saying thank you

Being a student again after 10 years of not being a student is an odd experience. I have moments while sitting in class: “I can’t believe that this is my life now.” My responsibilities are to go to class and do homework. As hard as the transition has been in some ways, most of the time my life also feels like an incredible luxury. Perhaps even downright self-indulgent.

It is undoubtedly a huge time commitment: I’m at school most days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (and some days later than that), with activities scheduled almost all of that time; if I’m lucky, I get two free lunch hours a week. But I spend my time at prayer, studying, and in class. I’m focused on my intellectual and spiritual development. Even at my job — staffing the school’s front desk weekday evenings and Sundays — I can do my homework, or write, or read.  The extracurricular optional and required activities are lectures, book talks, or other professional advancement or cultural opportunities.

Before I left D.C., I shadowed the rabbi at Sixth & I for an afternoon and evening, and she reflected with me on her rabbinical school experience. “I miss it,” she said. “I miss being around all of those holy folk.” I understand now what she means: I feel incredibly blessed to constantly be around such thoughtful people. I am stimulated and challenged all the time.

calling cards from Letter Writer’s Alliance

In response to this overflow of shared wisdom, I recently visited the Letter Writers’ Alliance — of which I am a proud member! — to purchase these calling cards. I’m planning to give the to my classmates and teachers with notes of appreciation. I gifted my first one on Tuesday!

Despite how much time school requires, I often feel guilty for not making time to do something for others. In D.C., I used to spend a fair amount of my time as a volunteer for various organizations, and I haven’t yet found space for that in my new life.

I am filled with gratitude for my life and the opportunities that I have. And next semester I want to challenge myself to move a little more out of the rabbinical school bubble.

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