Sep 2 2014
In the middle of an exhausting, first year of teaching in a public high school in southern Massachusetts, I, like most teachers who come in contact with hundreds of students every day, contracted a virus, and took my first sick day. In the middle of that sick day, I got a call from the gym teacher, who I hardly knew.
“Are you OK?” He sounded reluctant to ask. Something had happened in my classroom while I was out, but he wouldn’t say what. He was shocked that no other staff had called me. He wished me well and got off the phone quickly.
When I returned to school, I demanded to know what had happened. My department chair said it was “an unfortunate incident,” and that I should talk to the principal. I finally wrangled it out: a student had spray-painted a swastika on my classroom floor and etched another swastika on my chalkboard. Something about Jews had been scrawled but only partially erased, probably so that no one would be able to identify the handwriting.
Both the chalkboard and floor were scrubbed clean before I returned. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 10 2011
I'm sorry, Mom, but I strongly dislike broccoli.
We don’t say the H-word in our house.
I am going to start with the disclaimer that I absolutely love Mayim. Like, I fantasize about sitting next to her at La Leche League and nonchalantly asking her to be my new best friend. I was a fan of Big Bang Theory long before I was a writer for Kveller, and the professional and theological perspectives that Mayim has shared through this blog have made me view the show (and many aspects of my family and faith journey) in a more critical way.
For example, when the BBT girls were trying on bridesmaids dresses, I immediately noticed that they all included long-sleeved dust jackets, something far from “runway current,” and I wondered if it was done in part to satisfy Mayim’s standards of tznius. That got me wondering if a Rabbi would agree to marry Howard and Bernedette because she is a shiksa. Or perhaps she will go through the conversion process and Amy will accompany her to the mikveh and live out her life-long dream of watching women bathe naked. Read the rest of this entry →