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A Series of Fortunate Links


Old habits die hard. It amuses me how, the moment I crack my Biblical Hebrew textbook and settle in to work on a new chapter, suddenly eleven thousand other things in my house call for my attention. I ought to pet the cat more! Dishes need doing! Have I watered the plants? Hey, maybe I have an idea for a poem! And so on. It's like being a kid who's avoiding homework, again.

This is probably why it's wise to have a hevruta (study partner): that way someone else would hold me accountable. It's like the way I'm more reliable about working out when I have a gym buddy; even when my gym buddy didn't always make it to meet me, when I had one I worked out religiously. Now that I don't have a gym buddy anymore, I'm lucky if I manage once a week.

Both of these are actually practices I enjoy, once I get over the initial hump of inertia. I feel better, both physically and emotionally, when I exercise regularly; and my brain feels pleasantly stretched when I obligate myself to do Hebrew exercises. (The ones I'm avoiding right now: memorizing the spellings of the verb היה, "to be," in the pa'al/perfect tense, and ascertaining when to use the special direct object preposition and when not to.)

I pride myself on being someone with good motivation and follow-through. That's why I'm a good freelance writer, and indeed, I just turned in an article today. (Precisely on-time, and exactly the requested wordcount. Go me!) And I have a good reason for wanting to master basic Biblical Hebrew, and I've given myself this fall and winter to do it; I'd better get moving. Especially since I just announced here in public that I'm not getting up from this desk until all of the exercises in chapter eight are done.

Right now, for instance, the procrastinatory tactic I'm employing to keep from working on Hebrew is blogging. Guess that's the end of this post; my flash cards are calling my name.