Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday and Today

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
2:37 pm
Today is the MDA 69 girls' last day. I'm going to miss them-- I like them.

Today, Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So that entry was supposed to be continued and just didn't happen. The girls are so sweet-- they'll be in Lod, so I'll go visit them. They invited me out [last night], but I had a shift this morning.
2:31 pm
Yeah, we had a call-- and another ambulance took it. Boo-ya.
We had 2 calls today-- a drink guy who turned out to be high- he told Ohad that he had taken heroin earlier, and a kid who had a seizure. The whole station was dead; most people had maybe 3-4 calls.
Yesterday was more interesting. Had more calls, including one in an Arab area- not horribly scary- and an old lady who needed lots of reassurance. There was also a call for a fight, but it was canceled. Oh well. Oh, and a sad call, too-- a teenager OD'd on sleeping pills and we had to take her to the hospital, but we got her there and she had a good pulse, low blood pressure, but I hope she'll be okay.
The one thing I learned today was where Bikur Cholim is. It is a hole in the wall, but Elchanan (see? there's your mention) says it has a great cardio dept.
Tomorrow is a tiyul to the Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. I might get to do a night shift with Shloime and Ryan, but Ryan's going to call Shloime and ask. I'll be wiped after the tiyul, but I can sleep on the bus and before the shift. Who knows is I'll even be able to. Maybe, maybe another week. Who knows.
I decided that if I come back and am here for a few years, I'll definitely do the medic course. I'd like to do the instructor course, bit I don't know if I'll be able to, based on timing. I also have to see how my insurance works out, and where I end up working.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More updates!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
11:37 am
Been a few days.Technically a couple.
I passed. I'm just a nut about exams.
4:40 pm
Un-f'ing-believable. I'm on a bus back to Chashmonaiim and apparently the first 5 rows are for men only? There's nowhere for the women to sit-- so I went and sat back down. A guy mumbled at me that the first 5 rows were for men only, and there were still plenty of seats, so I moved a bit back. Well, now the seats are full and the front was 1/3 empty, so I moved back up. If he has a problem with me sitting here, he can ask me-- NICELY-- to move. Not mumble at me that the first 5 rows are for me. Besides, it's not an official rule, just an unwritten one that people are assumed to know.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Right. So yesterday was my first day. Went well. I got there a few minutes early- but better early than lare. Today I was late. More about that later.
So- first shift. I had an orientation with Boaz, the volunteer coordinator at the Jerusalem station. (Oh, yeah, I'm at the Jerusalem station, not Petach Tikva.) I was on an ambulance with Elkie, a driver, Mickey, and another guy who was doing ride-alongs, Simcha. Spoke mostly Hebrew, which is good for me. First call was a car accident- single car crashed intoa guardrail; guy had actually already gotten out of his car, so we put a Philadelphia collar (a type of neckbrace, one that I like) on him, and put him on the backboard on the bed. The next call was supposed to be one guy who fell at a construction site, but it turned out to be two guys who fell...anyway, there were a few other calls, then at 2:45 we got a call-- on the other side of town. Mickey put on the lights and sirens and floored it. Because it was 2:45 and our shift ended at 3.

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Third day. My second day was also okay.
7:18 pm
Wow, I need to back up.
Starting from Monday: I passed the exam. Yehuda, Shloime, and Dan called us in individually and gave us our results. Yehuda had my test rolled up, and he, Shloime, and Dan were sitting there stone-faced. Yehuda said, "Lauren, I'm really disappointed in you. I expected better." So now I'm convinced I failed-- did horribly, bombed the exam. He handed me my test, rolled up, and I opened it-- 99. Apparently the look on my face was priceless, or so Shloime told me a few times. It was the math questions I messed up on-- I knew I messed that one up. After that I went upstairs, showered, and came back down all ready to go to the Waffle Bar with people. We (Elkie, Eden, and I) sorted out the sweatshirts, then everyone closed, and most of us went to the Waffle Bar, ate dinner, then went to Zolli's-- a hookah bar-- to celebrate being done. I had one drink and sips of other people's, and did not get drunk. Some people did, and others were relaxed and some were totally smashed. I think the quote of the night come from Arie Jaffe-- "Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!" There is definitely a reason he had to be drunk (read: very, very drunk) to tell that one.
Tuesday morning: It was snowing! Yay! The downside was that we had to leave anyway. Coby had told us that if there was snow and the buses didn't run, we could stay in the hostel another day and have just a chilled day. Yeah, so it snowed, but the buses ran so we didn't get to stay another day. (I ended up not being able to get the bus form the hostel to Chashmonaiim, so they driver took me to the Superbus that I usually take in.) --Insert story about bus to Chashmonaiim here-- I called Aryeh to talk to him about my station, and he was able to get me into Jerusalem. Yay! Petach Tikva is also close, but it would be a 3 buses, which is a huge pain in the butt.
So now I take one bus, but it gets me to Saraei Yisrael, right by the Tachanah, at 7. And I'm supposed to be at the station at 6:45 to get on the schedule. So I'm going to call Elkie in the morning. But that comes later.
Continuing on to Tuesday: Got to Rita and Dov's, spoke to Aryeh, foind out that I should be at the station at 6:30 am, and slept at Chaviva's (whose roommate is Ms. Gordon!). --Insert first day's story here--

Thursday: Day 2: So I waited for the 5:55 bus that comes about 6:15. And I waited at the bus stop outside the yishuv, because that's where the bus compny said it stopped...yeah, not so stops INSIDE the yishuv until 8 I missed the bus. Another one came about 10 minutes later, and I got in about 7:24, which is late. I got on an ambulance-- one of the girls was leaving at 9 and hey were switching divers, so I got on then.

