Wednesday, June 26, 2013

call me a whining old lady but....

it's incredibly depressing to write things and have no comments at all.

argue with me! tell me I'm an opinionated, awful, bitter, terrible person!
tell me you love my writing style!
or just check in so I know that those few commenters still read this!

I've actually posted some comments on other blogs just to get some traffic over here!

I guess it's like DIP3 tells me, I'm really stuck in the 80's: opinion, style, even ability to attract blog readers.


poor me

I feel so bad for Paula Deen

I've never actually eaten anything produced by Paula Deen (uh, it's not kosher) and I've never been to her restaurant, bought her housewares, or followed her show, career, magazine, etc.    Though I have watched her Youtube clip of her making classic southern macaroni and cheese. Just watching it will freeze your arteries.  Globs and globs of cheese and butter, and another heap o' cheese and more bubbling cheese....

And she's from the south and clearly doesn't have a racially diverse following, which is allowed.  But I do not get the total shunning, vilification, character assassination of this woman.  Her endorsements are dropping her faster than you'd drop a fresh deep fried ball of mozarella.


Because she used racial slurs 20, 30, years ago? Or even if she used them 10 years ago? Or 6 months ago?  It wasn't during a conversation with someone, it wasn't while she was being interviewed by Matt Lauer or Oprah or Regis or Kathy or NPR. There isn't an outraged individual the day after, talking and complaining loudly to the press. So why this destroying of the woman and her career?

I'm not in favor at all of racial slurs. They are hurtful, harmful, create barriers, offend people, divide people, etc.

But hasn't Paula Deen earned something for all the companies she has associated her name with?
Hasn't she really been the Queen of Southern (unhealthy) Cooking?

There seems to be no sense of loyalty, and worse, almost no outspoken verbal support! Why not?

It's somewhat frightening to see how tenuous some well known persona's popularity can be.   It's scary to think that the media and the press and even the American population can like someone so much and then....just drop them.  Just like that.

opinions, anyone?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Routines...And Rituals....Not So Different From Theirs....

I mean, of course ours are different. From a Torah, religious, spiritual perspective.  Of course.

But I mean the idea of routines, rituals, etc.

For example,  the non jewish world has a LOT of rituals and things-everyone-does when making a wedding. The rehearsal dinners, the parties, the planning of the parties, who's in charge of what, preparing their vows, who's in charge of holding the ring, the order of who walks down, etc. etc.

So some of the things we do which seem so "when did it become a ritual it's cuz everyone does it" is really just the way a society functions.

A number of years ago I posted the ritual of the Giving Out The Black & Whites On The Day Of Hanachas Tefilin.  That was a  major important milestone ritual for bar mitzva boys in Monsey.

Or so I thought. Now my sister in the Midwest told me she had to do it for her son, too.  Who knew?!?

Here's another one. Maybe not a ritual, more like a rite-of-passage.

YBS1 is in the Mir in Israel and wants to get into the dorm.
So he has to be at the yeshiva 7:00 a.m. Shacharis for 4 months, in order to gain entry.  It was a rule that made sense, but I didn't realize it's A Thing.

"Aaahhh, he wants to get into the dorm, yeah?! 7 a.m. shacharis for four months steady, no? Woo, ganz choshuv, ganz choshuv"

"So, eh, I ah, hear, your son, he wants to get into the dorm, l'maisa 4 months 7 a.m. shacharis, not so poshut, he must really want it, good for him, good for him!"

"So how's YBS doin' over dere, in holy Yerushalayim, in the Mir? Good? Good! He's in a dira, he's in the dorm, what's the situation over there? Oh, he wants to be in the dorm? It's a goal? Good, good to have goals, gotta have goals.  So, he can get up early every day for four months and make it to the 7:00 a.m. shacharis?! Wow, I didn't know he was such a shacharis guy. Good for him!"

Anyway, I just spoke to him.  He's not doing it.  7:00 a.m. was too early, and all the guys in that dorm are leaving after succos while he's staying, and he'd be with some "random israelis" which wouldn't L'maisa be such a gevaldiga shidduch for him, so , he's back to later shacharis at the shteebs.  (all my words, not his)

But it was a great four months of conversation

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pressure, or what if I don't have a B.A. in 18 months?

Dip 3 is back from Israel for one year.
She wanted to go to Touro, and did.  She felt an all girls/jewish school was the best environment for a good Bais Yakov girl, especially after the spiritual highs and gains of a year in our holy city of Jerusalem.

And it worked, for one year.  But they don't really have the right classes for her degree, so she decided to switch to a CUNY school.

It is likely her schooling will take another 18 months - 2 years (four semesters, maybe less if she can squeeze in summers and 21 credits per semester).

She feels pressure.  People's comments such as, "WHEN are you going to be finished???? And that's ONLY with a BACHELORS DEGREE?????"

