Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Magic Flute, The Brooklyn Bridge & Instant Persuasion

So what's new by me, you ask?

Ah, I shall be glad to tell you!

The first and most exciting development is that I got to see "The Magic Flute" recently. Lightman and I went together to The Met (I had been to The New York City Opera before, but The Met is just amazing.) "The Magic Flute" was spectacular. It's utterly gorgeous! The lighting, scenery, set and costumes were all dazzling. Imagine this fantastic crystal palace upon the stage, a crystal palace I would die to live in and only wish could be mine. Imagine the fact that it revolves accompanied by heavenly music and utterly beautiful lighting! Picture an evil queen with a personality that makes me quite happy (especially since I persist in my interpretation of the opera, in which case she isn't really evil at all.) I am so the Queen of the Night. Ha!

Secondly, I had the pleasure of being uptown over the weekend (as you all know, seeing as I spent a wonderful Shabbat there!) I was also rather productive, which was exciting. Got to meet Tzarich Iyun and walked the Brooklyn Bridge with him (which was lots of fun! The best part was when we asked two tourists to take a picture of us. So they stopped and took the picture, but then they whipped out their own digital camera and started snapping pictures of us. They took down our email addresses and said they'd email them to us. Isn't that so incredibly nice?!) Then I discovered where the nearest Blockbuster to the Wilf Campus is (good for me to know, since I plan upon renting movies from there.)

There was the fantastic Medical Ethics event, "The Halakhic Hero"- I cannot bring myself to misspell halakhic- (which meant I was uptown again; I live there, I tell you,) at which I saw Yonah, Aaron and Chani, a wonderful Bone Marrow drive (so now I am part of the registry) and the expected Chinese food for all. There are these frighteningly addictive dry crispy noodles that they serve. Shudder.

Hitman scared me in the library (his new plan is to scare me in every single building; he's managed the SkyCaf, so Belfer, and the Library...we'll see what happens next. He's still got to find me in Morg. While I was in Morg, by the way, I was amused to see that the guys have a "Thanksgiving Dinner" at 3:00 whereas we on the Beren Campus have a "Thanksgiving Luncheon" at 4:00. Odd, anyone?) Then Hitman showed me these superbly interesting advertisements- and I ripped one and ruined history- but it's okay, Starlight probably didn't rip any.

Last night I attended an Honors Program event entitled "Instant Persuasion" and learned how to persuade people. Here are the six steps involved in such an activity:

1. Scarcity: People are persuaded by knowing that something is in "limited supply" or "one time only." If something is scarce, then people want it before there's none left.

2. Social Proof: She gave an example of a restaurant that isn't good at attracting customers and therefore employs a seating policy. Even though the restaurant is empty, they make people line up outside so it seems like it's a really cool place to be. So people see the line and come along and wait. People want to do what everyone else is doing- if you can effectively show someone like me is doing it, I'll want to do it, too.

3. Consistency/ Commitment: Apparently research shows that when somebody changes their mind, we consider them to be less intelligent (the reason that labeling Kerry a flip-flopper was so deleterious to his campaign.) We have an inborn need to be consistent. She gave an example where people hypothetically committed themselves to volunteer 3 hours of their time to the American Cancer Society and then a week later were actually called by the society- they volunteered. Because they had already committed in some shape or form, even in hypotheticals, wanted to follow through.

4. Reciprocity: Gave example of Hare Krishnites in airports. They give these little flowers to people. People can't say no, so they take the flower but then feel obligated to stand there for at least a few seconds- to reciprocate. Same idea if someone invites you to meal; you have to invite them back.

5. Authority: Two kinds. Expert authority (like an expert witness) and Referant authority (people refer to you, value your opinion even if you are not a leader.)

6. Liking: You're far more likely to do a favor for someone you like or are friends with than someone who just comes to you when they need you.

After this was over, I actually got to hang out with SJ and M.R. for a while! Can you imagine?! We came up with some hilarious Honors Program slogans, all of them quite evil, and I emailed them to our director. It shall be a party. My favorite at the moment is "Lonely Women of Faith: The Honors Program." That one doesn't even make sense but cracks me up. There are far better ones, though. We've got "They Made Us An Offer We Couldn't Refuse," "You Can't Hurt My Ego: I'm In The Honor's Program!" and "We're Only In It For the Food" and many more.