Friday: Nothing. Day off! I went ot the Old City in the afternoon and met the Grosses at the apt. Shabbat was nice. The apt.- not so nice. The electricity blew twice, then the Shabbos clock switched off and the neighbor found an Arab to come fix it. There was no heat (because we pulled out the heaters when we though the electricity blew and it was the Shabbos clock), but the heater in my and Sho's room didn't work anyway, there was tons of food left in the fridge, and open package of cookies left on the table, coats on the hooks-- it looked like the family just left for the weekend- which they might have done. But if you're renting out an apartment, it should look and be proper. This was not.
Besides that, there was an NY NCSY trip and we went there/had seudah shlishit with them.
Today-- Wait, Motzei Shabbat- went to Ben Yehuda and met Eden and Benny, and one of Benny's friends, Lenny. Benny called Kaufman and I called Arie, and neither one came. Although Arie sent me a text and I called him back and I'm not sure what I said...
Today: had a shift in the morning. My driver was Gabi and the bat sherut was Leah. Whatever. At 2, my driver switched and I was with Shmulik and another mitnadev, Yakov (I think). We had one call-- it was actually exciting-- it was an unconscious pt. in Har Adar- roughly the middle of nowhere, Yerushalayim. We were supposed to meet a Natan-- we were basically out of the area and the Natan showed up. The pt. was breathing and had a pulse but was non-responsive, even to pain. Shmulik put in an IV and that was that. Got back at 4 pm, then came back to the girls from MDA 69.

Monday, February 25, 2008
7:09 pm
Today was a 10.5-hour shift. It wasn't actually supposed to be, but it turned into one. At 1 pm, my driver left and Alfasi took over. I should have been done at 3-- well, I sort of could have left at 1 om, but then Alfasi wouldn't have a team and I couldn;t do that. But I can deal with him-- he actually cracks me up.
We had a couple of interesting calls- we got called to the Knesset and Dave broke all the rules-- he wore jeans and didn't have his passport. Those are the rules for going to the Knesset-- no jeans, and have your passport. There's this whole security process that you have to go through to go into the Knesset, but when it's a senator in an emergency call (okay, it was emergency because it was a senator, but whatever), you get to go in as long as you're with MDA. There was also a car accident- 3 cars. No blood-- at least on my pt.-- but yes backboarding and took him to the hospital, obviously. Anyway, I'm getting very good at opening a file. I also know how to fill out the forms and the hitchayvut (the thing that says who is responsible for the charge and how much the charge for the ambulance is). Yay!
I have to confirm the tiyul on Thursday. I'm trying to get all the info, but the guy is not getting back to me. Not helpful. -pause to call him- Okay, he told me to go to the Stagerim group on Facebook and get the info there.
In other news, I thought that one of the guys who gave us a couple of lectures was cute, but apparently he wants a tall, thin, blonde or redhead. I don't fit any of those categories. Oh, well-- clearly I'm heartbroken...

MDA Chul (Magen David Adom Overseas Program), Part I: The Training

Day 1: Sunday, February 10, 2008
12:58 pm
At the Bayit Vagan Guesthouse(/Youth Hostel). Cam in, signed in/registered, met people, went to get another person a notebook, came back, chilled, had an intro, ate lunch, and am waiting to go get introduced to my instructors and get my room key. In other news, I have to wash my splint.
6:41 pm
On a break until 7 pm. So far so good. There's a lot of 18-20-year-olds in this course. We're split into 2 classes, ~12/class. There are two full-time instructors and 1 who comes in the afternoon.
So far we've covered what we do (oxygen, bandage, vitals...), what we don't do (hit a pt., give them anything to eat/drink/smoke- except with diabetics-, talk to the media, etc.), adult and child CPR, and choking, but only conscious adults. We've got another hour or two before we finish for the night.
My biggest issues are remembering to call for an ambulance and rescue breaths-- I don't open my mouth enough (sound familiar, anyone?). I don't actually suck-- they go in, but I don't like them. Oh, and I have to tilt the head a bit farther back, I think. Again, breaths go in, I'm just not happy with. Let's see...rooms. They are, literally, a place to sleep. There's 3 beds-- 2 pushed together, and one single, a shower, a toilet, 2 nighttables, and a closet. I will be living out of my suitcase. And am debating asking Rita to send me my mattress cover, pillow cover, and duvet cover.

