For those of you who needed photographic evidence, here is proof that I did indeed go rafting on the Jordan River on our tiyul a couple of weeks ago. No one ever said being a cantorial student was easy--or dry, for that matter.
Well, I survived my first day back in the "acharei-ha-chagim" (after the holidays) world. It wasn't easy waking up this morning and trudging off to class with a heavy Bible-filled backpack, but somehow, I made it. I could tell that classes have officially begun now; the workload is slightly larger, my class load is bigger (we had 3 cantorial classes that hadn't even begun until this week) and I officially signed up for the 3 services that I am required to sing for. It's finally, after 3 long months, sunken it that I'm actually a cantorial student. What once seemed so surreal is now an actuality, and as exciting as it is, it completely overwhelms me and stresses me out. But, as my dad reminds me, I always survive and--most of the time--manage to do pretty well.
One thing that made today so much better was receiving what seemed like a million cards, letters and packages from the US today. Because of Sukkot, HUC was closed all last week and I wasn't able to check mail. I went to the mailboxes today and happily picked up cards from Rachel, Jane, and Jo (a very sweet lady who was in my hebrew class at CAJE last year), a package of clothes from Whitney, a huge package full of goodies from my neighbor Allison and an envelope filled with good wishes and a CD from the rabbis (or as they called themselves, my "rabbinical colleagues"--another surreal moment) at Temple Israel. I was so happy when I read/opened all of this mail that I am surprised I didn't burst with joy. Thank you all so, so much for thinking of me--it made an otherwise rough day very special.
I am missing you all so much right now; I would give anything to give my mom a hug, play with my dog, go shopping w/ Aunt Diane, attend a service at TI, or teach a lesson at Rock School. From out of nowhere I've been hit with another big bout of homesickness--BUT--this is possibly one of the best times to be missing home. I am happy I have plenty of schoolwork and music to be focusing on now, and I am hoping that I enjoy the next 3 months and add to my list of stories and pictures to share with you all in January.
Thanks again to all who sent me stuff, and thanks to all for reading my ramblings on a consistent basis. It makes me feel really good to know you're interested. Love and hugs to all--I'm thinking of you!