Sunday, December 31, 2006

Learning Gemara with my Rabbi as a CHEVRUSA!

By the way, I am TOTALLY JAZZED!

I was talking to my Rabbi over Shabbos, and he mentioned that his Gemara (Talmud) chevrusa (study partner) couldn't study with him on a regular basis anymore because their time schedules are not working the way they used to, so he needs to find someone to study with...

I thought... "was he hinting to me that he would like to learn with me??" This was totally an opportunity for me, and so I [calmly] jumped on it. I told him that I would be willing to learn with him; he was only willing to do it if I were willing to make it a regular thing and if I were reliable. "Hell yeah!" I thought.

So we agreed to learn Gemara Sukkah over the next year on Mondays and Fridays between 9:30am - 10:30am, but under the condition that we learn it the REAL WAY [see, infra]. The time is a slight inconvenience because 1) that is the time I usually am in shul davening (praying), and 2) 10am is when I start studying for the patent bar, and 3) if I get a job with a law firm, this schedule will be difficult to keep, but I am willing to daven earlier and change my schedule to make this happen.

[THE REAL WAY]: My rabbi learned in 770 Eastern Parkway ["770"] -- the home of the Lubavicher Rebbe. In other words, he's from the old school and he learned how to learn gemara the way the Rebbe and the bochurim [students] in 770 learned gemara. I would give ANYTHING to be able to learn gemara like that.

So I am totally excited that I will be learning with him. This will be an amazing experience, and I can't wait for the opportunity to learn with him. I've learned the tractate on Sukkah before in yeshiva, so I am familiar with the text and I will (IY"H) be able to follow him when he delves deep into the words of the text. I am very excited to be given this opportunity.

Thank you Hashem!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Waiting for the patent bar exam date to arrive...

Now is the silence before the tumultuous finale. I've passed the bar. I've gotten married. I have a child 5 months on the way. I've studied for the patent bar and registered for the exam. I've applied for jobs. Now I'm in a holding pattern, waiting for things to happen (although actually like a duck in a pond)...

I am not yet finished with the studying for the patent bar, but at least I've made a regimen of studying for a certain number of hours each day and I've stuck to it. I would say that I am 3/4 of the way finished, which is both exciting for me and scary.

I sent in my paperwork to the patent office weeks ago to register for the exam plus the paperwork and the documentation to prove that I am eligible to become a patent attorney. The funny thing is that I received a letter from the patent office stating that they didn't believe that my middle initial was really my middle name, and they asked me to resubmit my application, this time providing my middle name. The problem is that I don't have one; I only have a middle initial.

I called up the director at the patent office and told him that my middle initial IS my middle name, and that there is no name associated with it on my birth certificate or any other legal documents. He thought that was the weirdest thing. I told him "it does stand for something, but the real name is just that middle initial. Do you want me to put that name on the application?" He said, "Are you asking me if I want you to lie on the application???"

I couldn't believe we were having this conversation. In short, he asked me to send him a letter and some proof of the fact that I don't have a middle name, but just a middle initial. I sent out that documentation last week.

Other than that, in my mind I am scrambling before the exam taking in every bit of time that I can to study. I must pass this exam so that I can get a job in a patent law firm.