Today I engaged in this highly productive activity while attending the class that is a complete waste of time:

I happened to rock my Russian class today and had the whole class applaud me twice! Twice, I tell you. Then I was informed that for speech class I ought to give a speech on Russian adverbs and how passionately I feel about them (I was very passionate in class today. You see, Russian adverbs rock my socks. Their goddamned endings never change. They always stay the same. They're loyal to you, loyal!) Obviously the persuasive speech rubbed off on me. Although the lady wouldn't give me the microphone. Humph. It was great; I asked her for the microphone and she eyed me warily as though I were a savage beast and said "No!" Lady and I are probably not the best of friends.

My Other Russian Teacher, if you could please call me and leave voicemails in relatively easy/ understandable Russian, that would be a great way for me to practice (at the very least comprehending. Aside from which, your Russian is freaking perfect and maybe that will help me.) Thanks!

Let's see, I was also called a Shmata & a Sucker this week. I present to you...The Shmata! (Triumphant applause.) Actually, at the moment it is Shmata No More.

Most of today was spent running all around Manhattan for reasons I cannot divulge at the moment. (Don't I sound so mysterious? Huzzah!)

I liked the last episode of "House" and know that I would definitely have pulled a Wilson if it were me (Wilson is obviously a Shmata, too. Hurrah for us members of the Shmata club.)

Oh, and it's quite randomly funny that Dustfinger is in Monsey this Shabbat while I am nowhere near her and so we shall miss seeing each other. Oh, Dustfinger...

But the best and most exciting part of this week is the fact that I get to sleep in a shul this Shabbos! Isn't that cool? When was the last time you slept in a shul? Hurrah for me; I am the shul-sleeper! Huzzah!

And now I shall head uptown again. I live there, don't you know?


SJ said...

How was your son's soccer game? I really care--no really, I do!

Ezzie said...

Tzarich Iyun is as crazy as the rest of his family. :P

(Nu, TI, when you coming for Shabbos?)

Gregory Pearlman said...

Hey I didn't know you like House too....

Erachet said...

Then I was informed that for speech class I ought to give a speech on Russian adverbs and how passionately I feel about them (I was very passionate in class today. You see, Russian adverbs rock my socks. Their goddamned endings never change. They always stay the same. They're loyal to you, loyal!

I felt exactly the same way about Latin adverbs!!! Yay!!!

the apple said...

We've got "They Made Us An Offer We Couldn't Refuse,"

I love that.

M.R. said...

Well written, Chana. That post was so you.

About renting movies from Blockbuster: why don't you just have NY public library send movie(s) of your choice to the library branch closest to you? For free?
I'm your friend, and I do this all the time and been very satisfied with the results. I have never had to resort to Blockbusters. Money does not grow on trees. And as SJ can attest, I watch movies all the time, so I should know what I'm talking about. And I took the time to read your blog post, so you should take my advice! Tadum! I guess sometimes I do want to be persuasive... fancy that!

G said...

"Got to meet Tzarich Iyun and walked the Brooklyn Bridge with him (which was lots of fun! The best part was when we asked two tourists to take a picture of us."

Well, color me impressed. I had the over/under on a date comment at 5.

Irina Tsukerman said...

I feel exactly the same way about The Magic Flute!

Anonymous said...

Why are you studying a worthless language like Russian? Why not Yiddish? Bukharan? French? German? Latin? Spanish? or Arabic?

Probably you were inspired by that NYC Russian radio station somewhere in the 80's on the FM dial bought and paid for by Lukoil and the Russian mob. Posnai. Zvedanya. Spaciba.

I think you have Russian goyish blood corsing through your vains.
That is why you are tough and cold.

Mixed in with a little Heinz 57 varieties of Bukharan spices.
Spicy. Pungeant. The shit smells almost as bad as Persian. No matter how hard you negiotiate with Persians, you always end up losing something in the deal. Coonana! Jendaie.

But Bukharans have those special moon beam eyes with the semitic pointy on the sides - eye lids, almost hyponotic.

The desire to be seen, to be praised and to be esteemed in public is an exclusively pure Ashkenazi feature.

G said...

Well I'll be...look at that.

I don't know whether to be totally pissed off or slightly flattered.

the apple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.