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Elizabeth's Blog
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Stress
Mood:  not sure
I know that my recent e-mails and posts ( and even phone calls...if you've gotten them) have been pretty positive so far, but this one's going to be a little different.

Today was just....overwhelming. We had this lady come in the afternoon to talk to us about cross-cultural differences and how we deal with our time here and stuff....and it was just the wrong time for me to deal with this. When she was talking about Israeli society and why people are so different she was talking about how Israel is in a constant state of mourning and choas because that's what they know how to be....it just made me really sad for israel. It also made me homesick for the first time since I've been here...not so much missing people or certain places, but like America..on the whole. It's hard moving to a foreign country, especially one that is SOOOO different from the way America is, and I don't think I allowed myself to feel that yet. Then we went on to talk about what types of stages we will go through during the year and trying to make everything a learning experience and a challange instead of a crisis. That part of the session was better, but I still feel sort of down. I think this is the first time I've been processing being here and what I'm doing here and how i fit in here now and how I will throughout the year. It might always be a struggle, but hopefully as the year goes on, and as i start really speaking the language more and more...it will be easier.

I also feel frustrated by little things.....I'm sick of my comuter not working...those of you who know what it's like to be attached to a computer know that it's hard....it's been almost two weeks since it's worked properly and although I know it will get resolved soon...I'm tired of being patient about it.

Also, my friend's mom is going into surgery today in an attempt to remove cancer....that may be what's stressing me out the most....wanting to be there even though i can't be. But these are things I'll have to deal with this year...from afar.
I guess there are just things that make me feel unsettled even though I feel that i want to be settled here. it's a difficult feeling, even though I know it is totally normal to be feeling all of this right now, and knowing that my classmates are probably feeling this way too (or had been, or will be) is comforting...but i still feel a little lost right now.

Not to worry, I'm doing well on the whole, just trying to process all of this and all that goes along with living abroad for the year. Luckily I seem to have a great group of friends that genuinely care about me (and that noticed I was down and let me be cranky at first, then cry on their shoulders...as we are all doing for each other), a great support system at HUC and a fabulous and caring roommate. So I couldn't ask for much more....I think i jsut needed to write about it. So even though things have been pretty good until now, it's starting to sink in that things are going to be different this year....and that it will also be one of the most memorable years of my life.
The good, the bad, and yes...even the ugly.
I promise the next post will be more uplifting!!!! (and please don't e-mail me all at once with your concerns...I'm fine) I just figured that if everyone wants to know what's really going on in my life this year...well, this is a small part of it too! Have a beautiful day, filled with peace and love!!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 6:54 PM
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Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Orientation: Day !
Mood:  spacey
Well, today was the first day of orientation. It was not too bad. We had services this morning in our chapel and I have to admit that I really wasn't all too familiar with a lot of the morning prayers that we said....but that's what I am here for...to learn and grow. Then we officially began our orientation, met some of the key faculty members (Dean Marmur, Associate dean Shaul Fineberg, Naamah Kelmen, Rose Ginosaur...for those of you that know them) and talked a little about what this year would be like, and then did some stuff about being secure in Israel. We talked about personal security, the security of the country, the college's stance on certain issues (such as NOT visiting the West bank or Gaza) and it was a good and informative session. Then after lunch we broke into small groups and did some stuff about our hopes/expectations and our fears.
It's very comforting to know that a lot of my classmates have the same self-doubt and questions and apprehensions that I do.....my group was awesome and we did a lot of "sharing" which made us feel closer to each other, I think.

Tonight I went to dinner with a few other classmates at this little restaurant around the corner from my apartment called "Little Italy". Suprisingly, the food was pretty good...for Israel. One of our older classmates named Marci is quickly becoming one of our favorite people. I think she''s about 50 and in the canotrial school and she's just hilarious and loves to hang around with us.....

It's funny, I got asked in my interview how I would deal with having classmates who were my parents age and those of you who know me well know that this has NEVER been a problem for me...I love lots of people for who they are, regardless of their age. But I have to admit that some of the older folks, especially those who brought kids, don't want to really reach out to us youngins..maybe because they are afraid we won't want to spend time with them....so i really like those who are comfortable hanging and who goof around with us...the others may just need more time to realize that the youngs are fun to hang out with and accepting of them....so, long story short: Marcy is hilarious and cool and I/we enjoy that she spends time with us.

I think I'm off to battle with my computer again for a bit....please pray for it's speedy recovery (and that i don't have to reinstall or reformat anything!!!!!)

Posted by Elizabeth at 8:14 PM
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Labels and such!
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: "When you're a jet, you're a jet all the way..." from west side story
Okay, so the funniest thing happened tonight. One of my HUC friends came up to me and informed me that someone had noticed that there were some cliques forming.....my clique and another clique that consists of some other classmates of ours. the funny thing, and the thing that people probably don't know is that we are all friends....just some of us are naturally closer to each other than we are to others. Well, both "cliques" thought this was so funny that we decided to name ourselves the Jets and the Sharks so that we could laugh it off. So I am officially a Jet...and anyone who knows me knows that I think cliques are stupid and pointless and for those with low self-esteem that need to feel better than others.....I like to talk to everyone, so even though I'm a jet....I'm still Liz at heart.

