Much to give thanks for

Very sorry that this break has been so short, and that Thanksgiving this year wasn’t able to include osewalrus, beckyfeld, mabfan orgnomi. Guys, you were very much missed!

At the same time…

Here’s to getting as many hugs and kisses as I want.
Here’s to being on a coast where I can get sushi.
Here’s to bright, sweet little cousins.
Here’s to flying twenty miles down the bike path in the bitter cold and seeing the beauty of winter.
Here’s to telling my awesome, lovely rabbi that he was right about grad school.
Here’s to my whole family cooking different dishes in the kitchen at once.
Here’s to curling up with my family by the fireplace.
Here’s to stories my mom never told me before.
Here’s to biking over the river with my Tateh.
Here’s to laughing my ass off with Uri over zombie videos.

Here’s to being happy and fulfilled — creatively, emotionally, in so many aspects of my life.
Here’s to being home.


Surprised doesn’t begin to describe…

My friends all conspired to throw me a surprise party yesterday for my birthday. It was just the nicest thing imaginable, and I don’t think I did nearly a good enough job of telling them how much it meant to me. My heart is so full right now.

Massive, massive catch-up!

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I’ve spent most of the last month sick with a cold and fever while I tried to plough through all my midterms. I’ve never worked this hard in my life. To give an example, one take-home exam asked me to list all female poets who published a book of poems in Britain between 1700-1710 and show proof that my answer was complete, and then went on to ask another two difficult questions. So I’m grinding away, 12-16 hours a day for weeks, but it’s becoming clear that I can’t think creatively with the fever, and I still have a story due for workshop.

Our workshop teacher did say we could switch places in an emergency, so I send the class an email asking if anyone can switch with me because of the fever. If not, I’ll manage something. The teacher sends me an email blasting me for being so disrespectful and unprofessional as to not take my deadlines seriously. I email him back, very politely, that I didn’t intend to be disrespectful, that I’ve always met every deadline for the class, and I have a note from Health Services confirming that I have a fever. He writes back that this is no excuse. AN HOUR LATER, I come to class and he asks me how I’m feeling. I tell him I still have the fever I had an hour ago, and he orders me to go home. As soon as I’ve left the classroom, he tells the class that if anyone volunteers to switch with me, he’ll make them keep their original deadline as well, doubling their workload.

I manage to turn a story in, actually ahead of schedule, and when the next workshop rolls around he cuts off all discussion by saying I was sick, which is about all the merit he can ascribe to the story. Next! I have no words to describe the violence of my feelings towards this man as a teacher and a human being.

Meanwhile, the laptop arrived, and I spent five hours on the phone with customer support trying to explain to them that if they ship me a nonworking, unfixable product, they do have to replace it without charging me a 15% restocking fee.

In short, I’m really proud of how I’ve risen to the challenges of this semester, but I’m so ready for Thanksgiving break. I just want to hug my family again.

Election and everything

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted; I’ve been struggling to get my midterms handed in while I struggled with a fever and cold for the last three weeks. More on the epic struggle later. But for now…

I voted almost two weeks early, and I’ve been tense and afraid to jinx things for days. And then the quick, decisive, landslide victory I hadn’t dared to hope for.

Wow. My heart is so full. I have never been so proud of a leader. I have never been so scared for a leader. I have never felt such goosebumps listening to a politician speak, like every inch of my skin was galvanized. I have never ridden home on election night surrounded by fireworks, and people honking their horns and cheering in the streets for joy. I haven’t felt so unequivocally part of my own country since first grade, when I sang “God Bless America” and wrote to President Regan and was sure he’d write back. Usually, when you realize the world will never be the same again, it’s because something terrible has happened. Last night, it was because something amazing happened.

I can’t wait to be a part of the next four years.