Monday, December 26, 2005

No excuses

The things you learn when dealing with people who don't like you...

You know, you are fully capable of dealing with your emotions. When someone makes a comment, there's a conscious decision that goes on that goes on in a split second in your head. How to react?

You can choose to see it as an insult; you can choose to let it slide. There's no "I can't help it." It's something I've realized recently. You have the capability to decide whether to get angry or offended. And I've seen it happen-it's fascinating. X makes a careless remark, which causes Y to hate X forever. But Y could have stopped and thought Hm...I'm sure X didn't mean it that way...people aren't malicious by nature...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Those Wild-Eyed Radicals...

One of my jobs at work is organizing an archive of "alternative press." Alternative press is (like it sounds), anything printed that is not mainstream. I've learned some interesting things:

1. Only the people who call themselves "left" write alternative press pamphlets. Does that mean that "right" is mainstream? ;)

2. There's a lot of hatred. Most of these magazines, pamphlets, etc., are extremely incendiary (and I don't mean flammable ;) ), to the point that I actually had to put some of them down and take a deep breath (not 'cause I was angry with them, but 'cause I was angry AT them-for spreading lies, etc. FWI: There are lots of "Palestinian" reviews that are downright frightening.)

3. Everyone who publishes this "alternative press" is sure that everyone else hates them, and is out to get them, specifically, and so has to strike before the enemy. It's really weird.

4. There was an overabundance of "New"s and "Left"s as part of the title. People really want to show that their cause is different than everyone else's. (I guess it's like on a personal description on a blog, where the person writes "I am unique," like everyone else.)

Many many people today take on Purposes and run, very far, with them because they have nothing else to cling to. It's kinda sad.

Monday, December 19, 2005

History + Theatre

So what's the connection between a frum actress and history? I'm not quite sure yet, but I'm almost there. There is certainly some kind of strange connection between history and theatre.

So far, my two favorite history teachers used to be very involved in theatre, in addition to my boss at the rare books library.

Maybe it's a matter of giving over some kind of message? An inherant teaching thing? I'm not sure yet...but it's something I'm thinking about.

There are so many musicals (very) roughly based in history: 1776, Les Mis (because of which, incidentally, I thought the commoners "lost" the French Revolution until 7th grade), Ragtime, Assassins, even Chess, for crying out loud!

I feel like there should be a class teaching history through musicals. I think it would be fascinating.

Addendum: I was thinking about it more (especially 'cause I just bought the "Grimmoire" for Wicked), and I decided I would do it as a workshop if I ever make a troupe/drama school thing for frum high school girls. (Stx, get the notebook-Did you know that Stephen Schwartz and the producer wrote the entire story for Wicked on notecards before they started anything? Sound familiar? ;) )

A note on music

The שער שירה is just below the שער תשובה

I just want to point out the amazing power of music-to hurt and to heal, to create and to destroy. How one can live without it I just don't know.

I often find that I can express myself better through song than through prose. Not that I write music-I plagiarize shamelessly, but I wish I could. There is so much that you could say in a song. So much that is not said that is meant. For example, the other day, I sooooo wanted to sing "The Dangling Conversation." Instead, I was called intolerant and judgmental. Ah well. I still know I was right.

Sheeeeeeeee's back!!

So I was going through all the posts I saved as drafts during the semester and found some fascinating things. I'd basically written two or three words to describe entire emotions or thought processes. Dunno, it just taught me something about myself. But I'm glad to see that while there was an exceptionally depressed one, there was also a positive, bright one. And, as always, I tried to find a lesson from them ;)

I'll post two of them now (one kinda leads into the other):

1. The first was written one night when I came home from a community event. I was extremely depressed, because my thoughts the entire night while smiling and nodding at people I hadn't seen since high school were: They have no idea who I am anymore. They don't care. They think I'm weird 'cause I'm studying history for the sole reason that I like it! Why can't I have a close connection with one of my high school teachers? Why doesn't anyone think I'm special for being me? Why do I have to fit into everyone else's box?

'Tis interesting. During the semester, I'm usually very busy and don't have time to talk to many people, much less set aside time for serious Torah learning, etc. (aside from Partners in Torah, which I fit in 'cause it's ABSOLUTELY necessary), and I get depressed 'cause I have nobody to talk to. Strange? Nah...

Yeah, anyway. I'm over that.

*twiddles thumbs*

2. The second one is about my advisor, who is an absolute gem. He cares about his students to a degree that I haven't seen since...well...high school! ;) What I find about him is that he makes me believe that I can do things that I've always thought I couldn't. So the other day (actually, now it's the other month), he told me to apply to Yale Graduate School for a Ph.D. Me? L'll me? I don't know anything! I'm not that good! you really think so?

*Prepare for another self-analysis*

It taught me a lesson. YOU can change a life. YOU have the power to take someone's lowsy self-esteem and bring it up. Because Dr. G. believed that I could do it, I made the effort to prove him right. It's amazing the difference a few kind words will do.

(Incidentally, I'm not at all saying that my teachers in high school didn't do that-they DID! It's interesting what you see from hindsight.)

Now...that wasn't very coherant, was it? Oh well.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Not thinking coherantly yet.

No time to post 'till after December 19, so you get the song that most closely describes my thoughts.

Time it was and what a time it was
It was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago, it must be
I have a photograph
Treasure your memories
They're all that's left of you.

-Simon and Garfunkel

Please daven for a refuah shelama for Shayndl Rachel bas Sima Leah.