Here at Drew University, in Asbury Hall, on the third floor (otherwise known as Spirituality House), in room 301, reality knocks at my door, rearing its comlicating, fascinating head.
I finished classes for this fall semester yesterday. It’s been a busy semester. I’ve successfuly held down two jobs, one as a rather half-assed barista at The Other End, Drew’s student-run late night coffee house; The other job as an intern for Limmud NY (register now because prices go up on Friday). With Limmud, I’ve been a commuter, hopping on a NJ Transit train for the city twice a week. I’ve even been a telecommuter, for God’s sake, hopping online three or four days a week to put in more Limmud hours.
On top of the paid work, I’ve worked the nearly full-time volunteer job of Life & Arts editor of The Acorn, Drew’s newspaper. I feel that I’ve brought the Life & Arts section of the paper up a couple of notches and I’m proud of the work I do for The Acorn.
And of course, there’s my ordinary classes, of which I’ve taken four, and enjoyed three. I’ll ignore the one I didn’t like and just say that Intro to Journalism, History of the Early Church, and The Jewish God: From Biblical Birth to Modern Death were all fantastic. The Jewish God, essentially a survey of the history of Jewish theology, has also been a great excuse to grow my library; I won’t be selling back any books from that course.
I travelled a lot, a little unexpectedly this semester. I had to hoof down to Dallas for a few days when my grandmother, Ann Wilensky passed away a few weeks ago. I learned some more family lore while there, which was great. In particular, who knew that my great grandfather was a kosher butcher? According to one cousin, he was also a sofer.
To escapse Thanksgiving, I headed to Spain thanks to my mother and her boyfriend. There, we encountered Rambam in Cordoba (stayed at the Hotel Maimonides, no less) along with his Muslim counterpart, Ibn Rushd. We also visited some gorgeous old synagogues and mosques in both Cordoba and Toledo.
At Rosh Hashanah, I read Torah for the first time since my Bar Mitzvah and was surprised by my ability to do so and my enjoyment of it. More on my Jewish journey this semester in part II of this post.
It’s been a busy, but good semester. Tomorrow, I start working for Limmud full-time and in a few short days, I’ll move into a sublet apartment in Brooklyn until school starts again in January.