Snow and stuff....
Now Playing: Mike and the Mechanics - The living years
Today, in Jerusalem....it snowed. Now, it only lasted about 20 minutes, and it was mixed in with freezing rain, and it didn't stick at all on the ground..but it WAS beautiful. And it was so weird to see snow in Jerusalem, or even Israel for that matter, which is a country that I associate with being hot and dry (it is the middle east after all!!!)
Now, I understand how cool it was for a lot of my California counterparts to see the snow (because well, they don't get to see it that often, or at least, they barely ever get to watch it fall). My friend Karen even started crying a little, and that was really touching to watch. But, aside from the fact that it was very pretty, I wasn't all that excited about it. I mean, i'm from Indiana. I don't think I've ever experienced a winter that didn't get at least a little snowfall (even if it was only for a few days). And on top of that, those of you who know me, you know that I absoultely HATE
snow and ice. It's dangerous to walk and drive in, it's so cold, it gets all ugly and slushy after a few days...it's just no good. Frankly, I think I was looking forward to a winter without snow this year. My midwestern classmates agreed with me....it wasn't anything for US to freak out about, it seemed really normal.
Plus, on top of all of that...the snow began falling heavily while I was in the middle of giving a presentation in Hebrew class. We had been talking about sexual education in Israel in our class, so I did a presentation on what I used to do last year as Human Sexuality TA at Indiana Univ. I even handed out condoms!!!! But alas, it didn't prevent people from getting up in the middle of my presentation to run outside and play in the snow. Once their snow fetivities ended, people came back in and were more than happy to listen to the rest of my presentation. In fact, I even think they quite enjoyed it. But there was definately something lost in it, due to the snow situation.
Being who I am, I of course, have discovered friendships that go beyond my peers or with teachers in the classroom. I was watching some of my peers around me connecting with faculty members on a more personal, one-on-one level and it made me think....why didn't I do that already? I've always been one to form relationships with others based on my interest in them as a person, what I think they have to give me as a person, and what I think I can give to them....regardless of who they are, what their job is, or how they feel they "should" relate to me. I'm talking about people like Mr. Meister or Ms. Anderson, or even Dr. Spechler. People with whom I had academic relationships in High school and in college, but whose friendship and mentorship I saught out on my own. These people have proven to be some of the most significant people in my life (besides family and close friends) and I know that they always will be. And I knew a few months ago that I wanted a relationship like that with people here, but I didn't seek it out, and I'm not sure why. Then, when I saw my friends forming those types of relationships with faculty at school, rabbis in the Jerusalem community, and others, I thought....this is stupid. I should be doing this too!!!! Not because I need to, but because I want to, and I wasn't taking the time to really think about my needs and what I wanted.
Well, luckily...I think I've found it. I set aside some time each week to "hang out" with a faculty member that I really like, that I have stuff in common with, and that I think will prove to be a good friend in the future. And so far, I've really enjoyed that time. It somehow helps me. Like, i can talk about anything or everything or nothing, and it's just a good time to connect with another person who understands my situation this year, who is getting to know me and understand me, and who can help me see things I don't see, or find new perspective and meaning on the things I do know and see.
I hate using the word "mentor" because it seems so fake and rigid. Mr. Meister was like a mentor to me, but we shared so much more than just that, so I was always uncomfortable using that term because it seemed to cheat our relationship. It's a category and a label, and I don't like to label things that seem beyond labeling. No two relationships are ever alike. So while I see the need for categorization in order to organize things in our life....I never wanted to put that label on him, and i certainly don't want to use that label here. She's not my mentor, she's not my friend. She's a little of both and something else in between. In truth, I don't know yet what she is...so how could I possibly explain it. I just know that right now, I am glad that I decided to start fulfilling my needs of connecting to others that intrigue me and that I want to get to know better and spend time with. So far, it's never proven to hurt me in life...only help me and who I am and who I struggle to be and become.
May we all be so lucky to find people in our lives that we have a special connection to, that we learn from, that we share ourselves with, and that we grow from.
Posted by Elizabeth
at 6:18 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 6:39 PM