Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One Year Later

A year can bring a lot of changes to a person's life. The seminary year itself is one full of transformations. Unfortunately, as Staying Afloat mentions in her post, it's hard to keep inspiration going, and it's very hard to stay inspired over a long period of time. This past year since sem was over was meant to be the year of crystallizing what I gained in seminary and deciding (consciously or otherwise) what is going to stay with me for life. As a newly returned sem girl, I was idealistic; I was going to be the one to hold onto everything. Sadly, as I'm sure happens to most girls, this past year leeched away so much.

I found out yesterday that a friend of mine from sem who stayed in E"Y as a madricha is going to be in my lit class. Class is starting today, and I'm almost scared to see her. She only knew me at the height of my year, and now she's going to see me again a year later. I'm terrified that she's going to think I'm a different girl than I was. That I lost most of what I gained.

I'm thinking back now to all the kaballos I made last year. How many of them did I keep to? How many did I lose? How many do I not even remember making? Worse, how many do I no longer see the need for? I'm scared to look at myself in the mirror and see the girl I've become -someone who is not the girl I envisioned just one year ago.


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I was in yeshiva in israel for four years after high school, and at the moment it seems I've retained almost nothing from them. is tough after a realize what aspects of such an experience can translate into ones current lifestyle..

Staying Afloat said...

Wow. OK. I hear you, really.

When I left seminary, a madricha told us to pick just one kaballah that was really important to us and say that it was inviolable, and the rest to do our best. Of course, I picked two. I actually kept the two of them going for a good 5 years (with a couple of ripples), partly because they were definable action I could schedule in to my life. But as for the other things, I found that some became more important and some less. Some depended on my surroundings. Some, not being halachickly necessary, went the way of shalom bayis in my parents' home. I was not 100% happy, but I made peace with it all.

Seminary is a beautiful experience where you are given a huge amount of information and inspiration. The challenge afterwords is to make it work in the real world. I know- cliche, but true. The bigger challenge, I believe, is to realize that seminary is a major push in terms of growth but that growth and change must continue. One year cannot determine who you are for life, nor should it. Every situation in which you find yourself teaches you something. You can still make kaballos, at a pace that works for you. And the fact that you may not want to be the exact person you were at the end of seminary is not necessarily a bad thing. You will not find your friend unchanged either.

BTW, there are things you got in seminary, including the experiences with role models both in school and at the homes you visited, that have become a part of you without conscious knowledge. Some are already part of your character, and others will resurface as you move on.


MusingMaidel said...

Thanks for all the positivity (is that even a word?). After all that worrying, she didn't even show up today. Well, there's always tomorrow.

You know, I don't think I realized how intense the summer session is. It's great in terms of getting a lot of credits in a short period of time, but the pressure! We're apparently supposed to read the whole Don Quixote (and, no, I have no idea how to spell the title - at least I knew there was supposed to be an x in there somewhere (-: ) in two days. Not 2 weeks - 2 days. Did I mention that it's 800 pages long? Lots to do. Have to daven mincha and then read Oedipus. It's hard to understand, but at least it's not Greek (at least to me - yes, the pun was intended.)

harry-er than them all said...

Why are you scared? You are who you are without anyone else.

interesting book oedipus- good to know for psychology too.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Two days? If I were you I'd just see the Don Quixote movie instead, or at least just read the summary on Wikipedia for both instead of reading the whole things. They're nice books, but not if they're forced upon you...which is what sucks about school reading asignments in general..

(I realized today that the summer is the pretty much the only time the guys and girls are actually in Touro at the same time! ...besides Fridays and Sundays of course..)

MusingMaidel said...

htta - I took Intro to Psych at the same time I took AP English (where we read Antigone). My english teacher told us what happens in Oedipus, so when we got to it in psych, I sort of knew what it was talking about.

About the guys and girls in Touro - we're in different buildings (I was expecting pritzus of some sort, and was pleasantly surprised that there were no guys)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Well I was "pleasantly disappointed" ; ), ..anyway, I'm not sure what you're talking about, the girls are both in the main building and the Flatbush building; there's no escaping them!

Anonymous said...

I was laughing as I read your post. Due to your postings about your classes I have guessed not only your identity, but that of your madricha friend. I know her very well, and believe me I doubt she noticed any change, or if she did, thought any less of you because of it.

MusingMaidel said...

anonymous - do I know you? I'm curious how you figured out who I am. Email me please -

Anonymous said...

well, I am not to eager to reveal MY identity, so I'll just say that I figured it out based on your postings of which classes you took at Touro. We know each other only because we were in the same class(es). but not well.

MusingMaidel said...

were you in both of my classes or just the lit?

Feivel ben Mishael said...

Sorry to necropost but I clicked a "you might like"

This is sort of off topic but how do girls, especially BY girls, deal with going from sem to learning secular literature and having to read garbage like Oedipus?

B"H I have not read it, but I know what it is. I haven't read Don Quixote but I imagine its probably not so geshmake either.

MusingMaidel said...

@FbM - for one thing, at least in touro, you can't take lit until your second or third semester, so you have a little time to get used to life after sem. Second, I'm pretty sure that all the lit teachers in touro are frum, so it's a little easier - they don't go into it as much as they probably do in other schools. Third, you do what you have to do. Honestly, at this point, a year later, I don't even remember it, but I don't think it was very explicit, if you know what I mean.

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