Well, I made it back to NYC safe and sound, my 104 pounds of luggage in tow (the nice man at the airport cleared my bags, even though they were each slightly overweight. For these and other small miracles in life, hallelujah!) My apartment was fine, save for more than a few "visitors" of the 4-legged variety. After a small (okay, not so small) breakdown and a sushi lunch from my favorite sushi place on my street, I set to work cleaning up, unpacking and making 3C once again feel like home.
It amazed me just how fast I was able to re-acclimate to my NY lifestyle. Once my apartment was rid of dead vermin and was somewhat clean, it began to feel cozy and home-like again. I had such fun walking around my neighborhood yesterday, eating brunch at my favorite diner and walking past the charming little shops on Ditmars. I'd forgotten just how great Astoria is and how much I love living away from home (sorry mom.)
Now that things are somewhat in order, I'm already getting started on schoolwork and pulpit work for the year. First up: PRACTICUM! Third year students present 2 practicum during the year, and my first is coming up all too soon on September 9 (on 09/09/09...cool, huh?) This semester's topic is a Reform-style Rosh Hashana Evening, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. I have A LOT of music to learn and stuff to do for the practicum, but I'm familiar with a lot of the music (thanks to Faith's RH workshop last semester) and I'm hoptimistic that the program will come together nicely.
Then I have exactly -5 minutes to breathe before High Holy Days are upon us! I'm more than excited to head to my new pulpit in York, PA to lead both High Holy Days and 20 weekend services this year. I've already put together cue sheets for Rosh Hashana, and I'm heading to York this weekend to meet with the rabbi and discuss RH, Yom Kippur, Slichot (first time for that!) and Simchat Torah (that too!) Since many of the chagim are on weekends this year, I'm going to have plenty of opportunities to learn holiday liturgy and repertoire. I'm very excited, to say the least!
Music and holidays aside, I'm excited to meet this congregation and work with Jeff, my rabbinic mentor. Stepping into a new congregation is always a little nervewracking, but already the congregation has worked to make me feel comfortable and welcome. My first weekend is September 11-13, and the congregation has organized a special oneg for that Friday night to welcome me. Everyone is already so lovely and I look forward to serving them.
I'm very thankful that I was able to come back to NYC and feel so happy and comfy right off the bat. I'd forgotten that things are always a little easier when you know what to expect and you're no longer the new kid in town. I'm excited to see everyone and get back in the swing of things, as hectic and stressful as the year may be!
Sending lots of love from cloudy (but cool and lovely) Astoria!