Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Glitch in our plans

There's been a wrench in our plans for applications, at least at UPENN. Yesterday Avram emailed a professor at UPENN, and heard back from him this morning, and he's retiring this next year. So until they hire another biblicist, the program won't offer the right courses. The professor told Avram out right not to apply there. While we're grateful that he just saved us over $70 in application fee, it means that once more we're searching for another school to apply to, this time in the top tier. UPENN is in the Ivy League, and of the other Ivy Leagues, only Harvard really has a program with good biblicists (now a days it's very popular to do Dead Sea Scrolls, or Second Temple Judaism, which is passed the biblical period, so it can be hard to find people actually studying the bible itself in this field). Also, Yale does have a good program, but we're already applying there.

Berkeley is also top tier, so currently it looks like it's between Berkeley and Harvard, although Avram doesn't want to go to Harvard, so it's probably Berkeley. We don't want to live in Berkeley; for one thing, there we would definitely homeschool our children, because of what they teach in the public schools in the area around San Francisco. Although Avram should be getting his doctorate when Lydia is in second or third grade, so it's not like it's very long in homeschooling. But Berkeley is a very good school.

I should probably be worried that someone from Harvard will see that he doesn't want to go there, if he does apply, from this blog, but frankly I've tried looking my blog up on the Internet, to see how "famous" I am, and I can't even find my blog, and I know everything about it. When you type in Yarnton Manor on Google, Avram's blog comes up pretty quickly, and mine doesn't at all, although I've updated since we've been here, and mention it all the time, and he doesn't update his blog at all. Life just isn't fair.

Which brings me back to this college application thing. Anyway, this has certainly shown to me the usefulness of writing the professors ahead of time. Avram heard back from the Professor at Duke as well, and she wrote a very friendly letter, and even congratulated Avram on having the chance to study at Oxford. So we feel good about Duke, not that we didn't already; it's Avram's top choice, currently. They only let 4% in, according to her, because they cut back admissions, so that now they only let enough people in that they can fully fund. Good for those who get in, hard for everyone else.

He's writing the rest of the professors today, because we hadn't realized that Thanksgiving break starts tomorrow; we had forgotten until a couple of days ago that it was Thanksgiving this week at all, so he's trying to reach them all before the break.

Sarah - if it looks like we're stalking all of the places that you're applying to, well, we probably are.


  1. well if you dont get your first choice I personally am all for berkley. for selfish reasons that I can drive there and visit you... lol. Anyways good that the professor told you not to apply and at least you didnt wast that money.

  2. Wouldn't it be ironic if you ended up at Harvard as a faculty wife, after they refused to admit you as an undergrad!

    I agree about the homeschooling in the Berkeley area. The whole Bay area is like that, I'm told. Nothing wrong with homeschooling. I know a guy who was homeschooled, and is now studying at Oxford!

  3. Sometimes this is the way the Lord hedges up your way so what is left is the path he wants you to take.

  4. Three out of six isn't stalking, it's fabulous! Now only if the stars would align and we would both get into the same place both with a generous finincial packet.

  5. What an interesting blog. And a most interesting route your life is taking. I guess you're in my old country right now, judging from the photo at top of page. Makes me quite homesick. Hope you end up where you want to be.

  6. I would agree about the concerns for schools in California however you may consider there could be some good charters schools. Oakland has a large LDS population and it is very possible that like minded parents banded together to make a school where your values are taught. Charters schools usually do cost to attend and can provide a good level of education.

    I also encourage any parent to take an active roll in their children's lives. This is stronger than any education they will receive. If you teach your children right and wrong they are less likely to be influenced by the sway of pop culture and their teachers.

    Just my thoughts

    Question: What was Thanksgiving like in UK?

  7. This is an old post, but I just wanted to comment. We lived in the Bay area for 5 years -- although on the other side of the bay from Berkeley. The public schools in that area, particularly the high schools, were the best anywhere. The students were held to extremely high expectations, and they met those expectations. Every now and then I dream of being fabulously wealthy so I can go back and enroll my boy in such good public schools. Yeah, he'll hear stuff that I don't agree with, but that's true anywhere he ends up. More importantly, he'll realize there are lots of people out there who are extremely bright, and with a little work he can reach much higher levels. If he can be strongly encouraged to use his own mind at school (and home), and to use his own heart at home, he ought to be able to navigate all the ideas he will meet. At least, that's my hope.

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