Day 2: Monday, February 11, 2008
3:05 pm
On break. So far I haven't flunked out-- clearly I'm very optimistic. It's okay. They're very intense days-- lots of information, but not's not as bad as the first week of school. THAT was a bitch-and-a-half. It was also the 3-4 hour breaks when I was in the 2nd lab and couldn't do anything besides work in papers or my art projects.
Today we did some review, then did CPR equipment and practice with equipment. We did some special situations-- electrocution, drowning, hanging, poisoning (note: harAHlah, not harPAlah-- harpalah means abortion). And we did-- started-- vitals-- skin, resps, BP, pulse/HR. BP the way we did it in school- with stethoscope- and also the way Katie taught me at Burke, via the radial pulse-- but you only get systolic from that.
7:01 pm
Dinner was later today-- 6:30-7:30, so I've got a half-hour left, which leaves me plenty of time to write. As a side note, it's hard to write when you've got music in your ears and you're tapping your feet and moving your body to it. I'm working on it. If I just let the music play, k'ilu in the background, it's a bit better.
I really miss fw. Not the student crap, but treating patients. I miss it. It sounds funny, but I miss treating people and-- doing it and knowing what to do and making a difference. It's cheesy. But I do.
So far, still no roommate. Not that I'm complaining, just saying. It's-- you miss out on the whole roommate-bonding thing, but I get all the towels I want. Which is a bonus, and I can use the shower and bathroom whenever I want. And don't have to worry about waking anyone up.
All right, time to put this away-- oh, wait, it's "Accidentally in Love." Okay, I'll put this away, finish the song, then be social.

Day 3: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
6:25 pm
So far no roommate-- don't think I'm getting one, seeing as it's already 3 days in...Today we did...something in the morning. I don't remember what, but it's on the midterm tomorrow, which goes from the first day until this morning. Felt like crap, actually, this morning. Feeling a bit better, but still with a headache. I don't have time for this, I've got stuff to do. Lots of studying.
It feels like the older I get, the more I get sick. Maybe it's because I'm pushing my body too hard-- or harder than I used to? Either way, I don't have time for this.

Day 4: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Translations: ABC-O2 means "check the person's airway, breathing, circulation, and act appropriately, and give oxygen"
PHTLS means "Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support" and there's a checklist of things to do when someone has had trauma.

9:05 am
Exam's over. Went okay, I think. I'll find out later when I get the results-- hopefully later today. There were a few questions I was kind of -ish on, mostly the one about drowning. The question was, "What is the correct treatment for drowning?" Answers were (a) remove person from water (b) ABC-O2 (c) Remove H2O from lungs. First I chose (a), but then realized the person might not be in the water, nor might I be able to remove them. And I knew (c) was wrong, so that left (b). But especially if it's shallow water, you're supposed to do PHTLS. So I don't know. Whatever, I can get one wrong.
6:19 pm
Finished dinner-- good L-rd, I eat fast. I really need to learn to slow it down a bit. A lot.
We went over the exam-- we didn't get them back, but Yehuda went over the questions. I know that I got the one on MI wrong, and I didn't write to call the Natan (ICU ambulance) fora few of them. Now I know what to work on. I think I want to start studying NOW for the final. ...See how far I get with that.
Let's just discuss the class for a minute. There are 3 instructors for my class-- Yehuda, Shloime, and Dan. Dan is by far the funniest, as in belly-laugh. Shloime is randomly amusing-- he draws on the board and...has random British humor moments that the Brits get. Yehuda has more intellectual humor.
Anyway, class is definitely NOT boring, feels...I don't even know. Like a locker room-- 90% of the humor is sexual jokes, innuendos, etc. The most popular phrase (at least on Dan's part) is Swedish; I can't pronounce it, but I can translate it. I swear, this is definitely up there with OT375, or whatever Dr. Wood's theory class was.
I did okay on the midterm, I just hope I do as well (preferably better) on the final.
10:53 pm
Got a 92 on the midterm. I got the MI question wrong, missed one on heart attack s&s (signs and symptoms), and on PE, I didn't sit her up. But my Hebrew was all good. So apparently I'm not doing too bad. I asked SHloime about his offer of a mock practical-- if he was serious. He said he didn't remember, but he said he would. I'll see. I want it, but I'll see.
In other news, guess who's dehydrated again? It's in between, "Wow, I really need a drink," which isn't anything big, and the TKD bit when I'm seeing spots/floaters and the colors are all getting brighter. I also really need to be in the fresh air, but it's wet outside. I'll go study out there. I need air and H2O.

Day 5: Thursday, February 14, 2008
11:00 pm
We actually finished early-- very early-- today, as in 6-- before dinner. I ate, discovered I wasn't the only one who got sick from the food, and went back to practice. I finally got to backboard, and learned what was a key thing I was missing-- I wasn't moving a hand, when I was at the top, and I have to. I still have to practice backboarding-- A LOT--but now I know what to do and understand what I was doing wrong. Aside from that, today was a lighter day. We had a Great Debate about t-shirts and sweatshirts, followed by practice. Then we all went to Har Hertzel and on the way back it started mamash pouring and hailing HARD on us. Not fun. By the way, hail hurts- it feels like lots of needles being repeatedly poked into you, especially when it's being blown around by the wind. After that we came back, had lunch, I took a nice HOT shower and felt better. Went back to class, had practice followed by lecture, then we closed for the day.
Really the biggest things I need to practice are PHTLS and backboarding. PHTLS is really pure memorization, and backboarding I need three others for. Bandaging I can do, I'd like to practice jaw bandaging a couple more times, but the others I can do. CPR, I'll review, especially with equipment.
Tomorrow we have class until 12, then we get ready for Shabbat. Yay! We'll also get the schedule for Shabbat, so I'll talk to Moshe and maybe hang out with him. Bedtime!

