Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sushi Food Baby

I woke up this morning and I still have the sushi induced food baby from yesterday's amazing but overindulgent lunch at Sushi Bar Rechavia. We absolutely love that restaurant, we can't get enough of it, and since I ate 1/2 an egg and 1/2 a pepper for breakfast and lunch, I was starving when Pidgeon picked me up at the Tachanah after class. We decided to treat ourselves since I learned I'm getting some money back from the University, and sushi is our ultimate gift! It was so worth the bloated belly and the swollen soy sauce cheeks. We can't wait until next week when they open up their second location in the old Faza restaurant (Katamon). I bet it will be difficult to get a table there too, but man it's sure going to be worth the wait! 

Yesterday at school was comical. I should start with Monday night, when I woke up every 2 hours to make sure I didn't miss my alarm. I have 3 classes left in this semester and I absolutely cannot miss anyone of them! Unfortunately, we're learning Walt Whitman in class and I am not a fan of his. I thought Songs of Myself was pretentious, although I enjoyed Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. Next week is Benjamin Franklin and I'm sure that's going to be exciting reading. Well, as I've written before, I'm still trying to get my Philosophy final from last year scheduled. It's a complete nightmare.

Another friend of mine is in the same boat and we managed to track down Professor Harvey who told us he would be happy to give us the test next week. He said he would bring in the exam on March 25th and so we thought we were good to go. Wrong. We have to deal with the Mador Bechinot office, which is the department that schedules exams. When they looked into my details on the computer, it showed that I only have permission to take the exam at the end of the year with this year's students. The problem is because of the SECOND strike, that exam won't be until after July 31st and we're planning on being out of the Country in August. So, once again, I have a situation that needs to be handled. 

Well, after Pidgeon called around to many offices, I was sent once again to Luna in the Toar Sheni office in the Tower. She is not a pleasant woman to say the least, and in Hebrew she explained that just because we worked out a test date with our Professor, doesn't mean they have to give us a special test. Now, both my friend and I will be out of the Country this summer, so we have no choice but to schedule the exam now. So, Luna told us that we need to get 1) letter from the Professor stating that he is aware of the situation and would be willing to give us our own exam and 2) letter from the English department attesting to the fact that, with the completion of this final, we have no other tests that need to take place to finish our Masters. Also, that this year is the conclusion of our academic requirements before submitting our thesis.

It doesn't end there folks. Once we have those letters written and signed, then we have to go back to Luna and she will assess the situation and write us another letter. AFTER Luna gives us that letter, then we have to take it to Mador Bechinot to have them schedule the exam. And, apparently, they can do it at their own choosing. 

Oh, and did I mention that I have to pay 120 shekel for the right to take this final at another date? Yeah, the students strike last year and the Professors strike this year, and I have to pay because they put me out. I have half a mind to insist that I not pay for something that was completely out of my control, we'll see just how much fight I have left in me when this is all over and done with.

What annoyed me the most about this process is that, once again, the English Creative Writing program administrators continue to pass the buck. Once we realized that this was getting out of hand - and that our Hebrew just isn't up to par to deal with these departments who insist they do not speak a word of English - we went to find Judy. She is our program's coordinator and, it was our understanding, the go-to person when we truly need help. Last year, she was actually quite helpful with some issues I was dealing with regarding my Teudat Zehut number and name change. We went looking for her in the English department building and literally ran right into her on the steps. She listened to our problem and then told us to talk to the secretaries at the English department office.


I was and still am extremely disappointed and angered that she totally blew us off about this issue. When I described what we are going through to my Father last night, he asked where my program's student advocate was? I told him, as far as I could tell, she was out to lunch. At least, that was how she treated us when we spoke to her yesterday.

Way to pass the buck Judy! 

Moving on. 

Well, the back and forth between people and departments left me feeling a bit frustrated and that only go worse when I had to wait 45 minutes for the 400 bus back to Jerusalem! The bus, of course, was packed and I managed to snag a seat in the back and zoned out to my iPod for the entire ride. Pidgeon was waiting for me when I got off the bus and boy was I thrilled to see him! We went out for sushi and the funniest thing happened to me.

I actually got heckled by a Charedi 8 year old boy. I kid you not.

We were walking down towards Azza Street where Sushi Bar Rechavia is located and the traffic was backed up because schools were out and people were starting to head home from their long days. Anyway, I have been wearing a shmata on my head because I'm trying out the whole married women covering their hair Halacha but I also wear pants (two separate Halachot people, two separate Halachot). Anyway, Pidgeon and I were holding hands and walking down the block, when the kid yells out the window to me that I should go home and put on a skirt because I'm a religious married woman who covers her hair and shouldn't be wearing pants!

I got such a great chuckle out of it, we were laughing for a while! I was tempted to yell back that dinosaurs were real but held my tongue. No reason to instigate a Charedi 8 year old. It was the highlight of my day though, the highlight of my day.

We got back to the apartment and the massive amounts of sushi we ate for lunch put me into that food induced stupor where all you want to do is crawl into bed and watch TV. I did manage to do a load of laundry though, which was good since Pidgeon was running out of clean clothing. 

And, as we usually try to do on Tuesday night, thought we'd get an early night's sleep. Were we wrong. I called my sister to check in around 11:30 p.m. and she told me that the kids wanted to do a webcam call with us. Well, I was not going to give that up and THEN she told me that my older sister set up her webcam as well. So, the three parties in Israel, Cleveland and Silver Spring, MD all tried to tripple webcam conference at the same time. But, Skype doesn't let you do a three-way conference webcam call - only a three-way conference call. That was good to know in and of itself, so next time we need to do some sort of "family phone meeting", it will be possible.

Well, we decided to do separate calls with each house and, since Pidgeon and I needed to get to bed sooner rather than later, we go to be first. We called my sister in Cleveland and my brother-in-law had both kids on his lap. We had such fun talking to them! They are B"H absolutely adorable children! After 20 minutes of chatting and catching up, we said our goodbyes and my niece leaned in and tried to hug me through the computer. She hugged the computer screen people - how adorable is that!!!!!! It made my heart melt just a bit inside.

Then, we called my older sister in Silver Spring, and I almost started crying! We haven't seen each other since our Sheva Brachot this August! That's just way too long to go without seeing my sister! My other niece and nephew aren't as excited about seeing us through the computer, although my 7 year old nephew did come to tell us about his soccer game this past Sunday. My sister managed to coax my niece out of her bedroom, but she ran in the background and away from the camera - screamed that she didn't want to talk to us because she was watching TV - and then ran back to her room. We saw her running, and it was adorable, so we didn't feel bad. It was wonderful just being able to talk to my sister though, and to see her while we were talking, that I'm hoping we can do it again either today or on Purim so we can see everyone in costume!

I love modern technology. The webcam just makes me so happy! It makes me feel less lonely, and I miss everyone a little bit less, when we can see them so often online! I can't wait to set up the webcam for my parents next! That would be really, really perfect!

Well, I think I'm going to try to get some writing done this morning while Pidgeon is off at school! 

Yom Tov from Baka!

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