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[personal profile] electricpaladin
Today was Rosh HaShannah, the Jewish new year and the first day of the Days of Awe or High Holy Days, or whatever you want to call them. I went to services with Abby's family, and it was nice.

What it wasn't, though, was terribly profound. I can't decide whether to be troubled by this. On the one hand, I like profound experiences, religious and otherwise. On the other, when I think back on it, every other profound Rosh HaShannah has been profound in a distinctly bad way. They have all been new years in which I resolved to make some improvement or get out of some bad situation. Right now, I'm not in any bad situations, and while I know I have many flaws and failings, there are none that I have a burning, immediate desire to correct.

I suppose despite the various situations of my life - the lack of a job, my parents continued griping (more on that later), my various mistakes - I am actually content.

Of course, a lot of these situations aren't as bad as they could be. Take the lack of a job, for example. I do have three great jobs teaching religious and hebrew school. They are all fulfilling and fun, and who cares if they don't pay enough? I'm doing what I want to do with my life, and that's better than what a lot of people can say, and better than what I could have said last year. And, in addition to all that rather ephemeral optimisim, I have a job offer. A stationary and chatchke store called Papyrus is offering me 15 hours a week on betwen $9 and $10 an hour. It's not enough to get us out of Abby's parents' house, but it's a start.

The promised (threatened?) aside to my parents is this: I think I have finally found out the center of my mother's gripe. She doesn't think I'm asking for advice often enough. She's upset because she thinks I don't understand that she and my father are the only people in the world with my best interests at heart. She thinks there is something deeply wrong with what I'm doing with my life right now.

I guess she's right about a few things. I haven't gone to my parents for advice as often as I should. In my defense, my project was to get out of the house, and all my parents seemed to be able to talk about when I brought it up was how impossible this project was. Who wants that kind of advice? I had decided I was going to do it, and so I tried, and I succeeded!

Also, it's hard to go for advice to a couple of people who have spent years making themselves hard to talk to about problems, but I can't tell them that. Honestly, it's not that I'm afraid of causing a fight. The fights mean so much less from across a continent. It just doesn't seem fair to say something like that in a context where I know it will be misunderstood. If I could get my parents into family therapy or something, then maybe I'd be able to say it. In the meantime... ah, whatever. I'm out of that house, and as much as I love my parents, I don't think I'm living there again. Things might get better and things might get worse, but I'm going to keep myself safe. I don't know where their doubts and anxieties end and I begin when I'm living there, and that scares me too much for me to allow it.

That's all there is about my parents. What else have I promised to write about?

The kids! That's right, the kids. My Sunday morning class is billed at twenty-two kids, but considering absences, it's usually more like sixteen or eighteen. They're sixth graders, roughly evenly split between boys and girls, with a really exciting mix of personalities and backgrounds. A lot of them are "half Jewish" - though, as I tell them repeatedly, in my classroom they're Jewish, and that's all that counts - and the other half ranges from spanish to scottish. One of the girls looks middle-eastern, but she could be spanish, or just mizrahi.

They are really great kids. I have my share of troublemakers and eccentrics, from the boys who are so entertained by my difficulty with their names (it's only been three classes, give me a break!) that they keep lying during attendance to the girl who puts on such a bored, disaffected personality that I'm really afraid she's going to grow up and become a hipster, but they are all really just spirited. They ask good questions, and they don't resist my efforts to make the material exciting. Their misbehavior isn't even that bad; they have a hard time staying on task and sometimes it takes a while to get them quiet, but by and large there isn't any blatent disrespect and, as far as I can tell, there isn't any bullying at all.

I've only met the Wednesday kids once, and I haven't met the Saturday kids at all, but I'll post about them at some point.

So, in short, my life is better than I think, I have great jobs and good prospects, and perhaps that's the most profound thing about this Rosh HaShannah.

Also, when the haftorah and torah were being read in Hebrew, I could sort of half keep up with what it meant, which was awesome.

L'shanna tova.
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