Day 6: Friday, February 15, 2008
3:17 pm
Few minutes before I jump into the shower (by the way, very good shower-- pressure, HOT water).
Today was, again, much more laid-back. We had both classes together at the beginning of the day, and we learned to prepare and IV, I punctured the part where you stick in the IV tubing, and then my finger-- but only a little bit. I felt a bit stupid, but then Elkie said she did the same thing, so I don't feel as bad. I tried it again, and this time I got it in straight. Going to shower so my hair will dry a bit before Shabbat.
4:17 pm
Showered, half-dressed, and not make-up-ified, and have not yet poked my eyes out. Finish this up, do that, call Bubby and Zaidy, then get Cassie and light with her. So-- today. IVs, practice, split up, practice, lecture on burns, practice, finish off the day, Had lunch-- falafel-- then went to get Shabbos treats! Spent, like, $12 on that-- but it's for Shabbat. Came back, checked my email., hung out with Eden and Benny, then came up to get ready.
I'm really nervous for the final. Theres a lot on the written, and I don't know most of it. The practical-- if you do something like step over your patient, you fail. I'm worried that I'll do something "little" that I'm not supposed to do, and I'll fail because of that, not because I don't know my stuff. We shall see...and on that note, I'm going to make-up-ify and poke my eyes out. And finish getting dressed.

Day 8: Sunday, February 17, 2008
12:39 pm
The good news is, I don't suck at PHTLS. I did a scenario with 2 others...and I am now supposed to stick to the head because I had C, D, and had started E before the person who wasn't holding the head had finished B. The only thing is, I did the tourniquet and forgot to write the time on the person's head. Cannot forget that. That is important. But overall we worked well for backboarding-- got the pt. on, did the rolling well.
I have to practice the secondary survey. A- Recheck AW, check for and tx skull fx. B- Check and assess breathing (30 sec.), change O2 in ambulance. C- Check pulse, BP, wounds-minor hemorrhages, IV. D- Dressing- wounds, fx, burns. E-Evac, if haven't done so already.
Moving right along, Shabbat. It was nice. There are a bunch of people from a youth group called Netzer who weren't here because they had a group Shabbat. But there was about 3/4 of the whole group in. We had davening with a Belgian school group...because neither of us had a minyan independently. There were 3 others besides me (from the girls) at kabbalat Shabbat, then more people came for dinner. Te oneg was after that-- also chilled. Then I hung out after pople left to go out...because I wasn't going out on Fri. night... and played Jungle Speed with Arie, Aryeh Kaufman, and a/
6:30 pm
doctor, Baruch, who was with us over Shabbat. (He gave a lecture on medical ethics and halacha on Shabbat afternoon.) Then they all left to take care of someone and Moshe came by. Then Arie, Aryeh, and Baruch came back an we all played Jungle Speed, and then Moshe and I went for a walk (no comments about Shabbos walks-- it wasn't a date, and if it had been, he would have been 2-3 hours late). Then we came back, chilled with the others, then Moshe left, and the four of us were talking. And then it was midnight and the lights shut off, and we wrapped up and went to sleep.
Shabbat morning we had davening, lunch, the lecture, then some people went to practice more and I took a nap until seudah shlishit, woke up, ate, then we made Havdalah. There was sort of a kumsitz which basically involved Aryeh bringing his guitar and hima nd Arie playing and singing. Everyone else was studying.
Aryeh left and brought back some movies. I watched half of "Knocked Up," then went to go to sleep but got distracted by people talking about the test, so I stopped t talk, too, and eventually went to bed.
Today we had a lecture on Mass Casualty Incidents-- Ara"n-- and the rest of the day was practice.
Shloime asked Rebecca and I to help some of the weaker students, which I'm okay with. And then hen I was doing a PHTLS scenario with Danielle and Michael, Yuda told me to stick to the head and let the others do the rest of the assessment. On one hand, that's really positive, but on the other hand, it's like-- I hope I do as well on the test. I'm mostly worried about the backboarding and the second survey. Backboarding is dependent on who you're working with. But they said they're grading us individually. Secondary survey- let's go through that again- A- check consciousness, AW, skull fx. B- Assess breathing, hook up pt. to O2 tank in ambulance. C- check pulse, BP, minor hemorrhages, IV, D- Dressing- fx, burns, wounds, E- Evacuate, if haven't done so.
PHTLS itself is SSS- Check scene safety, stop and major bleeds- write time on forehead if applying tourniquet. A- Check consciousness, AW, c-spine. B- Expose chest, check breathing, apply Asherman on open chest wound(s), C- Check for any major hemorrhages, check skin, check pulse and capillary refill, check abdomen. D- PAL- Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light, Limbs- move them, feel, AVPU again, E- Expose body, full body check-- ignore burns, scrapes, bruises, fx, Recover. TNT-- Treat or Transport. Second Survey: A- AVPU, AW, B- Assess breathing, switch O2, C- Circulation- stop minor bleeds, assess pluse, BP, IV. D- Dressing- bandage small wounds, fx, burns, E- Evacuate (if haven't done so already). Okay, I know this mostly. I need to study diseases and s&s.
Oh-- Shock- BP down, HR up, Resps. up.
Head injury-- BP up, HR down, Resps. down.

