This may be prolix. I've wanted to write since approximately forever, and my mind and heart are awhirl, plus when not reading for class I've been reading novels (lately Middlesex and Gilead and a quick review of Goodbye, Columbus. Apologies if I wind up writing one here.

Of all I can be thankful for, the most timely was Thanksgiving break. Mired as I have been in my muck, any time off would have sufficed, but the calendar afforded an especial reprieve with its prod toward gratitude and perspective.

I learned a few things over a relaxing, refreshing, and eventful summer. At KlezKanada I sought to soak up Jewishness for use in my compositions only to realize that it's been there, always and unavoidably. At the LSA Summer Meeting and Mini-Institute I tried to fall under the sway of the linguistic lifestyle but was insufficiently moved. I won't be going to graduate school for music either, at least not now. The senioritis that is inconveniently peaking at crunch time got its start months ago, maybe even almost a year ago. I'm ready to be done with academia, ready to be back in the world, ready to enact my plan.

For all the travel and discovery, my Google Summer of Code project suffered. This disappointed me and, I'm sure, others (though I'm hoping to have time for it soon, belatedly). Had I done particularly well, it could have helped my chances applying for a job at Google; it may be that having done poorly hurts my chances, or it may not. If I apply there, we'll find out. The job hunt is due to begin in earnest over winter break, which arrives in a few short and intense weeks and lasts for a beautiful month. I'm not wedded to New York by any stretch, though I'd stay if the right offer came along (I appreciate having my sister near; also, after four years of a student budget, it'd be nice to try being a grownup here). I have a more than vague interest in moving to the west coast, however, and will be attempting to make that a possibility as well.

Winter break will be lonely but productive and, as such, restorative. I'll be reorganizing physically and emotionally. I've been doing Krav Maga three days a week this semester; over break my schedule becomes amenable to five. I'll have time for various projects and overdue tasks, time to see friends, time to write music, time to think about how I want my last semester of college to go. Because after this semester, my only remaining requirement is a single social science course. At the moment I'm inclined to register for no more than that, to extend the feeling and freedom of winter vacation right up until graduation, after which my father and I will take a summer vacation in Israel.

Before any of these dreams can come true, I have to grind through the next few weeks. The courses I'm taking (with the exception of piano lessons) are all core requirements, my major having been completed in the middle of last year:

  • Earth, Moon, and Planets
  • Galaxies and Cosmology
  • Literature Humanities
  • Asian Music Humanities
  • Principles of Economics

None particularly excites me (the astronomy courses are at a sixth- to eighth-grade level), so I'm glad I'm taking them now, when the end is in sight, rather than earlier, when my alacrity to study music and language would have met with such discouraging dullness. Columbia has been amazing — I'm a composer now! — but like I said, I'm ready to be done.

I'm thankful for this journey and for nearing its terminus; for my health, as good as it's been in quite some time; and for love. After losing some, I'm rediscovering how much I still have.