Oh, and my last post about the dogs at the beach....huge controversy now!!! So my good friend Adam had taken some pictures of the dogs going wild and thought it would be funny to send it to our class listserve.....yeah, not everyone found it to be so humourous...so now there's this like divide between students that thought it was hilarious (it's already been posted on many peoples websites and desktops) and those that thought it was completley inappropriate and have been writing him hatemail. Already, all the drama begins....sigh.....

The orientation stuff has been really cheesy so far, but it's sort of a good way to get to meet people, and it's not like there's any work involved, so I am enjoying it. We have a full day tomorrow, so I need to get in bed. Just my luck I'll probably dream of cheesy icebreakers and bad mixers (they made us play human bingo tonight...so overdone!!!!!!!)

Just think....while you are having an evening, I am sleeping...and while you are sleeping....I'm just getting up....so funny!!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 11:50 PM
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Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Tel Aviv and more.....
Mood:  lazy
Yesterday was a fun experience for all. About 30-35 HUC students decided to take a day trip to Tel Aviv to go to the beach. I realized on the way there that I have never actually seen the Mediterranean Sea and I was very excited to get to swim in it. The beach was absolutely gorgeous and we had a great time laying out and swimming. While in the sea, I saw my first real live jellyfish (well besides the ones at the Newport Aquarium)!!!! They were so cool! Although other people kept trying to touch the top of it without getting stung, I decided to just admire them from a distance...we all know what happened to Dory in "Finding Nemo"!!!!!
My friend Adam also got some funny pictures of two very....frisky...dogs on the beach. We were all laughing at them and it was really funny to joke about. I, regretfully, didn't bring my camera to the beach, but I will soon have other people's photos to post.
Last night a bunch of us went over to dinner at our friends' Adam and Noah's house and it was lovely. Then we went to Moment Cafe (which we have determined is our favorite hang-out spot)for some drinks and dessert.
This morning Leah and I got a new 25 inch TV delivered (at least our landlord is good for something!) and finished our hebrew placement exams.
Later tonight begins the official orientation portion of the program. Tonight is all the getting to know you games that most people fear with intense passion, but I sort of enjoy them....I know, I'm a big geek!!!!! So I'll keep everyone updated on what is going on during orientation.

Alas, my computer is not yet fixed (it turns out I didnt have a virus after all) and I need to call the computer company tonight to try another tactic....it's very upsetting!!!!! What's really hard though is that the hours when the company is open in the US is like nighttime here in Israel so I have to work around two different schedules...oh well, this needs to get done.

Okay, I'm off to work on my hebrew workbook a little before I go home and attempt to deal with my MACHSHEV (hebrew: computer). Have a great day!!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth at 1:52 PM
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Sunday, July 11, 2004
My first week in Israel
Mood:  accident prone
Okay, so I have never actually blogged before, but I figured since I am in Israel, and sooooo many of you are reading my webpage...why not start!?!?!?!
First and foremost, I want to let everyone know that when you wake up this morning and hear the news on TV that there was a bomb in Tel Aviv....don't worry!!! I am fine and as far as I know all of my classmates and friends are fine too. It's sad to me that I have only been here a week and already there is a reason for me to tell everyone that I am ok and that I have not been a victim of terrorism, because someone else has been. Sigh.......

On a not so serious and funnier note, I myself have been a little accident-prone lately. On the way to meet up with some friends, I slipped on the steps in or apt. building and fell down and got a big-ass bruise on my arm. It doesn't really hurt anymore, but it looks real nasty! :(
Yesterday, almost everyone of my friends and I went to services here at HUC in the morning and all was going well and normally until a women was called up to bless the Torah and fell off the side of the bimah (stage)!!!! It was awful. No one knew what to do and then people started to help her and they took her to the emergency room and we heard she was okay. I have never seen anything like that happen before at all!!!! But we rabbinical students thought maybe it was our first great lesson in how to lead services: what to do during an emergency and how to handle unexpected situations. Either that or marry a jewish doctor to sit in the front row when things take a turn for the worse....you take your pick!
I also attempted to do laundry today in our crazy washing machine and didn't get the hose all the way in the sink, so water ended up everywhere!!!!! Luckily, a squeegee came to the rescue just in time!!!!
Hopefully, all the accidents around me will be ending soon! Okay, well this blog is long enough, so I should probably attempt to go do my hebrew placement test and meet up with some classmates to hang out later. I'll try to post regularly, but until my computer gets fixed....who knows! Have a great day everyone!!!!


Posted by Elizabeth at 12:59 PM
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