Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Things That Make Me Happy (Because Sometimes I Need a Reminder)

Note to self: Remember these things when you feel sucky. Remember that these things make you happy. Remember that you have lots of things to make you happy. Be happy.

  • Good friends
  • Fabulous weather
  • Columbia's campus
  • Hanging out outside on campus with good friends in fabulous weather
  • Grade inflation (which apparently my lit TA does not believe in)
  • My summer internship (which is NOT a job, which may NOT turn into a job, thank you very much)
  • My sister who is visiting me for Shabbos
  • Flip-flops and red pedicures
  • Making fun of mistakes that are not my fault (apparently, they're really good at complimenting each other: "You're the best" "No, you're the best" ...)
  • Kosher for Pesach coffeemakers and diet Coke
  • Reading good books
  • Thinking
  • Making up ridiculous plans about aquariums on campus
  • Making up ridiculous plans about renting out my siblings on Craigslist (which has not yet provided me with an apartment for the summer, but I still have time, right?)
  • Totally gratuitous blog posts


At 3/28/07, 10:30 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

I too should make myself such a list right now, especially as the pre-pesach workload seems to be dragging me down. Don't worry, be happy, right? maybe? yipes..

At 3/29/07, 6:24 AM, Blogger Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh said...

I had a camper over the summer who was failing in school, academically and socially, and was diagnosed with a mental disorder that year.

Since then, I have been compiling a list of articles from my school's newspaper about slumping, GPA pressures, depression, importance of doing things that you enjoy, and other comforting topics.. Whenever I feel upset about something, I return to my filing cabinet and pull out one of these articles.

I called the camper, by far my most difficult, six months later, and he says that things have been totally different this year, for the better. Not everything that makes you happy makes me happy, but there's a good chance that it does...

At 3/30/07, 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I've been meaning to say this for awhile and I just haven't felt that it would be nice to say in person, so I guess you've left me no resort but to say it on your blog. You know, you really have some very interesting thoughts and things to say about your life and about life at Columbia. It's really great that you are thankful for your friends and hanging out on campus and all that good stuff. You also don't seem to have a shortage of comments, be they praiseworthy or critical, for the Columbia community and the Columbia Orthodox community. But then when you switch out of the blogosphere and into the real world, suddenly your voice is gone; suddenly you have nothing to say, not even a friendly hello as you pass by on the way to and from EC. I don't think I need everyone in the world to talk to me or even to say hi, but it's not so nice to purposely look down and avert your eyes so you can avoid greeting a person with a "Good morning," or a, "Have a good Shabbos," or even a, "How are you," once in awhile. These are common courtesies that people in this world grant to each other, and it is especially important, I think, between fellow Jews. A few kind words can really go a long way in turning that "cold" community into a quite friendly and warm one, even for your last 2 months of school. I don't mean to be confrontational or overly critical, it just seems that for someone who has so much to say in private (i.e. your blog), and often times quite intelligent things at that, you have so very little to say in public, and it's not very nice.

Have a good Shabbos.

At 3/30/07, 9:14 AM, Blogger Eli7 said...

Dear Anon,

I certainly don't ever mean to be rude or not nice. My guess is that I probably don't say hello because I am shy and I don't know you very well and I feel like it wouldn't make a difference to you. And then I do the awkward head nod or half-smile, and well, it's awkward...

The funny thing about blogs is that you can know a lot about someone from her blog but that person doesn't know even who is reading it. So though you may feel like you know me, I may not feel like I know you. (Of course, this all a bit hard with the comment being anonymous and all...)

[Also, someone who I know relatively well mentioned to me recently that I don't say hi to him when I see him going into EC, so perhaps I should go to the eye doctor and get my glasses checked because I certainly would say hi to this person if I noticed him...]

But, you are right, and I will try to make a better effort. I'm just shy, really. It takes me a long time to feel comfortable enough with someone to share my thoughts--something that's really easy to do behind the minimal veil of anonymity that my blog offers me.

