Monday – Day 94

November 1, 2012

After a late night on Sunday due to rehearsals I treated myself with a real sleep in on Monday, lasting all the way to 11AM. Following that I decide to take advantage of the high wind warning and the advisory to stay inside, remaining in pyjamas and playing video games for a good while before settling to work. However, no sooner had I picked up pen and paper when Caitlyn let me know that coffee and snacks were being served downstairs as comforts from the storm outside.

On my way downstairs for a little snack I came across Rigel Swavely, head of the PGC Band and his girlfriend Nikki Limtiaco, two of my favourite people on campus, and ended up sitting and drinking a little coffee with them and watching the wind and rain. At this point I decided to venture outside just to see how bad it was. I wanted to loop around the building and peer in through the window and get Rigel and Nikki’s attention however, after about thirty seconds outside, I was blown right back in as I tried to turn the corner, nearly falling over. That was my last trip outside till the storm had well and truly passed..

After a while of chilling we decided to go back upstairs and work. However, after hearing from me that the lounge piano had been tuned, Rigel jumped at the opportunity and took us into the lounge for a bit of a jam. A ‘bit of a jam’ quickly turned into three hours, and after a while we started getting hungry so we ordered dinner from the one place still delivering and gave the delivery guy a hefty tip. After finishing our food ‘saxy singalong’ began in the lobby of the highrise. This was an event for 9th floorers whereby we all sing together and some of us perform a little too. I then got stuck there till 11PM after a fantastic duet with a french friend of Rigel’s singing a jazz arrangement of what a wonderful world.

I worked finally for a few hours and made it another late night, promising myself to work more productively the next day.

Thursday – Day 48

September 10, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Shaanan was accepted into the Penn Singers, the premier Light Opera/ Musical Company at Penn. As such he was partying tonight and didn’t have time for an extensive post.

Today was an all new set of classes! First up was Electrodynamics I, a post-vector calculus, Junior level physics course (PHYS320). The class was full of around forty older kids and not particularly warm and friendly. The material was difficult and the lecturer got right into it. Homework was set immediately, a series of vector calculus revision exercises that taxed my brain a fair amount. I will need to get plenty of help with that.

Next up was Operating Systems, a slightly larger class (CS380) with around fifty students. The class required an advanced knowledge of the C programming language and our first assignment was handed out immediately: writing a shell for the Linux operating system. Difficult but doable.

Finally was my random class Russian, which today went well, learning a bit more of the alphabet and the difference between the two kinds of vowels, hard and soft. Stay turned for more details.

The afternoon I coded away at the Operating Systems project, not even stopping when it was time to leave for my night activity at 6. I knew there was a second bus leaving and decided to wait for that instead.

At 6:30 I headed downstairs for ‘The Rodin Sophomore Cruise’. The bus arrived at the port at around 7:00PM and after a minute we were informed that the second bus had in fact refused to start and that we might be waiting a bit longer till we set a-sail. Half an hour passed and the remainder of the supposed attendees didn’t show. Rumours passed around and it was eventually made clear to us that the original bus too had gotten stuck along the way. Finally at around eight thirty, the last of them arrived and we finally left port. The cruise was most enjoyable and I even got to dancing, after a little prodding. Highlight of the trip was meeting a very friendly girl by the name of Stephanie from my building too and a musician by the name of Rigel from my floor.

After we returned it was quickly back to my room and, exhausted I was soon fast asleep.


Shabbat – Day 11

August 2, 2012

A late wake up followed by a simple lunch in house made the perfect start to this Shabbat.

At about 1:30 my phone rang, indicating that Colin Bulka of machon fame (director of part of my gap year program) was waiting downstairs for a walk. I came downstairs to find him and his bike in top shape, rearing to go for a walk down the hot and humid streets of Tel Aviv. After a good chat, my skin almost felt seared off by the unforgiving rays of the sun.

Walking to Sarah’s place for a quiet afternoon seemed like a good plan, however, with the fast of Tisha B’Av (jewish fast day of mourning) quickly approaching we instead set off to the boys’ apartment for the pre-fast Seudah (feast).

After the departure of Shabbat, Sarah and I went to Frishman beach, where the synagogue was reading Megillat Eicha, the book of lamentations. The Rabbi described the relevance of reading it at the beach as stemming from the deportation of the Jews from Israel from the ancient ports and their return via nearby Yafo (Jaffa). The reading was mostly pleasant, though I did miss the sound of practiced singer lifting up in mournful cries as with the trope of Eicha.

We then returned to the apartment to pack and await a lift from Gali Birenbaum, a mutual friend of ours from ISSI, who would be hosting us over the next few days and helping us manage the fast. She picked us up and subsequently another friend, Ariel Kliger and we chilled at her place till the late hours of the morning.

Clean plaid clothes or dirty clothes? And a kumta!

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