Day 9: Monday, February 18, 2008
12:29 pm
Oh, double f. I forgot to write the time I tourniqueted Sharon's arm. I also forgot to feel her abdomen. F.
The written was okay-- I messed up ont he math-- I added in an extra zero and-- ugh! I know I did all right on the Ivrit-- damn, it's cold out here!
All right, this is-- oh, and at first I screwed up Sharon's BP. I just get so nervous on exams!
All right, it's over and done with, and there's nothign more I can do. I'm going to go upstairs, finish packing, shower-- or reverse those two-- and be back down in 3 hours. Maybe I'll read a bit as well.
Or just pack and read. I'm stressed.

*Sara's comment: midterm
I can't believe I didn't get a mention here when I used daytime minutes to call you and comfort you, like I do before EVERY test. I'm just saying. :) Glad you did well, though- not at all surprised, but still glad. (yes, I realize this comment is delayed, I just wanted to make my annoyance public and maybe earn a mention in a later post)*

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Attention, attention!

As of tomorrow (aka Sunday, Feb. 10) I will be Internet-less for 10 days, until Feb. 19. So if you reply to this, email me, or Facebook me, or message me on Facebook, I will not be able to reply. So call me.
If you do not have my number, look on Facebook, or call my house.

See you all Feb. 19/20!

February 8, 2008

4:18 pm
Wow! I'm actually ready for Shabbat early! I still have to call Bubby and Zaidy and Imma's cell phone to leave a voicemail for Grandpa. I really do have to remember to call him Thursday night.
In other news, yesterday I went to breakfast with Avigayil, Basi, and Moti; we went to a place called Angelo's, aka "Blondie's." It was late for breakfast-- like 10:30, but whatever. I had a sandwich and cocoa, both very good. After that we went to "The American Store," which had frozen J2 pizza! (among other things, but that stuck out at me) After that I took a bus to Eli's and we watched House and Juno, then he made a really good stir-fry for dinner, and then we went with the Agudah (Agudat HaStudentim) to Ikea. Ikea is fun.
We went on a scavenger hunt and spent a really long time looking for boots with green polka dots-- only to learnt hat the polka dots were stickers and someone took off the stickers! That's always fun.
There was alsoa restaurant-fast food place and I split a chocolate cakey thing with Eli-- it was good, but a little very sweet.
We wandered around Ikea a little more, he got some stuff for his apt., including a 29-shekel wok! It was awesome. Then we went back on the bus and came back to Bar Ilan and I slept over at Ilana's.
Today I came back, relaxed, took a nap, got up and got ready for Shabbat. And wrote this.
Tomorrow night I have to do laundry, do the cuffs on my pants, and pack for the MDA course. I hope I pass! Not that I'm planning on not passing, but it's a very intense 9 days.

February 8, 2008

4:18 pm
Wow! I'm actually ready for Shabbat early! I still have to call Bubby and Zaidy and Imma's cell phone to leave a voicemail for Grandpa. I really do have to remember to call him Thursday night.
In other news, yesterday I went to breakfast with Avigayil, Basi, and Moti; we went to a place called Angelo's, aka "Blondie's." It was late for breakfast-- like 10:30, but whatever. I had a sandwich and cocoa, both very good. After that we went to "The American Store," which had frozen J2 pizza! (among other things, but that stuck out at me) After that I took a bus to Eli's and we watched House and Juno, then he made a really good stir-fry for dinner, and then we went with the Agudah (Agudat HaStudentim) to Ikea. Ikea is fun.
We went on a scavenger hunt and spent a really long time looking for boots with green polka dots-- only to learnt hat the polka dots were stickers and someone took off the stickers! That's always fun.
There was alsoa restaurant-fast food place and I split a chocolate cakey thing with Eli-- it was good, but a little very sweet.
We wandered around Ikea a little more, he got some stuff for his apt., including a 29-shekel wok! It was awesome. Then we went back on the bus and came back to Bar Ilan and I slept over at Ilana's.
Today I came back, relaxed, took a nap, got up and got ready for Shabbat. And wrote this.
Tomorrow night I have to do laundry, do the cuffs on my pants, and pack for the MDA course. I hope I pass! Not that I'm planning on not passing, but it's a very intense 9 days.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Yesterday, aka February 6, 2008

