The Lone Ortho

Marooned on a secular college campus, I created this blog for the dual purpose of venting and sharing my experiences, pleasant and otherwise. Join me as I traverse the treacherous terrains of galus; it's been a harrowing, yet worthwhile journey thus far. Feel free to partake in the smattering of snide remarks, random Paul Simon references, and utterly ridiculous CS jokes.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sounding the Death Knell

With great power comes great responsibility. Somehow I ended up with no power, and all the responsibility—a raw deal if you ask me. And one I can remain content with no longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of expression I used to possess here. Recently, however, the blog has been extended beyond its domain, threatening my anonymity and robbing my of my Walter Mittyesque existence. Consequently, I’ve lost my voice. And I’m determined to get it back. So what does this cryptic babble mean? In short, the Lone Ortho is entering the Witness Protection Program for bloggers. In all likelihood, I will assume a new identity and a new address in the Olam HaBlog. A yasher koach to all those who read and contributed to the discussion—I appreciate your involvement. It’s been a thoughtful journey, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


After all my righteous indignation, apparently I’m one of the top search results for “how to cheat on the lsats.” Oy Gevalt! :-(

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Veneer of Virtue II

I think I’ve discovered what attracts me to law. I’m pretty sure it’s related to the righteous indignation that swelled inside of me as I watched the frum Jew seated next to me cheat on his LSATs. Obviously cheating. There was no mistaking it; I saw him do it numerous times. The first instance: He finished his reading comprehension section early, and moved on to the most dreaded logical reasoning section. I could clearly see his answer booklet, but not his answer sheet. We took a break before we were supposed to start the logical reasoning section. As soon as we started, I glanced over at his test booklet. It was covered with notes and markings.

Thereafter, I noticed that as soon as he finished one section, he would illegally venture to the next. I noticed that the other students visible to me would stare at the wall or flex when they were done. This boy never did so. In fact the only time he actually wasn’t working was after they collected the test booklets and answer sheets and gave out the writing sample. He finished early as usual. This time he stared blankly.

All I had to do was yell “Hey, he’s cheating” and everyone would have turned around and he would have been caught dead in his tracks. But I didn’t. The first time I noticed it, I was still enraptured in my test, and I couldn’t decide if it was right to hang a fellow frum Jew out to dry. It would certainly make a(n even bigger) chillul Hashem. I stayed quiet, but I was burning up inside. Did I do the right thing?

Immediately after the test I confronted him. First he pretended to not understand the concept of cheating. When he could feign ignorance no longer, he just flat out denied it. He eyed the other yeshiva guy, and smirked as he tried to turn my accusation on me. The tacit approval in his friend's eyes turned my stomach. I considered mentioning something to the proctor, but it would have been my word against his. Reasonable doubt would abound.

I was incensed, and completely consumed by what had transpired. Clever retorts floated into my brain. I kept thinking of what I should have said, what I should have done. I was so distracted I forgot about the test itself. I was not very confident about my score, but my mind kept turning to the nefarious cheater.

I find cheating morally reprehensible. But the fact it was a yeshiva bochur is what really got my blood boiling. I kept thinking I should have said. “You’re right; I can’t prove your guilt. But next time you decide to pursue a similar course of action, do me a favor. Take your yarmulke off. There’s no need to tarnish the rest of us with your insidious behavior.”

UPDATE: Feeling somewhat vindicated after listening to this shiur.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Stereotyped by Google?

Apparently my blog is the #1 search item for the phrase “charedi wannabe.” I find this to be quite funny. Perhaps those who know me personally will be equally amused….

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pure Schmaltz

Break thus far has been berry berry good to me. I’ve already made up for lots of lost sleep. So much for being productive during my time off…Maybe later. So I was reading an article which mentioned that Clive Owen met his wife on stage by playing Romeo to her Juliet. As he put it,

"It's the schmaltziest way you can meet somebody, I think."
Mad props for that comment. Eli7—you wouldn’t happen to be doing any more role playing in your CC class?? ;-)

Team Work

So here’s a hypothetical situation for you all to ponder. Let’s say 3 CS majors are assigned the task of coding up a networked version of Clue. Assume none of said individuals have a clue as to how a networked game works to the point than certain unmentionable members were blissfully unaware that 2 separate programs, one for the client and one for the server, needed to be written. Say one individual realized that if she didn’t take it upon herself to figure out client/server communication, her team would be up a creek with source code due in a matter of days. Say while the other members worked on graphic displays and game board logic, this chic took up residence in the computer lab, coded up the entire client, converted their applets into JFrames, and made the GUI in those frames functional. Well since only one person wrote the client code, and only one person understands the client code (this one person admits her aversion toward commenting complicates matters), guess who’s stuck writing the entire server? Doh.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Life in the X-Lab

I have officially moved into the computer lab. I spend significantly more time there than anywhere else. By the time I leave (and contrary to popular belief, I do actually leave), I feel utterly drained. So this is why you should never take 3 hard-core CS classes in one semester...

