My professors are on strike.


University professors to strike as of Sunday

Well, here we go again. Sort of. Last time it was the students striking over fee hikes. This time it’s the faculty striking for pay hikes.

C’mon guys… I have one more year – 3 credits – to finish. All I want to do is get my diploma so I can roll it and smoke it. Is that so wrong?

Two teeth dumber… yet also wiser…

I’m sitting here, post-removal of my last two wisdom teeth, done by an Israeli doctor at my insurance clinic, and I’m feeling – wise.

For weeks, people have been warning me about getting my wisdom teeth out here – “Go to an American, go private, pay extra for gas.” Sure, it freaked me out, but I figured I’ll see how it plays out. I’m adventurous like that. I was probably able to afford the laid-backness this time around because when I got my first two teeth out in the States, they were impacted and I was knocked out with anesthetics for two hours and handed codeine on awakening. I never felt a thing.

This time, I walked into the room with sweaty palms, having probably been affected by everyone’s warnings. Honestly, the image in my head was the Chemical Brothers video. The dentist was an older Israeli with a stoic face. I sat down and laid my eyes on the tools. I decided not to say anything, and take it as it comes.

What came was a ten minute procedure, reminiscent of those old cartoons when there was a cheeky character as the dentist and he took pliers and yanked out the tooth. So ghetto! The guy actually cracked my tooth and then yanked it out. So easy, so effortless. What is everyone going on about?

On leaving, I couldn’t help but think of a friend going through the same thing today, only he opted for the private American doctor. I’m wondering when the pain will hit me, but I’m also feeling secure in knowing it’s only my mouth that’ll be in pain, and not my wallet or my pride.

Back to – what?

Remember when I said I was taking my last final ever?

Kidding! I’m going back to school. A couple more teachers, a few more books. Lots and lots more dirty looks… at my disappointing experience studying at Bar Ilan University.

In the end of August I decided to switch from the thesis track to the internship track and finish my degree by summer 2008 instead of indefinitely. That’s the goal, anyway. I’m looking forward to a more ‘hands-on’ experience and a lot less procrastinating.

And to kick me right back into the school-year spirit, today I found this article in my inbox:

University heads, faculty threaten strike over funds dispute

Ah, yes. It’s all coming back. Here’s to another (and, really, my last) academic, year-long nightmare attending BIU.

Aliyah tip #253: Read.

I’ve fallen back in love with reading. I’ve been a reading maniac lately. I went on hiatus the past two years, thinking that I didn’t have time because I was in school. Which is funny, because I wasn’t doing much reading for school, either.

But man, do I love it. Reading is my medicine. It soothes me. It helps me survive this insane society. I cope by reading.

I keep a book in my bag. I read on line at the bank instead of getting frustrated. I read waiting for the bus instead of getting impatient. I read at the checkout in the supermarket instead of getting restless.

If you’re saying to yourself that my coping mechanism is actually escapism, well – you are correct. But it’s better than being bitter or flustered or impatient… Like some other folks I can think of…

On survival and today's word: ניצולי שואה.

I have good days and bad days. Lately they’ve been bad, but today is alright. I’m referring specifically to that still-beating juk I call: “speaking Hebrew without a complex.”

I made a pact with myself last week to only email my Bar Ilan professors in Hebrew from now on. Writing in Hebrew has never been a problem for me; in fact, writing and reading are cake these days. It’s just that typing in Hebrew takes forever because I’ve never had to do it, even throughout my uber-Zionist high school education.

Today a professor wrote me back, granting permission for a paper I want to write about Holocaust survivors, and, before signing off, letting me know, in two words, how to correctly spell the term: ניצולי שואה

It made me smile. Look at that, everyone’s pitching in to help out. Haven’t felt like that in a while.  

Israel restaurant guide.

Tourist season is pretty much over in Israel… until Chanukah. So it’s a shame I’ve only found out about this now, but you’ll know for next time.

eLuna is a website listing and rating restaurants from all over Israel. If you register, you can even get Jewpons, sorry, coupons, honoured at many of the restaurants listed.

Personally, the site comes in handy when I find myself with the task of picking out a good Mehadrin dairy restaurant for my brother-in-law. It conveniently categorizes by kashrut amongst other things like price and location.


Back to regular life.

Back to work, back to chol, back to regular life in Israel. In case you’re having a hard time adjusting, here’s a reminder of what reality here is like:

A Rabbi had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession.  Like  many young men, the boy didn’t really know what he wanted to do, and he didn’t seem too concerned about it.

One day, while the boy was away at  school,  his father decided to try an experiment.  He went into the boy’s room  and  placed four  objects on his study table:
– a Bible
– a silver dollar
– a bottle of whiskey, and
– a  Playboy  magazine

“I’ll just hide behind the door,”   the Rabbi said to himself, “when he comes home from school this afternoon, I’ll see which object he picks up.  If it’s the Bible, he’s going to be a Rabbi like me, and what  a blessing that would be!  If he picks up the dollar, he’s going to be a  businessman, and that would be okay, too.  But If he picks up the bottle, he’s  going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a  shame that would  be.  And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he’s  gonna be a skirt-chasin’ bum.”

The Rabbi waited anxiously, and  soon heard his son’s footsteps as he entered the house  and headed for his room.  The boy tossed  his books on the bed, and as he turned to  leave the room he spotted the objects on the table.  With curiosity in his  eye, he walked over to inspect  them.  Finally, he picked up the Bible  and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month’s  centerfold.

“Lord have mercy,” the  Rabbi disgustedly whispered, “he’s gonna be a member of the Knesset!”