2:18 pm
In Chashmonaiim! Rita and Dov picked me up last night, do I've been here since then. Last entry ended off with The Adventures of Moving a Bed That Opened If You Didn't Hold It Closed. Wonderful adventure...
Yesterday we had a half day of classes because it was Tuesday. (I waited to talk to Rachel, but she was sick. So I'm going to call later.) And after school I went home to pack and help clean.
I managed to get all my stuff back in the bags it came in-- the only extra stuff was stuff I had gotten here, like food and shampoo, which isn't going back to the States anyway.
Speaking of going back tot he States, I'm actually coming in 2 days later than I planned. Remember how Israir canceled its flights in March and was rebooking everyone? So the travel agent, Batya, emailed me back-- I've been re-booked on an El-Al flight leaving Israel 1 am Tuesday morning, March 25, and arriving in JFK at 7 am on Tuesday morning, March 25. This is happy for me for a few reasons: (a) I'm not being re-booked for an earlier flight (b) Leaving Tuesday morning/Monday night means I can stay for purim Meshulash (c) Leaving then means I can be at Bar Ilan for Purim (addition: and Shabbat), in Yerushalayim for Shushan Purim, and come back to Chashmonaiim on Monday and spend some time here and Rita and Dov will take me to the airport. Yay! ::big smile:: The downside is that 7 am on a weekday morning is not good timing as far as traffic. Maybe I'll see if Andrea and Yoni can come pick me up and I'll hang out by them, then Mom and Dad can come pick me up later-- or maybe Zaidy can come-- actually, that's not a bad idea. ..maybe Zaidy can come pick me up and-- unless Bubby and Zaidy are in Chicago then...but who knows? Anyway, I have almost 7 weeks to figure that out.
Back to Chashmonaiim. It's really nice here. First of all, it's WARM-- I'm sitting outside in short lseeves, a knee-length skirt, and bare legs. It's probably about 70 degrees. Which makes me realize that I have nowarm-weather Shabbat clothes. Worst comes to worst I get something here...crying shame...There's a slight breeze, it's sunny, the birds are chirping...
All right, there is a downside now-- I hear the muzzein (sp?) doing the call for prayer. But that's actually pretty far from here-- sound travels.
I'm going to go explore the yishuv a bit, then head back- do some studying. Because I really have to.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

February 5, 2008

9:04 am
About to finish the Navi shiur. So- a lot to talk about: Sunday night-- Adele's wedding. A girl from Shearim got married and many of the people from Shearim went to dance-- we all looked so different! Really good! In school you just-- come. Some people put on make-up, but for the wedding everyone got dressed up. The wedding was really nice-- my first Israeli wedding.

Yesterday, Monday, Feb. 4, about 25 of us went to a few of the kvarot up North-- Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess, the Rambam, Rabbi Akiva and the Ramchal, and Amuka. It was incredible. You felt the holiness and spirituality at the kvarot, like it was tangible. Wild. (addition, not in my handwritten journal: I wish I had better words for it, but I don't. It was a spirituality and kedusha, but instead of those being abstract concepts, there was almost a tangible quality about it-- it was in the air, and you could feel it on your skin. I really wish I had proper words for it.) Rabbi Levy came and brought his son Moshe.
--Rabbi Pavlov just told us about a pigua in Dimona-- there were two bombers. The first one blew himself up in a cafe, and one woman was killed and her husband severely injured

12:03 pm
(continuing) There was an MD at his clinic nearby, and after the pigua, he went to treat the wounded, and the first person he found was wearing explosives. So he backed away and called someone, and there was a senior police officer there, and he shot the person 4x, and then the guy wasn't dead, so he shot him again. Really-- hashgacha pratit.

Okay, so back to the kvarot-- We went to Rabbi Meri Ba'al HaNess first, then we drove to to the Rambam's kever, then to Rabbi Akiva and the Ramchal. Rabbi Levy spoke a bit before we went to each kever and told us a bit about each Tzadik. Then we had lunch in Teveriyah, on the boardwalk-- it was great weather-- sun, warm-- by the way, I now understand how you can have all 4 seasons in one day in Israel-- it was winter in the early morning (rainy and cold), spring in the mid-morning (sunny and cool-warm), summer in the afternoon (sunny, very warm), and fall in the evening (cool, crisp). That was a cool experience. Overall the weather was perfect.
Oh, there was a really cool...phenonemon, for lack of a better word. There's a spot in the forest on the way to Amuka where the road angles/slopes down, but if you put the car (vehicle) in neutral, it goes backward-- up the slope. Logically, if the road slopes down and your car is in neutral, the car should go down-- gravity. But on this road, the car goes up. THAT is not normal-- that is supernatural. And wild.
After we got back, I had a yoga class in my apartment; a few people came, and it was good- a good class. As that was going on, the 6th floor was moving up...and that happened all night. Including moving beds. Bracha and Shelly moved one of the beds from downstairs upstairs. The fun part was getting it into the room and moving around the other two beds-- in and out of the room-- including bruises, pokes, and smushed hands. Anyway, sof davar, the beds are in and Bracha and Shelly were up until 5:30 and 4:30 am respectively. Oh, and another girl moved in. So now the apt. has 6 girls' stuff in it-- and there is so much STUFF there and it...looks like moving day.
Well, I have to pack up my stuff today, I'm glad it's a 1/2 day.
Speaking of packing, I'm going to Rita and Dov's tonight! And Sunday I start MDA...and I might not be able to extend my insurance through MDA, which would be a problem because then I won't have Israeli insurance for ~2 weeks...not good. And this pen is dying, so I'm going to end here.

February 3, 2008

12:38 pm
I spoke to Esther about leaving early, and she was very chilled about it. Which is good. I liked that she didn't try to push me in any direction.
I also tutored today-- a new girl; it's her first day, I liked it-- if I come back and am around here, I'd definitely tutor.
But before all this, I talked to Sara! I miss her! (if you're reading this, I really can't wait for a walking home phone call) I've also got my first 3 Shabbatot planned out: home, Cooper Shabbaton, then Cooper...unless I don't go to Chicago until after the summer, because I've got to be in NY for a few things in the May-June-July time period,,,so I'd be coming in to NY I might go to Chicago after the Chagim, because I know I want to be home for the Chagim...I'll see. Who knows where my life will be in 6 or 8 months.

