I met with my rabbi today and we talked about the Sh'liach K'hilah program. We talked a lot about writing eulogies because I mentioned it early (new content from last year) and because I said I didn't think I did a very good job with mine. He gave me a lot of good advice there, some of it much more general than eulogies.
We talked a little about delivery, especially when working with a set text (not notes). It's fine -- even not uncommon -- to go ahead and write in stage directions to address your weaknesses -- "slow down", "breathe", "look up", etc. Color highlighting can mark phrases that ought to be emmphasized or places where you specifically want to pause. No one else will see your copy; do whatever works.
I mentioned the challenge of the text-study assignment (I characterized it as "working with people you don't know at all, with different backgrounds, to produce something quickly"), but we didn't really get into it. Another time, maybe. Or maybe I've learned all I can from that experience already.
We talked about next steps within the congregation. He's still a little unsure of how to handle Friday-night services; he said he'd be happy to have me read torah, so maybe I'll start with that. We talked about kabbalat shabbat with no resolution; I said that there's only one Shabbat in the next several months I'll be away and he has but to name a date. We got interrupted while we were talking about this and didn't get to finish, so I'll follow up.
I did not get a chance to ask about further study (much); I haven't asked his opinion about Melton, Drisha, Hebrew College, and others. I'd like to hear his thoughts on those. Next meeting, then.
I did ask (on the way out the door) about Hebrew. He mentioned a publisher called EKS as a good source. I mentioned courses at Pitt; he thinks they start with modern and then go to biblical and you can't just jump into biblical there. But, he said, you really have to learn the two together anyway; you can't do just biblical and be effective. So he thinks a two-pronged approach would work: learn modern at JEI and biblical with him, replacing our talmud study with Hebrew study. The next round of courses at JEI should start in September, so I'll see what they have to offer. The course I took there several years ago didn't work for me, but it's been several years and maybe that style of teaching will work better now.
Edit: Ok, I thought EKS sounded vaguely familiar. I actually have one of their books. A friend and I started to work through it a while back. Time to pull it out again.