Saturday, October 18, 2008


So it's mozei shabbos during Succos, and I thought I'd be able to relax a bit this weekend. Definitely NOT the case.

I just checked my email, and in addition to the week of readings I didn't print out while away for Yom Kippur, I now have to read articles on Byzantium for Tuesday, write a 2-page paper not in English due Monday, and work on a powerpoint due Thursday that is my midterm. Oh yeah, and did I mention being busy at work this week? So busy I'll only have about 2 hours/day to try and finish what I need to.

For those of you who keep up with this, exactly when should I go crazy?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Song That Desccribes Me Right Now

"I'm A Bitch" by Alanis Morisette

I hate the world today
You're so good to me I know but I can't change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe I'm an angel underneath Innocent
and sweet
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see the softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing


Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me


I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way

Grad School Plans

I have a list of schools to apply to for next year (in no order whatsoever):

1. My current university (and hopefully they'll admit me next year!)

2. A university a few hours to the north in a city so Cosmopolitan, you would think you're in a completely different country! (::cough cough::)

3. A university in the capital of Country X

I spoke with the Graduate Director of School #2 and he wants me to apply already! LoL :-)
He seems really nice and wants me to come up and see the school and meet him. I told him that I have tentative plans to come up in the Spring for a language exam, and he said I didn't need it for his university. His program would not be country-specific, but rather a concentration on an area of Europe, and I can focus on Country X within that, taking literature, political science, history, etc. They have funding opportunities, too, which would be great if I would be eligble.

I'm torn between doing the Eastern Europe thing, and combining that with Ottoman History and Religion. I don't know if I can do that up there, but here it's definitely do-able. I'm going to ask him tomorrow; hopefully he'll be okay with my questions...

Until then!

Much Ado About Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos

I haven't written in a few weeks, (and it's been a hectic few weeks!), but with work, school, Rosh Hashanah, and getting my life in order for next year (or at least tentative plans for it) have kept me busy. Where should I start...?

How about with Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos:

Here at school I went to Hillel both days and met some cool people at dinner; one in particular who may know my Rabbi and his wife since he's from Omaha. That was cool Jewish geography for me; one of the best I think! The second day for lunch, R. invited me over.

Let me just say, I wasn't expecting our chat to progress as it did! I discovered a few things: That though she is more observant than most here, her way of thinking isn't the same as a rabbis, let's say. I thought she would have a problem with me, but she doesn't. I'm glad for that, but wish I would have known this last Fall! She and I have some things in common and plan to hang out during the school year.

I think, that because I was (and still am?) caught up in this whole situation still, I'm having trouble looking past what I initially see. Just beacuse someone is frum, doesn't mean their opinion is the same as everyone who is Orthodox. I felt ostracized, but I couldn't leave. The Observant crowd at Hillel that I run with (if you will) is how I identify, aside from a minor technicality. Most of the other students at Hillel, the girls anyhow, look me up and down in a rude way because I dress Orthodox: long(er) sleeves and floor-length skirts. I couldn't just leave, even though I wanted to. At the time (last year), I didn't know everyone in that crowd knew. I just found this out over Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos. Why am I the last to know?! It involves me; no one else. Seriously, WTF! No, you weren't seeing things, you read that correctly. Why were other people being told about me, but no one felt the need to tell me, until now, 1 year later??? WTF...

The second thing I found out was that there is someone who's in a worse situation than me, as far as this whole religion thing is concerned. I think it's worse anyhow, but I'm finding comfort in it, as it's helping me to come to terms with my own [is that horrible to say?]). I decided to tell people, albeit slowly, about my situation, and it is people I know and I trust. Or I think will be okay with it. Maybe they'll be okay with it like J., H., R., S., J., R., A., D., have been. I hope so. If not, I'll have to cut myself off completely from Hillel and the Shabbos Lunch Group. Maybe M. will be the next person to tell?

Of course, then there are the people who say they 'get it,' but look with glazed eyes pass me as I talk to them about it. Do you really "get it?" No. I don't think so. You will never understand what this, and the past year, has been like for me. You will never understand. R. gets it. S. gets it. J. does, I think. After this year I need to get out of this town. There will be be nothing to tie me to this town, except if I get admitted to grad school. Wouldn't that be ironic?

I also found out other information relating to the incident that happened last September over this past Shabbos. I'm trying to process and deal with it, but I think that will take awhile. Luckily I have work to make me forget I have anything else going on! As upset as I was/am? with J., I should thank him for talking to me about it. He apologized for telling everyone (in the observant crowd) about me, but he said the rabbi wanted him to, and if he could have gone back to change that, he would have. I should be comforted with that and should have accepted it, but didn't. After he apologized, I hesitated a moment before saying, "Thank you. But you're not the one I want an apology from."

We also mentioned my conversion. I can't do *anything* where I am now. Everyone on the damn planet knows that if they know me by now! Seriously... I can't convert until I get out of this college town. I do know, though, that I need a larger community where I can have a support system with others like me, and who understand the frustrataions I'm going through. The frustrations but also the good things, too, like unexpectedly finding others in my situation on whom I can rely and talk about things like this. He asked, "Why not take the bull by the horns?" Why not? I'll tell you why not? I can't. Not here.

I went off on my rant about how in 1944 Hitler didn't care, how it didn't matter to the Nazis. Everyone was shipped off, everyone. Secular Jews all the way down the most Orthodox: doctors, shopkeepers, rabbis. The Nazis did not care. Why the hell should it matter now? If time stopped right now, and everyone today could be in Europe, from Paris to Kiev, to Athens, Rome and Vilna, they would be deported. Everyone at Hillel would be on the trains, and most of them are secular. Why is it that a minor technicality matters now? J. let me rant but then said something to the effects of, how it didn't matter to the Nazis, but what about Halacha? There's something in Halacha that can't be changed. If there's a loophole (that's the wrong word, but it'll do for now), find and tell the Rabbinate that the law should be changed. I asked him what that thing was, since I don't know Hebrew, Modern or Biblical. He couldn't answer my question, but said maybe it's there.
Since it was late, he left and I went to my room, but was up almost until the sun came up, thinking about things. As it was, I got to lunch that afternoon an hour late...

This is a bit out-of-order, but something positive came out of this past week. Over Shabbos, I hung out with 2 people who are in the same situation as me, but are making it work. It was nice chatting with them. We bounched from topic to topic, and then got around to Taharat Hamishpacha. It makes sense to them, too, and they plan to follow it. Wow! I thought, They're like me and they think these laws are worth upholding, too! After I heard that, I told them that they now know me in a nutshell: languages, history, country X, fine arts, and Taharat Hasmishpacha. So if they know any guys who would be okay with that list, they should let me know! They both grinned and laughed and said that would keep their ears open for anything and let me know. :-)

I guess the week wasn't a total disaster. It sure seemed long enough though! Whew! I'm looking forward to Yom Kippur and seeing friends from undergraduate! Tuesday can't come soon enough!