Motzei Shabbos, February 2, 2008

8:02 pm
On the 2 bus, waiting-- wait, nm, it's moving-- TBC...

10:50 pm-- no, wait, 11:25 pm
(continuing from the pervious entry that ended with, "Then Imma and Abba called") and they both think I should stay until Thursday...but I don't think I will. Lis's theory-- we went through that. Anyway, so Imm and Abba called, Abba gave me a bracha, I talked to them, etc. Then my hosts called and said I could come over, so I did. I then called Andrea and Yoni, and Bubby and Zaidy, and talked to them. And Rita.
Anywya, Shabbat was ncie. I ate at my hosts' the Borensons, Fri. night; there were 9 other people there-- 4 guys, 5 girls; very Lubavitch crowd, actually- and one guy who goes to 2 yeshivot-- the Mir and something else. Yehuda Aptow-- and we both feel like we've met, but we can't figure out HOW.
Anywho, I went to the Kotel Friday night, and as usual it was great. I had a great conversation with a woman named Bat-Tzion. It also occurred to me, when I was watching the chayalim dancing-- that would never happen anywhere's an incredible sight to see tons of uniformed soldiers passing around kipot and start dancing...
Anywho, so I slept well. I went to shulo with Mis. Borenson, and there was a kiddush in honor of one of the member's b-day. Then I went to the Kotel because (a) I wanted-- eeew, yuckyuckyuckyuckyuck, eeew. Smush, deaddeaddeaddeaddead- there was a bug. It's now dead. In case you didn't pick that up...back to (a). I wanted to go to the Kotel because (a) I wanted to, and (b) to hear Bircat Kohanim at the Kotel. So I did. Then there was another kiddush, this time in honor of Shabbat, and then I went to lunch at Rabbi Stern's-- a Chabad Rabbi. I ended up leaving early because I was exhausted and not hungry. So I went back to my hosts, took a map, then Chana (Lustiger-- one of the girls I met last night who ate at the Borenson's) woke me up for Seudah Shlishit, and we had that, then Dr. Borenson came back from shul, made Havdalah, I packed up my stuff, helped clean up, then came back to the dorm, said bye to Pnina (who is feeling a bit better), and went downstairs to hang out with the girls from the 6th floor, who will be moving up here shortly.
Oh, I forgot something important that I found out on Friday-- Israir cancelled ALL their flights in March and are re-booking everyone on different airlines. SO the travela gent, Batya Lebinger (...?), emailed me asking when I'd like to come back. So I said the same time-- midnight flight-- but on Monday instead of Sunday. So we will see how that goes.
And on that note, I'm off to read a bit of Tom Sawyer, followed by going to sleep because I'm tired. And it's 12:30, and I'd like to TRY to get to school early tomorrow...maybe?

February 1, 2008

9:33 am
In my bed, because down comforters are warm and the dood isn't ready for me to have a hot (sort of, sometimes) shower.
So, updates on my Shabbat plans: Penina is sick, so she's not going to the Old City with me. Actually, it was supposed to be me going to the Old CIty with her; she made the arrangements, and then yesterday she got sick. She was hoping to feel better by today, but she's still coughing and has a fever. And she has to fly out motza"sh, so she's going to stay home/in the dorm for Shabbat. I called Sandie (dorm mother) to let her know; she's going to see if any of the girls from the 6th floor (who will be moving up by Monday anyway) will be around for Shabbat.
So I'm going to the Old CIty for Shabbat alone- it'll be good for me, right? I'm a little nervous about getting there on my own because I've never taken the bus there myself-- I've gone with Rachel, who only takes cabs. If Shabbat is 4:30-- the person I'm staying at told me to come at 4. But I don't know what time the buses stop running-- I think it's 2 hours before Shabbat. But anyway, I think I'll shower at about 11-11:15, assuming the dood is ready, then eat lunch, and leave around 12:30-1. It takes an hour to get to the Old City by bus, but that's once you get on the bus; the bus I need only runs every 1/2 hour or so. Worst thing that happens is that I wander around the Old City myself. Anyway, once I get to the Old City, I want to drop off the thing of rugelach I got for the people we're-- I'm-- eating lunch at, so that'll take time, and I want to see if I can find a place to use Internet, then I'll go to my hosts' house.

