Monday, January 31, 2005

Off The Deep End

Today, for the first time in my life, I was informed that I am not indispensible. That anyone can do my job, and that it will be very easy to replace me. Sort of makes me wonder why I stayed as long as I did. Yes, today I quit. I will now be working on my year program full time in an office, with a desk, a phone, a computer, and access to a secretary (I'm not sure what to do with her, I was just told that i'll have access to her...hmmm) So I move from dispensible nobody to Director of a year program for overseas students. Kinda makes you wonder, well, at least me wonder...

As I'm sitting here in wonderment, let me tell you about tonight...
Tonight was there was a rally held in Jerusalem where somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people came from all over the country (my brother came from the North) to demand that the government ask the people in a National Referendum (fancy phrase for a vote) if they want to excavate the Jews living in Gush Katiff, and give it to the Palestinians.

The first thought that went through my head, as I was walking surrounded by thousands of people, and watching packed bus after packed bus pass us with the names of their respective cities writen on the front, was that the pride I felt in being able to be a part of something I truly believe in with thousands of others who a fighting with everything they have would stay with me forever. I don't want to stop caring, ever! I don't want to stop believing the world can be made to understand, ever! I know too many people who were not there tonight, not because they don't "believe" in the cause, not because they weren't feeling well, or couldn't make it into Yerushalyim, or even because they had too much work to do. They didn't come because they were tired of rallies. They didn't come because they don't believe that they make a difference. They didn't come because they stopped remembering to care. Guess what, almost 200,000 people cared enough to come, and leave their families, and leave work early, and travel for hours, and spend money, and spend time, and cancel plans, and put their personal lives on hold... so that they could be part of a greater scheme. So that they can davven tomorrow morning, and say Gd, I was there, I was a part of almost 200,000 people who won't give up on You, and Your People, and Your Land.
The second was a song from Newsies. "When you've got a thousand voices singing who can hear a lousy wistle blow..."
The third was how am I going to find my brothers in this mess of people... it only took 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Politics & Religion

Thursday night ritual for the last 5 years has been realizing that it is actually thursday night, realizing I don't really have plans for the weekend, and finding them. The Thursday night ritual had been on hold in my life the past month, as I made the last two weekends, and had previous engagements for almost the last two months. While yes, I was INVITED up north to the Zacks Gililean Residence, I was feeling so sick and had no desire to travel up there. So, I asked my roommate if she knew of anyone making a meal, and asked my little bro if i could join him and his wife for lunch at their friend's house. Dinner was settled in a matter of seconds, thank you Jessica (with a J), and I was sleeping by 6:30 PM (quite a feat for me). At 11:30 my little brother called to tell me there was a change of plans, him and his wife were going away, and I was on my own. I was up until 1:30 eating soup, and wondering why the world looked like it was spinning until i was ready to go to sleep again. Friday morning I found lunch plans with my first phone call, and met my cousin, who has apparently been in town for over a week without calling, for lunch... I'm a little nervous that Thursday night ritual may be pushed to Friday morning ritual as that lunch plan was too easy...

The weekend was a mixture of really nice discussions and a lot of sleep. Friday night discussion was light and fun until we started talking politics. It turns out two of the dinner guests were sleeping at the protest tents. The protest has been going on now for over 3 weeks, 24 hours. I love it, I've been there a number of times, but I've never slept there. The protest is against the Israeli Government giving away the Jewish areas of Gaza to the Palestinians.

One of the hosts of the dinner had to bring up that while she was in agreement with the reasoning for the protest, she was very against parents and schools encouraging young children to protest, or be involved in politics at all. I took the stand that they are raising them with political values, the same as one would raise a child with religious values, or scholastic values. She refused to see how I could even lump religion and politics into the same catergory.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tick Tock

Now back to the program...

I have started promoting the year long program. There was an informal educator's conferance here last week, and I went to talk to people about the program. Mostly the feedback was positive with only two exceptions. One was apathetic, one was negative. Oh well, their kids won't come. Two people I had the chance to meet were very positive, and they are my new favorite people in the world.

Furthering the promoting of the project, I called the National Director of a youth group program in the States. I laid it all on the table, and he loved the program...except the start-up date. He gave me a lot of valid points of why this excellent program should start September 2006. He is not the first person who has made this suggestion.

We still do not have a place or a price for the program. It is very much still an idea which has just been spoken about to many people. I do have one parent who heard about the program and who contacted me about the program for more information. Can I find 20 more students who are interested in this program before April?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

18 To 0

The dating marathan has ended, thank Gd. I never understood before how dating was an excuse of why something did not get done. I don't know how people date like this on a regular basis. Until now I have had what I considered normal dating experiances. A couple goes out, spends a couple hours together, and then the date ends. I have just ended an about 19 hour relationship that spanned 3 dates. That is an average of over 6 hours per date! I have heard that I shouldn't be too worried, once a couple is married they generally do not talk for close to 19 hours in a month to each other. I am not sure why that is supposed to be comforting.