Wave of the Future

For those of you who question my plan to abandon the computing world due to the lure of the law school, I present you with this article. It describes a company called Intellectual Ventures…

“[Its founders] have created the quintessential company for the 21st century. It doesn't actually make anything: it outsources, offshores and offloads nearly every task performed by regular corporations. It has no factories, machine shops or marketing teams. Only patent attorneys populate the quiet hallways.”

In a nutshell, their strategy is to buy patents from all across of the high-tech spectrum in an effort to set up a patent marketplace. Intriguing, I know. Intellectual property had become the #1 American export. According to Myhrvold, “Intellectual property is the next software.” Tell me magic eight ball, is this where my future lies?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Want a Challenge?

And now for the million dollar question…(drum roll please):

Sounds easy enough, right? Many have dedicated all of their genius to answering this question. You mission, dear readers, should you choose to accept it, is to solve this seemingly simple question. But like all great inquiries, such as how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll, the world may never know…..

Update: I didn't realize that when Jill said, "And now for the million dollar question.." that she meant it literally!!!! AWESOME.

The Teflon Guerrilla's Demise

I was in the Hillel today (hunger does strange things to people..) when they just so happened to be discussing the topic du jour, the archetypical terrorist’s death, and whether of not they should feel somber. Some articulated how revolting it would be for anyone to express joy. I played the PC game for a bit, and instead of explaining why joy is perhaps at least somewhat justified, I focused on why perhaps many people rightfully feel relieved. One girl started talking how she really pitied Arafat’s daughter, thus ending my PC run…
I turned on the news reports about said terrorist, curious to see how they would spin the legacy of a mass-murder who was always “more about politics and prime time than Palestine.” In the middle of the segment, the reporter zeroed in on a small group of settlers singing and dancing. Despite their best effort to exaggerate the scene, it was obvious from the footage that there were less than 10 men present (one might have thought otherwise from just hearing the report). I felt a slight twinge in my stomach. Granted the media’s version was distorted—but dancing in the street??? That’s what some Palestinians did when word of 9-11 spread. The parallel it drew was disturbing, and came a little too close to robbing us of the higher moral ground.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Words of Wisdom

A quote from a friend who just started dating:
“I tell ya, arranged marriage is the way to go!”

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Trick or Treat

Funniest part about college: When Halloween rolls around, you can never be too sure who’s actually dressed up and who’s not…

JK Flip Flops

“Kerry has no convictions," he said. "His policies vary from week to week. The trend with Kerry is, 'The voters lead, and I will follow.'"

The above statement was made by a Reform Jew. The Orthodox Jews quoted in the article were all voting for Kerry. Yes, I do find this somewhat ironic.

(And since I'm 99% sure no one will notice, I will point out that the title of this post is also a CS reference)

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

...It's over the hill I go!

I went into a short little sneezing/coughing fit during Software Engineering class on Friday (aka *Isru Chag*)

Tom: “Deborah, don’t die on us,”
Jim: “We all know the cause would be old age.”

Ah..children these days…..Those little whippersnappers have no respect for their elders.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I Heart Jazz

Highlight of my classes today: Being serenaded with a lovely rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” by my Jazz professor on his piano.

I Side with the Bolsheviks

Other bloggers have already commented on an article in the Commie which denigrates J-blogging, called “An Evil Empire?” written by the Editor-in-Chief. Needless to say I wholeheartedly disagree with the majority of the article, but will defer to others who have already provided pithy explanations. One point: He blasts the poor *journalistic* standards of the Olam HaBlog in contrast to those of traditional media. By the way, Mr. Editor, there’s a grammatical error (I shall assume this is simply a typo) in the first sentence of your article. *Professional* standards indeed…..

An Exaggeration of Epic Proportions

A quote from a letter printed in the latest edition of the Commie:
"Without a vibrant Yeshiva University, religious Judaism in America will cease to exist.”
Give me a break.

Ode to My Friends

I have been avoiding this day for some time now. Somehow it still managed to sneak up on me. Shortly after 11:15, as my last few moments as a teenager were slipping out of my hands, my cell phone starting ringing. One after another, my Mich dira-mates called me…it’s now 1:30, and I just got off the phone…and this is with cutting just about everyone short to pick up call waiting. I returned to my computer to find a *heap* of IM messages. Though I very reluctantly surrendered the title of “teenager” tonight, as my phone kept ringing, I simply couldn’t regret the loss. With friends like these, growing old is just that much easier....

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Rockin' Rabbis

Echoing MoC's senitments , people are quite strange !!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Jewish Algorithms II

Whilst experimenting with different pattern matching algorithms, it became apparent that Boyer-Moore stubbornly refused to scan my input. We were all running the same applet and somehow it worked for EVERYONE else in the class. I demoed my insubordinate algorithm to a few of my classmates.

Jim: Sorry, Deborah, but it looks like the Jewish algorithm doesn’t like you.
Me: But I’m Jewish!!!!!
Colin: Maybe it’s a self-hating Jewish algorithm
Me: Like all Jewish algorithms, huh
(Emphatic nodding by Colin ensues)