“best” week ever


Boston (Photo credit: Bahman Farzad)

I really wanted to be able to write today about how this past week was completely and utterly excellent. Except that I live in Boston, so first someone bombed the longest-running marathon in the country (world?), and then I had to sit inside all day Friday because my neighborhood was on lockdown for being close to Watertown, and then the whole city was. Even though I know no one who was affected directly by the bombing, and even though I wasn’t in all that much danger on Friday, it was still extremely stressful. I didn’t actually feel like I was stressed, but then when I realized how I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom because of my stomachaches and how I couldn’t read a single page of a book because I couldn’t focus, literally with my eyes and figuratively with my attention, so apparently I was quite agitated.

I in no way want to say that I was in as bad a position as other people, like my friend who lives right in Watertown or like the countless people injured or grieving. But in my own little world, it was a tough Monday and a tough Friday.

I find that really unfair for the obvious reasons, since no one should have to be grieving right now, and also no one should have to feel grateful to be alive right now. Alive is the default, and nobody should have to spend their thoughts mentally thanking someone for only partially ruining their lives. That’s awful, and I am sorry for everyone who was at the marathon or who knew someone there. But I also find it unfair, because I had planned a really great week, and in many ways, it still was, and now I have to feel kind of guilty about that. Continue reading


fashion: bad at doing it, good at loving it – part zero

It hits me that not only is this another new school year, but it’s my last school year – period – in the foreseeable future. Next September I will (GAWD, I hope) be a working stiff with a salary and benefits, not an hourly rate and a tendency to sit around at home in pajamas until 4pm.

Since this beginning of the school year also coincides with my birthday and Rosh Hashanah, I usually write a new creed, make some resolutions, and then call it a day. But I’m kind of done with that. And given that I now have a semi-professional internship and I’m making strides towards having a career next, not just a job, I’ve been thinking lately that it’s high time I take time to learn more about, experiment with, and get better at beauty and fashion.

So I’ll be doing a miniseries of posts on that very thing throughout September and October (but I’ll still be doing regular posts, too). I don’t want to get into a big discussion of feminism or beauty ideals or how women are forced into being obsessed with fashion, Continue reading

ethics are not one size fits all

In a brief moment of vertigo-free lucidity, I thought I’d procrastinate the homework I’m behind on and blog about the things I’ve been thinking while my brain has been too fried to read or function normally.

The other night I participated in a telephone interview for a doctoral student studying Jewish women and social justice. We had a great conversation, and I think it did as much for me as it did for the woman interviewing me, because it gave me the chance to a) talk about myself, which I love, and b) rethink my identity and my commitment to my field and social justice, which I also enjoy.

Earlier this year, I posted about The Life You Can Save and made a pledge to donate a portion of my income to a philanthropic organization that is dedicated to eradicating global poverty. I couldn’t make as large a donation as I would like, but I plan to keep giving what I can while I’m in school, and once I make more than $60 a week, I’ll go with the real pledge. In the meantime, I’m making up the difference with my time. I’ve gotten involved with some other students and young people who are working with Peter Singer, the author of the book, to turn The Life You Can Save into a full-on movement, not just a website supporting a book about a great idea. Our first group meeting the other day really got me thinking again about ethics, and how I approach them, and how I should look into living a more ethical life. I think it’s important that ethics are not one size fits all, but there are some parts of ethics that I think are more or less nonnegotiable. Continue reading