Saturday, April 19, 2003

Separation, Anxiety

It's been a whirlwind of a day or two. Passover has come and gone; we've been to Boston and back. Darcie and I accidentally doubled up on our duty nights, which meant dorm duty with Willow most of the evening; I'm totally drained. But let's catch up anyway -- I've missed you.

Wednesday night, for all you goyim out there, was the first night of passover. As sometime co-sponsor and possible future advisor to the NMH Jewish Student's Alliance, we have for several years spent the first seder night here at school, joining about twenty students and a handful of adults in the guesthouse dining room for gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup, baked chicken and carrots, and the ubiquitous macaroon. Because it's a school, the talmudically mandated retelling of the Jew's escape from slavery starts out with the begrudging affect of a classroom lesson; because the seder requires much drinking of ritual wine, the students eventually lose their reticence and begin getting into it. Serving real wine to high schoolers surely makes Dean David Schochet's presence all the more titilating; last year a kid actually stopped for a nap on the grass on her way home for a while, and was missing at check-in. It was all very exciting.

There are two seder nights at the beginning of passover -- I'm fuzzy about why, but I think it has something to do with ensuring that your holiday's duration is inclusive of the time at which is it Passover in Jerusalem. We traditionally spend the second in Newton, at my parent's house, and here, too, this year was typical: although my brother was too busy with his Rutgers MFA program to come, my sister brought girlfriend Amy and friend Rachel, my parents invited close family friends Merle and Gary (she's a Psychologist, he teaches at the Kennedy School at Harvard), and cousin Jessica, a Junior in fine arts at nearby Boston University, came in on the trolley. Even Grandpa Jerry, mom's father and Willow's great grandfather, was disconnected from his feeding tube at the nursing home and parked byu the end of the table; he perked up when he saw Willow, and when we sang. The turkey was a bit dry and the wine had a plastic cork and it was all room temperature by the time we finished the pre-meal seder table service, but it felt comfortable like home, like religion should be.

Drove home early today for a typical day at work, meeting with teachers about videotaping their classes for a professional development best-practice archive project I'm spearheading and teaching Dreamweaver basics in Advanced Web Design. We discovered our accidental double-booking late in the game, at our dining hall supper of baked cod and steamed broccoli; I spent most of the evening downstairs in the dorm lounge, my ear pressed nervously to the crackling baby monitor, while Darcie flitted around campus making sure tonight's Juke Joint Jam talent show went swimmingly smooth. Tomorrow night, both of us still on duty but for an even later dorm close, mom and dad have been belatedly convinced to come up and babysit as late as they can, and thank God; somehow, just knowing that it might take as much as 45 seconds to run up the stairs, down the dorm hall, and to our apartment at the merest squeak on the baby monitor drans the energy right out of you.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:32 AM |

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