The Medieval Bestseller
I read it somewhere on the Internet...
Friday, February 02, 2007

My interview went well yesterday. Who knows if anything will come of it. Searching for a position kinda feels like I am grasping air at this point. After the interview, I came back to my room, changed, and then made it on the train to go to New York. When I arrived at Penn Station, I navigated my way to the ACE Subway, which is located in another area of Penn. I arrived at rush hour, which was different because I have often found myself "rushing" in the same direction as everyone else. This time I was moving opposite most people and it was a bit disorienting, which is hard for me because my sense of direction is so good that it makes me feel a lot more unsure of myself than I should be. I just found it to be a bit ironic because even though I felt incredibly disoriented, people were stopping me and asking me directions here or there. Normally, this would be a shining achievement that I would bask in. I simply love to help people by giving them directions. And, it would mean that these people who are asking think that I actually live in NYC, which I would perceive as a compliment because I think everything about New York is incredibly cool. So if I lived in NY, that would then make me incredibly cool. Alas, I do not live in New York.

Anyway, so a few people stopped me to ask for directions and I gave my best guess, but told them I wasn't really sure. But then I was thinking. I wonder what gave these people the impression that I could help them. I was not dressed characteristically New York - I was wearing a blue turtleneck sweater (that had a fair isle pattern on it), jeans and taupe Birkenstock clogs. No one wears taupe shoes in New York; certainly not clogs. Or something as "nice" as a fair isle sweater. Wardrobes are usually black and edgy. Maybe they stopped me because I was moving slower upstream than everyone else who was moving downstream. Or, maybe it was the fair isle sweater. Maybe they thought to themselves, "Well, this girl is wearing a fair isle sweater. That probably means that she's nice and won't kill me for asking her a question."

Eventually I made my way to the book reading, which was in SoHo. I thought the bookstore was in an odd location. Almost all of the stores in the surrounding area sell hip, edgy clothing. But I suppose those people need to read, too. The bookstore was surprisingly large (to NY standards) and felt fairly new, as in it was clean and well-lit. I browsed around awhile, then seated myself in the cafe to get a seat for the reading.

Remember a couple of posts ago when I said that I just couldn't imagine myself doing a book reading? Last night when I was at Danny's book reading it occurred to me that a book reading is somewhat similar to delivering a sermon. The differences lie in that the pastor usually doesn't allow for a Q&A and people don't usually clap after a sermon (instead, they shuffle past and shake hands and say something like "nice message" or "thanks" - this "after the sermon" bit always gives me so much anxiety...I'd rather just retreat into a dark room or something and pretend it never happened). So not only have I already given "book readings" before, but I expect to repeatedly give them in the future. Weird.

I would say the reading was OK. It wasn't my most favorite thing in the world but, then again, it was cool to do something different and kinda cool to hear him read the words he wrote in his own voice, instead of "hearing" my own inner head voice when I read his book silently (does anyone know what I'm talking about? how do you describe that?). I guess some people like reading this blog because they don't just read my words but hear my voice through these words. If I really think about it, I might not feel the content is any better if I can hear the person as I am reading their blog, but I suppose I do feel a greater connection to the blog if I can (mentally) hear the person reading it.

Anyhow, on the train ride home I was talking on the phone with Joseph. He mentioned two things. The first is that for those not in the know of the Presbyterian ordination process (which would be most of the readers of this blog), the exegesis test I just finished a couple of days ago is a totally foreign ordeal. It is basically the last test I have to pass in order to get a job as a pastor with the Presbyterian church (it's a little bit more complicated than that, but essentially is preventing me from moving on to find a church). Exegesis is a method through which one looks at a biblical passage and examines it through the original language and addresses literary, historical and theological aspects of the passage. Then you take that knowledge and put it together into a form of practical use (ie, a sermon outline). If you want to see an example of what the test is like, go here. If you scroll down past the first page, you will see one of the exams they issued in 2003 and it shows examples of the type of questions they ask.

The second thing he said, which was kinda funny, was that he doesn't necessarily think of the people I mention on my blog as real people. It's like they're characters in a story. And my character happened to go to a bookreading last night. And occasionally interacts with other characters in the story, like the Scotsman or Tracey or the Calvinator or whomever. It's funny to me because all of these people are real people, so I never thought of them in that way before...

- Jenny, 2/02/2007 09:00:00 AM

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