So, why did I spend 7 hours with him the night that I knew it was over? Excellent question. I would ask the same of anyone else, and then I would laugh at them when they floundered trying to come up with a passable answer. The truth is, I'm trying to remember how normal dates end. I did have a date that lasted 13 hours a few years ago, and then I turned him down for a second date. I had a date that lasted about a week, he turned me down. I think girls are almost powerless to end the dates. I'm not sure why.

I explained to the Rabbi who set us up why I wasn't going to go out with him again. He appologized for setting us up, and then brought up another idea. His nephew lives here. Would I like to go out with him.... I said yes.

Bring those stopwatches back to 0

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Default Dating

I am about to have my first ever default date. I was set up with a guy, we went out & talked for 6 hours. I know he has an older brother, lived in 7 places in Bklyn before he was 9 y/0 and moved to NJ. (Hillside actually). I know his family used to go to a cabin upstate NY. I know he had 3 dogs growing up, two he liked one scared them (a husky) so they got rid of it after 2 years. I know he wanted to be an architect, but never left yeshiva to go to college. I know he loves, and apparently is very good at, Othello. I know both his parents are teachers. His mother just retired, she's loving it. He has gone skiing a couple of times, he started horsebackriding when he was 4 (but he's never ridden here) He came for yeshiva after highschool 10 years ago, and hasn't left yet. He's funny, he laughs, he knows how to converse...
and I'm sure he has a name...
My rabbi set us up. He sent me an e-mail telling me that this guy came to see him about being set up, and he thought of me. He told me a very little bit about him, and I figured why not. So my rabbi gave my number to "boy", and "boy" called. I still did not have his name, so after we set up the date, I called my rabbi and admitted that I didn't know what his name was. The rabbi said Melech Baruch, I think. Immediately my brother, who I told, started calling him King Boris, which is a not so rough translation. I can not immagine that he really goes by that name. It's just strange. I guess if girls can be called Malka (queen) guys can be Melech, just strange.
So tonight I have a second date with King Boris, yes back at the hotel. I suggested a park, but he was nervous about it being cold or rainy. I don't know what two strangers have left to say to each other after 6 hours of talking, so I'm bringing a game.
So, why do I call it default dating?
The biggest thing that this guy has going for him, is that I didn't see anything wrong with him. So, tonight is date number two. I'll hopefully find out what his name is, or at least what his friends call him. And maybe i'll want a third date, or maybe there'll still be nothing wrong with him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

320 Hours

The forward moving meetings have started! I am meeting with a graphic designer tomorrow to discuss a brochure for the program, and I am meeting with the business director next week to discuss budgets and salaries... Now the big question comes up...

Do I quit my current job or not?

On a selfish level I would love to quit my job irregardless of this new position. I took the job because I loved the idea of the job, I have come to hate the organazation that I work for. I disagree with the way the play the game entirely. They don't do anything illegal, I just feel that they are wasting a huge opportunity. I work for an organazation that involves overseas post high school students in local community social actions. I love working with young adults, and I thought this would be an excellent oppportunity to help them start to appreciate and give back to the world that's been working for them until now. In reality the way this organazation runs programing, I don't really have a chance to meet the participants, and the participants do not really have a chance to become involved in the communities. Aside from that, I do not get along with my boss about anything relating to the programs. Where I see opportunities, she sees a waste of time. Where I see a waste of money, she sees "this is the way it's always been done". My boss is stuck in the mud of wanting the organazation to be run "like last year". The problem with that is there are no employees who were here last year, as she only hires people for one year. So we are recreating from scratch last years' wheel. As an out of the box thinker, I find this very difficult.

So what's the problem, why don't I just quit?

I signed a contract saying that I would be here for a year.
I only work 20 hours a week.
I do enjoy some of the projects that I work on.
The few participants I have been able to get to know, I like working with.

Part of me feels that by not leaving, I am just using them for the extra cash I'll get for the 20 hours a week. Really, what's 20 hours? I don't think that this'll get in the way of my preparation for my new program. I do not have set hours in this job, and so I can make my schedule around my meetings. I already told her I am leaving for a month to do recruitment in the States, and she was ok with that. (I didn't really ask, I sorta just told her I wasn't going to be here February) After February there are only 4 more months until "the year" is over. What's 4 months.

Just 320 hours.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Treading Water

3 months ago i started running full speed ahead, totally focused on my goal, working to get a project up and running. I am trying to put a project together for next year. This is a really big deal to me, and I am exceedingly nervous. I will be the director of a year overseas program for 18-20 year olds. Well, only if the program starts moving forward. For 3 months now I have been going to meeting after meeting, writing proposals, making schedules, researching, and further defining my program. I have had meetings to discuss the program. Meetings to discuss where to place the program. Meeting to further define the program. Meetings to discuss presenting the program. Meetings to discuss what the outcome of previous meetings was. Now I had a meeting to discuss a form I will need to submit (after I receive the form via e-mail) to discuss being funded. That way I can start to have meetings about funding. Tomorrow my meeting is to discuss what the next steps should be. Remember when I hit the ground running 3 months ago. I think I've been running on treadmill.