Yes, she would like to marry a boy who will learn for a short while.  Yes, she will work to support. Yes, she knows that she might still be in school and he'll be in Yeshiva and they will need financial help (actually, help denotes adding to. She will need full support) to live. And she (and we) are ok with that.  But the world seems to think you are slacking off or unfocused or just something WRONG if you don't do a BA in one year and an MS or MA in another 18 months.

Why are we pressuring our girls so much?
This isn't a complaint post about the merits/disadvantages of a jewish organized college program.
  I will admit I had my years of skepticism, but then I realized that it's not about the program, it's about the qualifications and talents and abilities of the girls attending.  You can  be a great therapist or a lousy teacher regardless of what school/program  you attend. 

So when you call me about a shidduch for my daughter, she hopes to get a dual degree in online marketing/computer programming. And that program is not available through ITT, Reizel Reit, Bulka, Sara Schneirer, Florida University, Charter Oak.

And she enjoys going to classes.  The online classes program isn't a match for everyone.
I hope a perspective spouse will understand that.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You're Getting a degree in Education? Or Speech? Really?

Without giving away too much of my personal information, I have been in the field of Special Education for almost.... for a long, long time.

(big blank where I deleted my opinion of myself)

Which is why I think I am somewhat qualified to comment here.

I think too many girls are going into Speech or Special Education who do not have certain qualities essential for those fields.

in no particular order:

limited English vocabulary
limited expressive vocabulary
poor eye contact
dull personalities
lack of exposure to a variety of reading genres and materials
limited knowledge of basic facts (called fund of knowledge)

It worries me.  You cannot go into special ed because you want to make a lot of money. It is Chinuch. Unless you will move up the chain in the public school system, you're income will be limited.

You cannot go into a field like this, planning to work one-on-one privately without mentors or classroom experience or peer review.

If you somewhat mumble, are not articulate, and have weak or bland facial expressions, you may not be the best person for this chosen field.

Just because you want a job around people (vs. accounting, computers, graphics, which involve computers or numbers) doesn't mean you are cut out to diagnose, remediate, motivate, teach, inspire, etc.

You don't have to have gone to Camp Simcha, been a Bnos Leader, camp head counselor, etc., to be good at this. But you have to have shown some aptitude somewhere to someone.

Perhaps an aptitude test which indicates strengths and weaknesses.

I'd love to be proven wrong, in years to come.

Am I on target, or do ya'll think I'm a whining teaching has-been who feels threatens by youngsters??
My daughter called me after I dropped her off at home. From the house phone.

"I think I left my phone in the car, can you call it and see if it's in the back seat?"
"Sure," I answered. "I'll let you know, or I'll bring it in."

I called her phone, and sure 'nuff, there it was, in the back seat, ringing away.

So I sent her a text saying "It's in the car"

"From My Young Israel Days...."

I've joined a gym!
Yay!  Actually, ouch, big time. But that's not the main point, here (though I LOVE the zumba class!)

The music is....current. popular. loud. and goyish.

Which really doesn't bother me, just the loudness does.  It's actually funny,somewhat, or very sad (to me) that now I know a lot of the tunes playing in stores, malls, and public places. 

But every so often one of the "older" instructors plays oldies music, or tunes I remember from my teen and early 20's years.  And I hum along. If it's really loud, I actually sing along! No embarrassed teenaged children hanging around me to roll their eyes or snort!

In today's cardio sculpt class, a song I remember from eons ago came on, and I was humming to the beat. Sort of a distraction, from focusing on the pain of lifting weights.  And the woman next to me said, "I remember this, too! From my Young Israel days!"

I wasn't sure what to answer her. I never went to a Young Israel shul.  I went to a Bais Yakov school.   A lot of us listened to English music.  It really wasn't such a big deal. Or if it was, no one in our lives told us so.  I really love music, and singing, and singing along with music.  And I'll never get ABBA or The Mammas and the Poppas or anything sung by Julie Andrews out of my head. 

But I'm closer to .... well, over 40, and I don't really care if someone knows why I know the songs with all the lyrics, or why I'm humming along.  Who really cares if it's because we grew up differently than we are now?! 

Should I have told her, "Oh! It's from my Washington Heights days"?  What does that mean? Where I lived had nothing to do with it, because there were girls in my class who didn't listen to English music.

I think we are just so uncomfortable with what we may have been like when we were younger, or what we did, that even as we approach lower middle age, we are still apologizing and trying to explain why we do something.

Or do I have it all wrong?  I think I've grown spiritually over the past 30 years, but am I wrong?

I had an issue with a long time friend who told me (also at the gym!) "my little thing to become frummer was wearing pantyhose with my short socks.  If I don't wear a long skirt, and part of my leg is showing, I think it's right to cover it with hose. That's just my way of becoming a little bit frummer."


Monday, June 3, 2013

Just Checking In

Does anyone check this blog to see if I've written something?

I kind of stopped because I received almost no comments.

so just let me know, and I'll start observing and pontificating again