Monday, October 11, 2004

Boston Tea Party

After deliberating last night whether or not to attend an erev gibush for the nursing students, I decided to go. And I am glad I did.

I was worried that perhaps only the losers went to these events, and if I went I'd be a loser. Or alternatively, if I didn't go, perhaps everyone else would and people would think I was a snob.

As it turned out, a lot of people were there, everyone seemed cool (where were the nerds?? where are my homies??), though most of the students were from the school of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine or research.

On the bus there I noticed one girl (she turned out to be 19) and eventually I asked her if she was a student going to the shindig, which they had called the Boston Tea Party. She was a dental student, from an Arab village up north. In fact, I would say about 80% of the male students were Arab -- from all the schools. I can see this is all going to shake up my political orientation -- perhaps in a positive way. More on that later.

As we were trying to find the bar on the campus of Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, I saw another person who looked lost. Turns out she is also a nursing student, has lived in America for the pat 5 years, is 26 years old (so I'm not the oldest one) and seemed quite nice. We stuck together and she drove me home, and offered to pick me up for orientation. Which apparently is on Tuesday -- good thing I showed up last night since the website still says it starts at 10 am today, and I would have showed up on the wrong day.

Its also good to know that if you are ever in the hospital at Hadassah Ein Kerem, and have the unquenchable desire for a Heineken, a Scotch, or an Alabama Slammer, there is actually a bar on the grounds of the hospital. Beers are 10 nis for students, and 12 nis for non-students. Pretty good prices.

Its harder for me to guess the ages of the female students, since make-up and maturity of character can add years to a person's life, but I feel pretty sure the guys were all under the age of 23. My new friend and I were joking about how all the 19 year old guys were flirting with us. She kept saying "Its a good thing, it's a good thing!" despite the obvious appearance of an engagement ring on her third left finger. She didn't mention a fiance or even a boyfriend, so either she is just happily wearing a diamond ring, or she is a woman not defined by her dating status and had other things to talk about than the men in her life. She told me she decided to become a nurse since she's been a waitress for 6 years, and really liked it, but knew she had to go to school for a more respectable profession. So she thought about what real job is most like waitressing, and came up with nursing! Apparently she told the Dean of Students this during her obligatory interview - and she said she almost fell off her chair. They may have admitted her simply because she gave the most unusual answer ever.

People were generally friendly, and Rachel (the new friend) and I kept introducing ourselves to people and just sitting down with strangers. I can see the nurses are seen as the dumb blondes of the group. The Arab students (the males) were all too friendly though, and most of the women as well, once they realized that Rachel and I weren't stupid, we just want to be nurses.

I debated not telling people my age or the fact that I already have a degree in biology, plus I studied law, lest they be intimidated -- which they have no reason to be since I'll be lost in Hebrew. In the end it slipped out anyway -- I cannot hide 8 years of my life. One girl said she was born in Waltham, Massachusetts and I excitedly said "I went to college there!"...whoops.

The most important thing was that I spoke for an entire evening, with my peers, in Hebrew, and didn't think about it, or struggle for words. I have never felt so Israeli or settled. And people did not immediately guess I was American. There we were, just a bunch of Israeli university students, meeting each other and making jokes. And scarily enough, I fit in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have never felt so Israeli or settled"

Redundant, no? :-)


1:55 PM  
Blogger Noa said...

Well hellooooo Mr. Pedantic!

Israeli - I felt like I was one of them
Settled - I felt like I was American, but still accepted

2:53 PM  
Blogger Ezra said...


6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waltham? Brandeis! Now I can take you at your word that you are in fact a "nerd." Nonetheless, I enjoyed your blog.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Noa said...

Bostonian - Are you a fellow Brandeisian??

7:18 PM  

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