I was walking across campus–I leave for Alaska in 36 hours, and with advising, doctor’s appointments, and laundry to do, I know precisely where all my time must go–when I was approached by a woman handing out flyers for an event tonight.
“Have you heard about the Sexperiment?” she asked.
With those eight words I began the most hotly contested and highly criticized post I have ever written. It garnered more comments across Facebook and WordPress than my last three or four posts combined, and almost all of them were negative–against Chick-Fil-A, against the premise of the post, even against me.
Drawn using Paper by 53 on my Apple iPad.
It’s a big price to pay for a hypothetical, isn’t it? “Maybe” was my first word, soon followed by “perhaps,” and I ended the post with both a question asking for perspectives on the issue–to which I got a lot of responses–and a call to spread the word if they agreed with it. I can guess the word wasn’t spread very far, but maybe that was for the best.
These past four days I was attending the ISJL Education Conference, the ISJL being shorthand for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, the organization that provides Hebrew school curriculum and other services to over sixty congregations in thirteen southern states. It was a gathering of at least a hundred, if not two hundred, Jews from more cities than I’d ever heard of and it was wonderful.
We had a fellow from the ISJL who visits every few months. It’s just part of the program, you could say. One thing she told me often is that I must, that I absolutely without a doubt had to meet the ISJL staff rabbi, one Rabbi Marshal Klaven. He was unlike any other rabbi I’d ever meet, she said, and I’d like him.
I did like him. And he really was unlike any other rabbi I’d ever met.
As I am sure I have heavily implied lately, I’ve been researching schools to transfer to. Just looking at their websites wasn’t enough. I could love different schools and jot down notes about them, but in looking over my compiled data, I found that comparable schools felt drastically different to me–all because of the mood I was in when looking at them.
So much for being subjective.
I decided I needed an objective way to analyze each school. I thought about this for a while and then devised an elaborate grading rubric like those that certain English teachers might use in college courses. It was broken up into three areas: basic information about the school, information about their academics, and their extracurricular offerings.
However, even though this method has allowed me to practically cut in half the list of schools that I was looking at, I need to do more. I need to eliminate more, to be precise. I feel like I need to give greater consideration to my criteria to better ensure that how I’m grading them will really give me a good idea about where I’d like to be. And maybe, along the way, if people know of schools that are worth looking at, they can recommend them. After all, even though I’m trying to make my list smaller, it’s stupid to ignore a good contender.
And since I haven’t said it explicitly yet, I intend this to be the first of three posts, wherein each will address one area of my grading rubric. It might seem a bit much, but trust me, it’ll be worth it.