Monday, January 19, 2009

Tov tov lehodos!

Due to a combination of stupidity and slow trains I missed my smicha test today. The stupidity was all mine; for some reason I believed the Rabbi when he said my group had a possibility of getting tested tonight or on Monday, so I only planned on getting back to Motown at 7:30 or so. As it happened the testing went much faster than expected, and I was still on the train when my group went in. Is there any specific reason why every single station had to be stopped at? So you may ask, "Where does the stupidity come in?" The answer is that it's just stupid to think you can waltz into yeshiva half an hour before a test and ace it, so even if my plan had worked out I would have looked like a fool. Fortunately someone arranged to switch with me, and there I was, ready to take the test at 6:00. Except that we were told that the test would commence at 7:15. After not having an appetite for supper caused me to shun the supper spread, I meandered up to the testing room and proceeded to do some quick cramming. As the appointed time passed the room filled with its complement of six sacrificial students, and once the Rabbis came in we were ready to get tested. Rabbi Yeruslavsky's first question, which we had been warned he asked at every test, was, "By saying what do you violate the prohibition of baal tosif?" By the time I got my first question, four down the line, they had become significantly harder. I answered the first in relatively good time; fortunately I had written down the opinions of the Shach and Taz in my shulchan oruch, but I didn't want it to look like I was just reading my notes, so I looked in the Shach for ten seconds, read half a note, did the same for the Taz, and so on down the line. Worked like a charm.
They always say that in a group oral test you always know everyone else's answers perfectly, and this was really brought out the next time the guy sitting next to me was asked a question. He totally blanked, and began to frantically flip his shulchan oruch in a desperate attempt to find the answer. I calmly hit my pencil repeatedly on the correct Ramah until he noticed what I was doing and read it off. My next question dealt with cucumbers, and once I had dealt with that I thought of appropriate to begin writing down the questions so that I would remember them for y'all, my faithful readers. I then realized that it looked like I was writing the answers for the guy sitting on the other side of me, so I ceased and desisted, which means I can't provide you with the full report you deserve.
At about this time Rabbi Chaim Schapiro took a bunch of smicha certificates out of a UPS envelope and Rabbi Yeruslavsky began to sign the documents we'll be getting in a year from now. Once that was done, and we were just finishing up the fourth round of questioning, Rabbi Schapiro decided to show us off a little and subjected us to a fifth round, which is more than anyone else. In this one I totally blanked when asked a pretty simple query, "What is the machlokes mechaber and ramah regarding N'at bar N'at. Fortunately the rabbi managed to drag the correct answer out of me, and I escaped the test, and the cigarettes (for by this time Rabbi Y had lit up) with a kimat tov, which is very nearly good but not quite there. But the main thing is I survived it.
You know it's funny, because everyone said their own thing on what he would ask, and how he'd ask it, but in the end he didn't really follow anyone's assertion. After an hour we were up, and that was that. And I'm so tired that I'll say the same.

14 comments:

Dovid said...

"Kimat tov", pretty impressive. He gave me a "gantz nisht kasheh".
Can never seem to just say good job.

The Real Shliach said...

Are you kidding me? Saying something complementary gratuitously? You obviously never learned properly from the master.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Wow you were lucky that guy could switch with you. Good man doing that thing with the pencil. Every group always needs a tzaddik like that.

Nemo said...

That machlokes is fundamental to all of Basar Becholov. Good of you to remember.

Nemo said...

Here's a new website to trash, replete with bad grammar, spelling errors, and malicious intentions. Where do these groups come from, seriously?

http://www.levhouse.com/

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: I do what I can.
Nemo: The point was, I knew everyone else's questions, and they all knew mine.
Re: website: I'll check it out.

LE7 said...

Wow, I thought only I did things like that.

For CompLit last year, we had a take home exam. I wrote down the due date incorrectly and figured it out 6 hours after the paper was due... (This also happened to be the only professor I've gotten an extension from ever before this incident).

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: I checked it out. What's up with it?
LE7: it's good to have good teachers.

Nemo said...

I don't know, but I'm sure that one of the main guys has about zero chinuch experience. Last I knew of him, he was pretending to be a fancy real estate agent in Manhattan.

The Real Shliach said...

Curiouser and curiouser.

e said...

Dovid, I heard that "nisht kasha" means good. I got a "yesh l'yashev." Not sure what that means.

I find this whole thing kind of funny. The idea of grading one's performance is obviously borrowed from the non-Jewish world. But they can't give grades like A, B, C, or Alef, Beis, Gimmel. So you end up with "tov" and "karov l'tov" and other such junk

The Real Shliach said...

There's a reason he doesn't tell the grades publicly. Because they mean nothing. Because Yeruslavsky gave you easy questions or hard questions or whatever he knows how you learned the last three months?

Cheerio said...

on my physics final in twelfth grade, i forgot what year i was and had to raise my hand and ask.
also - i've never mistaken the date of a test, but i have mistaken the day of a flight. from israel. going home. not fun.
trs - re: pencil thing. you are a good man.

The Real Shliach said...

I do what I can.