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Classes & Health

As awful a smell as it is, I’m glad that the hospital smell is a globally recognized smell.

So, I sprained my foot. It’s funny, because when I went in to have it checked out (which was an experience in itself! Riding the buses by myself with little idea of where exactly I was going—it’s turning me into an expert at asking for help!) the doctor looked a little confused when I said it wasn’t a repeat injury, that I didn’t play sports—I literally sprained my foot from simply walking to school. A very dumb injury. I wasn’t given very exact directions on how to treat it that first time, but when I went back I was told more about how to take care of it.

The scary thing was, however, that they wanted me to have an x-ray to make sure it wasn’t broken. I’m so, so thankful that Monica Wasserbach from the IFSA team lives here, because when I called her to tell her I was having everything checked out, she and her daughter took the time to make sure I got to where I needed to be, calling the doctors and paying for taxi rides and everything—I would have been so lost and freaked out if I’d had to do this alone, and she was honestly a saint for helping me do all these fairly overwhelming Adult Things. The x-ray was fine, I haven’t been called back about it, so clearly the results weren’t shocking, but still: going through that on my own would’ve been awful!

Unfortunately, it’s kept me from travelling these past two weeks as I’ve diligently rested for the last two Fridays and Saturdays. Which is a huge bummer: I’ve hardly traveled since I’ve been here, and it’s awful.

But good news from Sunday: I’ve got an internship now! I’ll be helping the Oral Division of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry of Hebrew University digitize and organize their written interviews and testimonies. I start next week! The interview was the least stressful experience I’ve ever had, and I’m hoping that every interview will go as smoothly as it did!

As far as classes go, I’ve begun researching for a paper for my Holocaust course, and once I’ve worked my way through that, I’ll start making headway on my paper for Issues in Israeli Society. My Holocaust paper is, tentatively, going to examine how women “performed” their gender within the concentration camps, namely Auschwitz-Birkenau and probably Ravensbruck as well (by “perform” I mean, how did they show their gender? I’ve read a few testimonies that describe women making the effort to personalize their prison uniforms in order to make them, if not more comfortable, then more feminine and individual—that’s the sort of information I’m looking for).  For Issues in Israeli Society, I’m going to examine the role that Holocaust survivors played in developing Israeli society: what were the immigration numbers, what sort of jobs did they hold, was there any controversy surrounding their positions in society, did they play any role in the actual formation of the state, etc. Continuity and Change in Modern Jewish History is getting easier because we’re covering things I know less about; also, we’re currently going over American Jewish history, and my concentration is in American history, so I’ve been finding this section particularly fascinating! We’ll be watching “The Jazz Singer” this or next week, and I’m very excited for it.

But other than the foot thing, everything’s been fairly normal! Classes are getting easier and better—they’ve created a slower Aleph-level Hebrew class for those who have been struggling with it, and I’m so relieved because I’ve been very stressed out about how poorly I’ve been doing in the lessons, so taking a class that won’t be going at a breakneck speed is a huge relief!

Will write again next week! Hopefully I’ll do something exciting over the weekend, now that my foot will be properly cared for.

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