Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'M FOUND OUT!...so I may as well share more...

My secret's out. Okee is no longer in hiding.

My family knows I have a blog. They know it's this one. They know.

And they could be reading these words at this moment. Well, there's only one thing to say:


Okay, that's that! I don't think the knowledge that close family members may read this affects what I write. I wouldn't want to write anything, um, unsuitable for family consumption. No, no, that's very much not my intention. As I said in a previous blog, though, this blog is MINE. All mine. Heh heh. And I can say anyyyything I want. Again, heh heh. Cue the evil music. Do-doo-dooo-do---do-doo-dooo-do...

However, I want to say good things, nice things, happy things. And, upon occasion, some things that might not be good/nice/happy but will enable me to reach good/nice/happy.

So to further this delightful aim, I am baring my soul-yes, baring my soul, people- and sharing with the world my lofty, literary attempts. In a separate blog (www.eekoiswrite.blogspot.com), which I will link to, I will post a chapter every so often for public enjoyment and critical analysis. Please comment. Good, bad, constructive or kvetching, whatever. Thank you. But don't tell me to stop. Cause I won't. Well, I might, but it'll be because of writer's block, procrastination, or just plain being to busy.

Busy with what?- you ask slyly.
Get your mind off shidduchim, will you? I'm busy with life! Busy with, um....
Busy with my summer of....learning in Israel? in America? working? earning? hanging? traveling? Er, I don't have a clue what I'll be doing two weeks from now, much less....three weeks from now!

Enjoy the reading! (Warning: The book is fiction, thematically "judaic", not formulaically so, and veeeery tongue in cheek. Thought you should know:)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

No Think To Think About---yeah, right!

I WISH I had no think to think about. Weeeeeellll, actually I don't wish that. Can you imagine? Nothing to think about? At all? Can a more terrible fate befall any man? Or woman? Especially a woman? Not even thinking about what to eat for lunch? Or dinner? Oish.

Ok, I think we all got the point.

Hmm. It just struck me that I asked a lot of questions just now, sort of the opposite of a previous, very jolly post where I exclaimed a lot of exclamations...Maybe, in a reaction to the last two posts in which I thought a great deal, and very seriously too, I'll leave the thinking to y'all, and just ask. That's ok, right?

Why don't I know what to wear to the siyum thing I'm going to tonight in Jersey?
Why does marking papers and grading tests cause me pain-internally and externally?
When will my coughing turn into sneezing?
Why does 7-11 never make good slurpees anymore?
If all you need is love, then why am I going to law school?
Will I maintain my scholarship there?
Will my students remember me always?
Will they wish they didn't?
Will I wish they didn't?
Am I going to Israel in the summer?
Is it going to get too hot outside to continue wearing winter clothes?
Does it matter?
Does anything?


And for the biggest question of all:
Should I post chapters from the book I'm writing, in order to entertain and get some critical feedback?
(I think that might be fun. :)

Well, I asked many, many, too many questions, when really all I wanted was to know the answer to the last one. Isn't it funny, though, that you could be thinking "tmi!" (too much info) in response to so much questioning? Isn't it ironic? Don'tcha think? It's like raiiiii-aiiiin... oops! Lapsed to Allanis...won't happen again. Bli neder.

So, I think this post is done, but I'm not sure it accomplished the mission statement I had in my head. Not to be needy or anything (no, neeeever that!), but maybe if you reassure me that it seems my goals were met, then I wouldn't worry so much.

Whoa. This angst of mine is totally a result of feeling like the school year is ending and I didn't accomplish all I set out to do and now they have finals but, really, have I taught them anything? and now I'm going to law school and this was my chance to get it all in, but now I'll have to wait at least 3 years, and....I'll stop now. Befor I get a head of myself. Not that that's possible, given how much I've been procrastinating.

Have a great day! or ?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Heart of Darkness

Across an ocean, beneath the burning sun and silent moon, fear and violence rule the land.

Over the last half a century, our hearts have screamed, "Never again!" -each day a remembrance. Have we forgotten?

Across an ocean, the land of darkness and mystery has become the land of darkness and misery.

As a nation, we have always known every life is truly a world. Have we forgotten?

Across an ocean, a foreign people in a foreign country are suffering. Are dying. Are starving. Are running. Are hiding. Are crying.

We are Jews, a light unto the nations. We are to set the tone for society's morality. Have we forgotten?

I know we haven't.
Over 400,000 murdered in a terrible geocide, over 2.5 million displaced. We cannot afford to be ignorant. We cannot afford to forget.

For more information on the crisis in Darfur, check out www.genocideintervention.net

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Method to the Madness...Why I Teach

I promised (threatened?) Josh I'd write a post about teaching when I read his thought-provoking post on dating teachers. (which, duh, I am) ( I don't yet know how to link to another blog, sorry!)

