...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Out of the whirlwind

Remember last week when I was all excited and relieved about having finished the three-final-papers-and-a-presentation-in-four-days death march? And how I said that I wasn't going to worry about my Old Testament paper until later?

Yeah, so...I probably should have started worrying about it a little earlier. It's in now, and I think it came together pretty well--it was just frustrating as hell to have to write it all last night and this morning and this afternoon, and to know that I had no one to blame but my own self. Damn you, self! Last night was the closest I've come to an all-nighter in my college career. I did sleep from about 1:30 to 4 or so, but aside from that...I was working all night. And then I took a break and read some recaps and listened to some music and took a shower and ate breakfast and went to class and fell asleep just a little bit in class then woke up then wrote some more then went to another class then another class then babysat for Little C. then wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and stuffed eight and a half pages under Kugler's office door at 5:07.

I'm really going to try super-hard to not fall into this pattern again next semester.

In case anyone's interested, my paper was about the mythological significance of Leviathan, the sea monster that God presents to Job in the Speeches out of the Whirlwind in Job 40 and 41 and that God destroys in Isaiah 27:1 and Psalm 74:14. It's pretty widely accepted by scholars that the Hebrew concept of Leviathan was based on the Canaanite Baal Cycle, in which Baal, the hero-god of the Canaanites, destroys Yamm, the god of the sea and chaos, who is personified by Lotan, a sea dragon. I argued that in writing about God's destruction of Leviathan, the ancient authors saw God as not just triumphing over the forces of chaos (or bringing order to the chaos, as in Job), but as triumphing over the Canaanite mythologies and the non-Hebrew nations. I initially chose the topic because of my interest in marine crypotzoology, as you know if you've read my little bio dealie over to the side--my first idea was to try to argue that Leviathan and Lotan are best identified as giant squid, just because I'm really fascinated by giant squid and I know a lot about them already. Kugler was not so enthused about that idea; I think his comments on my prospectus included the phrase "rather peculiar notion." And now...yeah, I agree. The only people who really care about finding a specific animal for Leviathan and Behemoth are the fundamentalists, and that's just because they want to prove that they're dinosaurs. Anyways, I think the paper turned out pretty well, especially considering how rushed it was. I wish I could have spent more time talking about the later development of Leviathan in apocalyptic and messianic Judaism and the rabbinic traditions surrounding it, but I was already over the page limit, and it was like 4:57 by that point.

But you know what? Today was the last day of classes! Now there's just two reading days, two weekend days, three week days, and I head home. I can't believe the semester's almost over.