Sunday, January 28, 2007

Shamefaced but moving forward

I'm SO SO SO SO SORRY for not posting for two weeks. I know there are people who have been worried about me, especially since I wrote in my last post that I'm still sick. Here's what's been going on:

I'm still sick. It's true, thank God, that I'm doing much better than I was two weeks ago, but believe it or not I am still coughing a lot, and my voice is extremely hoarse. Other than that I feel pretty good, though. I think maybe the reason my cough/voice isn't getting better is that I don't want it to: people are telling me that I sound very sexy. That's pretty fun.

My parents were here! It's true! They finally came to visit me! This was their first trip to Israel in 13 years. They stayed for two weeks, and despite a few arguments here and there we all had a great time. My father did a lot of sight-seeing, and my mother did a lot of shopping, and every day they took me out for dinner, so all three of us were happy.

I spent a day in Hebron. My father wanted to see the Cave of the Patriarchs, so we found a tour group with a bullet-proof bus and went together. I'd never been there and wanted to see the town (and the site of the Cave) for myself. That day is definitely a blog post all on its own. Boy, do I have a lot to say about that day, much of it self-contradictory.

I took a teaching job. Yes, indeed. After years of nightmares about my teaching experience in the Bronx, I found a job that met all of my requirements: Starting next week, I'll be teaching American teenagers (who are in Israel for the semester), and I'll be teaching just one, relatively small, class, of kids who are actually on grade level and more or less do their homework, in a safe and supportive environment where the administration cares both about the kids and the teachers, and where I don't have to worry about the school running out of basic necessities like chalk or photocopying paper. Actually, a bonus in this job is that they don't use blackboards, but rather dry-erase boards, for which my lungs are grateful. It is unbelievable how much chalk dust teachers breathe in. I'm surprised no one has done a lung-cancer study about it. But moving on . . .

The February UYO class is officially full! Yes, indeed, with over three weeks to go before the class, all 24 spots are full, and there is one person on the waiting list. If you would like to attend the class, you are welcome to register and hope that a space opens (in fact, two of the 24 students have indicated from the get-go that they may have to cancel, so waiting-list registrants do have a chance). Anyone who doesn't get in this time can have their registration fees rolled over to the May class. Also, Beth and I have been discussing a lot of exciting plans about the future of the course and our huge ideas of how to transform Israeli society. Some of the people coming to the class are in positions to become important partners for us (which they know about, and are coming to the class to check out how we could work together). And we have a system all set up for fundraising, which Beth is working hard on. Go, team!

I have so much work. Most of it, unfortunately, is left over from when I was sick, so it's not new assignments. But still, it's there, and I have to do it (thankfully, most of it is very interesting. And, very thankfully, I am continuing to earn money).

I'm planning a Barnard event. Next week there will be an event for: a) students who deferred their matriculation at Barnard for a year so that they could study or tour in Israel first and b) Barnard students who are spending Spring semester at Hebrew University and c) Alumnae who live in Israel - some are coming from as far as Tel Aviv. I leveraged my status as an Admissions Representative for the school to arrange this, since I remember vividly how scary it was to leave Israel and jump into secular life (for the first time) in the Big Apple (where I'd never lived before). So the Admissions Office kindly agreed to sponsor the event. If you know anyone in the above categories (especially the first two) who didn't receive information, please have her get in touch with me, or send me her information at chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com. We sent emails to everyone, and I'm following up with phone calls, but I have a strong suspicion that not everyone who was invited has read the email.

Whew! As you can see, I've got plenty of good reasons not to have time to blog. However, I will definitely try to check in more often in the future. Also, from February 1-15, I'll be filling in at, summarizing and posting links to interesting posts by other English-language Israeli bloggers. Come over and see me some time! :-)

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