3:05 pm- In the Rova
So I'm early-- REALLY early. I took at bus in at about 12:40, got in, davened mincha at the Kotel, then went to find my hosts for lunch to drop off rugelach. After that I went to try to find an internet cafe-- No luck; it's erev Shabbat, so everything closes early. I went to find my-- wait! exciting interruption! I just got asked for directions and gave them! (shut up all of you who are mocking me-- I successfully gave direction and it's, like, my 5th (?) time here.) We now resume our regular programming-- I went to find my hosts for the rest of SHabbat-- and I did that successfully, too. Now if only I was so successful about figuring out what to do about Shearim...
Mom and Dad both think I should stay the last 2 days. I'm just so...not happy. Lis says, "You went to Israel to have fun! Have fun!"...but ls leaving early quitting? I've never been a quitter-- I'm stubborn as hell and don't want to be wrong. Ever. I just hate being wrong.
I digress. Where was I? Aha, figured out where I need to go. Then I was on my way back to the Rova to sit and wrote and I bumped into Yariv! Let\s discuss random, shall we? Although really, there are no coincidences in life, it's just G-d staying hidden. Playing "hide-and-go-seek." Then Imma and Abba called/

January 31, 2008

5:35 pm
There was no school today again. But this time it actaully snowed! When I got up, there was actually snow outside. Sandie called and told us (me) that there was no school and to tell my flatmates, and that there was going to be a shiur by Rabbi Levy at 5, at school. Which is where I am now.I enjoy multi-taksing.
So what did I do in between the phone call from Sandie and now? Well, I went back to sleep until about 1 pm on-and-pff. Then I woke up and had breakfast, studied a bit for MDA, then out away most of my laundry-- I switched rooms last night because the other room is warmer. So now I'm moving stuff. It's not so much-- I'm almost done.
I have to figure out next week, though. I wanted to go to Rbu and Chaya Leah, because they're in Bayit Vagan, and I have to be there early Sun. morning. I don't want to have to schlep stuff to the youth hostel, where I'll be staying, but I don't know what I'm going to do. If I stay in Har Nof, I need linens, pillows, towels, etc. Then I have to take that to Bayit Vagan Youth Hostel. And I don't want to schlep it. If I go to Rita's

7:18 pm
then I can leave everything there, I just have to figure out how to get to Bayit Vagan Sunday morning.

In short, I'm not happy. Besides being homesick, I'm bored. Yes, the classes are fine, but I like 3 or 4 out of 12 or 13 classes. So I might leave Tuesday night when Dov comes to bring in Basi. That could work. Then I'll just have to get from Chashmonaiim to Bayit Vagan. Maybe I can--

10:20 pm
Took a break to help Rachel bring her stuff down, make dinner, show Jana (new flatmate) around, and take care of Penina. Then eat dinner and talk to Moshe. Oh, and Sandie called. I talked to her for a bit. I think I'm going to leave a couple days early-- instead of leaving at the end of the week, I'll leave after class on Tuesday, and go to Rita and Dov's. Then I'll be there until motza"sh or Sunday, and then start MDA. I think that'll be the best. Because I'm really not happy at Shearim. I think the teachers are great, butt I need more of an equal-level class. Miriam Shaul and Rebbetzin Kaganoff said they could get me a high-level tutor for chavruta time, but...I don't want to have that for only 2 or 3 days...that's not good for me.
I could tutor for those few days-- but is that fair to the person I'm tutoring to give her 2 or 3 days with one person and then the tutor leaves? So I'll talk to Miriam or Esther on Sunday.
I'll talk to Mom in a little bit-- wow, she was supposed to have called already-- and discuss this with her. It was a good thing to try, and I like it, but I'm bored. Maybe I'll try Drisha when I get back to NY, or do some serious chevrusizing (clearly I didn't just make that word up...) when I get back. I'm also looking for different kinds of classes, I think. There was a guest lecturer, Rabbi Manning, for Rebbetzin Pavlov's Level I Hashkafa calss, and he was discussing surrogate motherhood. I went to that one-- with a lot of Level II students as well! That's something I'd like. Midreshet Rachel's afternoon classes are like that, except it's not really designed for jump-in, jump-out. That's the feedback I'll give. I think that this wasn't the right school for me, but sometimes you have to try things that aren't right in order to find what's right.
I know that I do miss learning, and that's something I want to do more of when I get back. Maybe if I was at Shearim for a longer time I'd take up the offer for a tutor, but not this time. I think I'm happier, now that I've made this decision.

January 30, 2008

1:25 pm
In school. It's a snow day. "So why is Lauren in schoolif it's a snow day?" you ask? The answer is because I didn't know it was a snow day until I got to school because the person who was supposed to call the people in my apartment to let us know didn't know she was supposed to call. So we didn't find out until we got here.
But everything worked out nicely because (a) I would be very bored in the apartment, and (b) this was I can use the internet and computers to my heart's content because no one is waiting in line/for them, and the internet is on, and there's no class!
There's a couple other girls here, so I'm not the only one here, which would be freaky and I would not stay. But I'm not. Which is good.
So-- snow here. It's not really snow, it's more like slush-rain. The ground is covered with slush, not snow, and not plain puddles. I'll take pictures and put them up once I'm settled at Rita's.
Yeah, so my flatmates are moving out at the end of the week-- Rachel on Friday, and Penina on motza"sh. It is going to be very lonely and very freaky/scary and weird being alone in the apt. But other girls are supposed to be moving in, which makes me feel better. The 6th floor apt's girls are moving up, just don't know exactly when.
What else...I miss NY-- not as much NYC, but my family and friends. This is the longest I've ever been away, and I really miss them. It's also the time shift-- I'm not used to there being 7 hours between us-- max 3, when I call people in CA, or when I was there. It's still weird. I love it here, but IU can;t wait to get back to NY to see everyone there.

Back to playing catch-up, because apparently that's a new hobby of mine

The next few entries will have the date in the subject and each date will have its own entry. I think that's a smarter way to do it.