I received my B.A. in Individualized Study from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. What is a B.A. in Individualized Study, you ask? Essentially, it's a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Bachelor's Degree, culminating in an oral exam (the "Colloquium") administered by a committee of three faculty members and based on a list of 25 books of the student's choosing. The book list and a proposal for the topic of the discussion (the "Rationale") must be approved in advance by the committee. My Colloquium addressed the broad question of language as a defining characteristic of the concept of "human" (versus "animal") through various disciplinary lenses, including the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics/metaethics, and literature. (Yes, I studied a lot of philosophy at NYU; it's hard not to get sucked into the vortex of highly stimulating thought that is the best philosophy department in the country.) The faculty on my Colloquium Committee were Laura Slatkin (Classics and Gallatin advisor), Sharon Street (Philosophy), and John Costello (Linguistics).

At some point during my time at NYU, I became preoccupied with ancient Greek philosophy, which led me to the CUNY Greek Institute, a 10-week intensive summer program for learning to read Classical Greek. Among my other accomplishments at the Institute, I was the first person in 30 years to beat Hardy Hansen in a round of the Hoplite Challenge, the Institute's annual Greek verb conjugation contest. I returned to CUNY the following summer to participate in the Latin Institute, but discovered that I much prefer to read and think about Greek.

After graduating from NYU, I spent a year in the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies at Penn.

The first four years of my graduate studies in linguistics at Penn were funded by a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education.


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