailing and keeps communications in one place.
  • Kosher (Jewish dietary restrictions) everything exists. Including Kosher coke?!?!?! (no corn syrup)
  • Bits and pieces about Reform Jews and how they differ from Orthodox and Conservative Jews. The overall impression I got is that Reform Jews take a much more modern approach to their religion, trying to make it relevant to the modern context, and not taking the Torah as the law and direct word of God, but understanding that it was written by humans, for a certain time & place, even if it may have been divinely inspired. So even though it's still important to them, they interpret it with these considerations in mind. Reform Jews are also a lot more progressive in terms of welcoming gay/lesbian Jews, and also in terms of feminism.
  • Even more impermanence. You know how it was absolutely gorgeous these past few days? No more!!! Storm. Wind. Cold. A massive worm massacre too, washed out by the rain...ew.
  • A man was shot to death last night about 4 blocks away from where I live. But, as my friend puts it so eloquently in a Facebook status:
  • *snaps*. Oh god, I'm snapping! That is an American thing to do too btw.

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