December 2007 - Posts

  • Dramaticized Reality

    I am a very reliable person in that I will always think I can totally handle something, push it out of my mind, and only when thinking about whatever it is that's supposedly not a big deal do I realize that it is indeed a life-changing thing and I begin to hyperventilate, which is actually quite funny to watch as I pretend to be nonchalant as I bolt to the nearest bathroom to splash cold water on my face in hopes of reviving what little dignity I have left.  Which is usually none.  Knowing full well that this very June I will be boarding a plane to go across the Atlantic to a certain country for an entire year, I really didn't understand why my mother's alarming friends thought what I had decided to do was so awe-inspiring and independent.  I thought that spending a year learning German for attending school in Switzerland wouldn't be a big deal, and having my major at that school be Spanish was a natural choice.  Sometimes I wonder what my parents fed me as a small child.  Finally, the fog around my head has lifted and I noticed that hey, it's kind of difficult to learn two languages at the same time.  I mean, I've already taken Spanish for three years, but German is a new thing, and my school doesn't offer classes so I had to find a tutor.  Next semester I'm taking a German college class in a desperate attempt to be fluent by summer.  It's not that I don't get the language, since my family is brimming with heritage and I can trace one line of my family back to the 14th century or something.  My pronounciation is apparently fabulous.  But it's the grammar...all the extras that English doesn't have, that keeps me nailed to the ground with a throbbing headache and stolen shoes.  I feel like such a lazy American, flirting with the idea of trilinguality, but not giving it all the effort it takes.  It's hard to apply myself so that it's possible for me to spend a year with my grandparents in their tiny apartment in a city I love but have no idea how to function in without the huge tourist-eyes and nearby parent.  I am in love with my ancestors' country, but the one time I was alone in a train station I got that jello-leg sensation that one often gets when they're four years old and lost in a department store. (Luckily every educated person in Europe knows about 15 languages so it wasn't hard to scout out an English-speaker to aid me.) 

     And as much as I despise sharing a house with certain members of my family, it's going to be like getting a tooth pulled every day being away from them.  Their nagging and misunderstanding is a comfort.  I also have to leave behind the cat I've had since I was two, which I know doesn't sound that big, but I don't know how much longer he's going to live and I'm the only real cat person in my family, so I don't know how well he'll be treated.  While most kids were fawning over stuffed animals to help them fall into their dreams, I shoved mine off the bed and hunted around the silent house in a very chalant, three-year-old manner for my cat.  He's old now and whines for no particular reason, but it doesn't bother me much. 

    But I suppose I'm just facing what most people experience in going off to college a few years early.  I'm going to be abroad my junior year, but my dad said that graduating from an American school is important, so I can't stay another year.  I'll probably want to by then.  I've never been homesick when I've gone on visits, and I always get extremely pissed off when I return home.  The smell of the stairwell in my grandparent's apartment building has been etched into my brain since I was a few months old.  The air of Switzerland is different than America's, more full and swollen.  I miss it like I do friends when they go off on vacation for a month.  I really don't understand why my parents decided to start a family in a tiny town full of people that believed that because I had no specific religion, my father had to come into my 2nd grade class and talk to my peers about it, than in Europe.  I still remember the day my father did that, seeing him walk through the doors to the gym, where my class was thwaking sporting equipment around, in a buisness suit and wearing that smirking scorpio-swiss-boy smile he's never been able to shake.                   

  • Da bist du ya!

    Hey, guess what, I can make a difference!  I realized this a few hours ago, in my world religions class, inbetween hating being grounded and dreaming about far-off places with hopefully less faux fur-lined hoodies.  Our class was studying Judiasm, and we had just read a short overview of some of the most important components of the magnificent religion, and chosen the sentence that we thought was most important.  Then we were told to "form groups", which is code for "find out how different you really are" because there were three huge groups of people that had chosen the same sentence (or changed theirs in order to be with their friends), a few smaller groups, and then three individuals.  I was one of them.  Standing out is not something I enjoy.  During class I like sitting, eating chocolate chip muffins, and sharing my honest opinion without having any sort of giant, sweat-inducing spotlight shone on me.  Unfortunately, I had to tell the class in detail why I thought "not being forgiven for actions" was more important than "saying blessings at meal-time".  It's not that I'd rather plunge my head into a vat of eels than give a presentation in front of the class, because I'm fine with that, but I just can't stand that look I get from the empty-headed people in the front row, that lunch is in forty-five minutes and I'm hungry enough to consume that tasty-looking human blabbing on about Hindu symbols look.  But after sharing my opinion, Jewish-beliefs-wise, the teacher asked us to consider changing our opinion due to what our classmates had said, and if we did, would we please write it down on the top of the paper before passing it in.  Twenty minutes later, I was passing my teacher's desk when she told me that I had persuaded another student to change their opinion, meaning that because of me, a fellow student now shared my opinion.  Feeling accomplished, I returned to my seat in the back of the class and began to record a Red-related strange dream I'd had, about not being able to find my essay in the book when I was supposed to read it for a whole bunch of people.  The next period I watched The Pianist, which is almost as scary as Schindler's List, but with the benefit of amazing piano (hence the title, in case you were wondering), so my good mood was slightly ruined, but since watching horrible movies about the Holocaust (hmm, I had a very Judaism-centered day, now that I reflect with a dash of focus) makes me incredibly sad but aware of how lucky I am, I ended up feeling sort of brooding-happy.  Anyway, that was my day, how was yours?    

  • No one told me that running at night produces sore limbs

    So last night I snuck out of my house with my friend, and we ran across town (our town is small enough that you can walk pretty much anywhere, but big enough that if you go down dark streets, you should be ready to dive into a bush.) and I managed to stab the bone right below my eye with a twig as I fell into a large shrubbery with my friend to remain unseen by a passing car.  We are really that cool.  It was a few hours past curfew, the police were circling (because they don't actually have anything to do but bust teenagers out for a night time stroll) and we were doing the whole dressed-darkly, pretending-not-to-be-mortally-afraid-of-every-guy-we-passed-on-the-sidewalk thing, and it's really quite the exercise.  We were walking down a main road when a drunken vehicle turned onto the street, so we ran like a leopard infected with rabies was chasing us and hid in the crevices of a pentagon-shaped house.  After doing this kind of procedure for half an hour, we got to our other friend's house.  I should stop now and explain about my other friend.  She is paranoid about everything, thinks her sister is a nark yet told her and her friend where she was going and kept telling me how much "fun" she was having.  So we're patrolling the neighborhoods hoodlum-style, and her mom calls and tells her to come home.  So me and friend #1 head off to my end of town.  This morning my dad got a call from my 2nd friend's mom...so I was busted.  But my dad is so amazing that he hasn't gotten angry(mostly because I confessed at the drop of a pin) and my mom's away for a few days so the slaughter will not start until Monday.  Now I have to go watch the Bourne Supremacy, so I'll sign off.  Or something equally proffesional.