At 3/30/07, 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your response. I'm sorry I had to do this anonymously; it's very unlike me, but I figured that it might come across as mean and confrontational if I would have said it to your face or with my name. Those are all valid reasons and they make sense, my only point was that a simple hi or whatever, which don't require being friends with someone or knowing them well, can really go a long way. As you said, the nod or the half smile are just plain awkward. Anyways, sorry for this critique, I had just been thinking about this lately and wanted to get it off my chest. And you're definitely right by the way, about a blog affording a more personal look at somebody, albeit a one way look, but what I'm talking about has nothign to do with knowing someone well I don't think. It just makes the whole world, and specifically the Jewish community and the greater Columbia community, feel like a nice, friendlier, more welcoming place for everyone. Sorry again, and have a great Shabbos and a Chag Sameach.

At 4/1/07, 8:30 AM, Blogger Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh said...

Dear Anon, Eli7:

Your correspondence yields the important yet ever irresolvable tension over social norms and modesty. Eli7: Can you add an entry discussing the following questions? I believe that your answers would be a tremendous source of insight to anyone Orthodox in your community, male or female.

All of these questions should be addressed regarding interaction between a tzenu'ah, G-d-fearing Jewish woman and either a G-d-fearing Jewish man or a non-Jew, non-G-d-fearing Jewish man.

1) For a woman who generally avoids befriending guys for modesty's sake, should men still greet her with Hello, etc...?
2) Why do modest Jewish women tend to accept exercising around non-Jewish men as permissible but around Jewish men feel uncomfortable? Hypocricy?
3) When, if ever, is it OK to complement a modest Jewish woman? On her appearance, if she has dressed up meticulously (perhaps for a date, etc...)?
4) I'll think of more later...

chag kasher vesameach

At 4/7/07, 6:40 PM, Blogger Eli7 said...

Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh,

1) I think this depends a lot. I, for instance, do not really have friends who are male, but I would certainly still say hi to a male acquaintance and even have a conversation or Shabbos meal with guys. Some girls might feel uncomfortable even with that. Though I really can't see much wrong with just exchanging "hello."

2) OK, I don't exercise. Ever. But I also don't know about this tendency you refer to, so I can't comment on it.

3) This is one that also depends on the person. I once had a conversation with someone I know about this and her attitude was something like, "If I just spent two hours getting ready for a date, the guy can and should acknowledge that." I think that might be true, but I would be taken aback if a guy complimented my appearance on a first or second date. (Once a guy complimented my perfume on a second date and that was also pretty weird. As was the rest of the date.)

At 4/7/07, 8:02 PM, Blogger Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh said...

Thank you eli7!

I have no idea if "anonymous" is male or female (hey anon: can you give us a hint?). In retrospect, I realize that I presumed that anon was male, and that's perhaps where the confusion lay.

Yet, I'm still not sure; what if anonymous is female (assuming it would make a difference)? Then eli7, you must honestly and boldly answer to the accusation that stands against you.

Yet eli7, I will admit that saying hello to non-Jewish-looking students takes some "holy chutzpah." For some reason, we feel uncomfortable, yet why should we? I try and meet 5 new people each day, and I find it soooooo challenging. For Jewish-looking students though: the excuses are few and weak.

Shavua Tov/Chag Sameach/Moadim L'Simcha/Thanks a lot!

At 4/11/07, 8:53 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

Did I make that comment about getting ready for dates and wanting acknowledgment? the really weird thing is I seem to remember you saying that to me?!? And I think I can guess who made the perfume comment...

As for complimenting a modest Jewish woman, I think it comes down exactly what article of clothing being commented on and why. If a guy complement me on a rather stylish or funky skirt I'm wearing, or on a seriously coordinated outfit (even something as iffy as "you're working the Pink today"), I generally appreciate the compliment and don't feel awkward. If, however, the complement is geared toward say a pair of sexy sling backs, even though they adorn my feet, I still feel awkward when men single or attached compliment them.


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