So why is Okee a teacher?

I don't know.

Scratch that. I do. I teach because I believe in what I teach. I believe to the extent that I want others to believe, to know, and to love. And I know I am not perfect. Far, far, far from it. So far that I can relate to the myriad of imperfections shared by all, and empathize with them, and want to help.

It's not egotistical to believe I can help. It is my duty as an educated Jew. How can I learn so much and love the Torah so much and just stand by when so many have learned so little and are barely aware of the possibility of loving Torah, loving Hashem, loving themselves?...

I never wanted to be a teacher. I thought it would be boring, difficult, dorky, and worse. But although it is extremely difficult sometimes in different ways (for me the difficulty lies in disciplining and upholding the kavod of my position), it is never boring, never dorky, never worse. Can a doctor be bored with saving lives? Can a teacher be bored with facilitating Torah growth, enriching spiritual lives?

There is always a danger of being self-righteous when one speaks of fighting for the truth, a religious zealousness. But I am so deeply aware of my own need to be brought closer to Hashem (someone please be mekarev me), that to be self-righteous would be self-delusional. Am I zealous? Well, I do tend to jump up and down when I'm about to say an important Jewish principle or beautiful idea. I do walk into class with a smile on my face and say, "Yay, we're learning Parshas Emor today!" But, I know if my students gain anything at all, it will not be because of me, really. It will be because of themselves.

And that humbles me.

Next year I begin law school. That saddens me. But my teaching will not, b'ezras Hashem Yisborach, ever end. Who says I cannot teach as a student, or as a lawyer, or as a wife, or as a mother? Certainly not me. I say I can.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Did you grow up with a tv? Am I the only one who hasn't kicked the habit? Sometimes I feel like I am...

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yayyyy!!! A neeeewwww poooooosssttt!

I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it!! And I'm breaking the cardinal rule of not using too many exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!! So...I'll stop. How sad. Just a tiny little dot, a period is. All it does is stop a sentence. But it can't stop me! (oops.)

"Okee my beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, kind friend, why on earth are you so excited? Did you get engaged or something?"-you ask.

"Oh, no, nothing like that. I'm just so very happy, because I'm alive, and healthy, and in love with...the world!! And I'll use as many exclamation points as I want cause this is MY blog!!!!!WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I answer.

"Okaaaaay...But did something in specific set you off? Cause you're freaking me out," you remark, with a puzzled expression on your face.

"Ummm, now that I think about it, I did see a lot of hashgacha today, which means Hashem LOVES me. Yayyyy, Hashem loves me!!! I'm so lucky!!! When I was looking for parking near school today, which normally takes forever and I still had to prepare for my class which was taking place in another half hour, I said aloud, 'Hashem, it's in Your hands whether I find a parking spot. I'm putting my trust in you.' Less than half a block later, I found a spot!!! And...it was easy to get into!!! Whooo-hoooo!" I exclaim with a silly grin plastered on my face.

"Er," you point out hesitantly, not wanting to dispel my cloud of happiness and peace, "My dear Okee, that's just one parking space. Why the big deal?"

"Oh, c'mon, don't you get it? Hashem looooves me! Even when it takes me 25 minutes to get a parking space and then I go back to my car and find an orange enveloped ticket on the windshield!!" I laugh.

"Oh...I get it now!" You say, a big grin spreading over your adorable face. "Hashem loves you. And...He loves me too!! Whoooooopeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring on the exclamation points!!!"

"!" And so I did.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Princess Ponders the Dueling Dragons

Dear beautiful blog world,
I enjoyed writing the last post/poem so much that now I think it's time for a story! I'm cutting and pasting a story I wrote last year, so if you recognize it, you'll recognize me. That's okay, just don't comment by saying, "Oh, Okee- you're THAT Okee!! How funny!" Cause that would be funny, but then I'd have to really watch what I say. Please enjoy the following fairy-tale! The meforshim I leave to you.
~~Love, Okee

Once upon a time, a princess lived in a golden castle on the edge of the sea. She did not know much about her life, or why she lived in the castle, but her life had a strict routine. Every day, she awoke early in the morning and began her day with classes to broaden her mind. After those intellectual lessons, she had classes on the practical aspects of life, and then classes on morality, integrity, and truth. This was her life. A new teacher came to the castle every day to give over to her all that they knew. Soon the princess wondered why all this knowledge was necessary. She thought perhaps that the king may have desired a portable library of information, and she was to fill that job. But when she would mention such an idea to her educators, they would laugh and say, “I think not.”

One late afternoon in December, the princess heard a thunderous roar outside her window. When she rushed to her window and peered out, instead of seeing the darkening sky, she saw a monstrous green, scaly dragon. Before she could scream or faint in fright, the fearsome dragon spoke, its words framed in flames. The dragon said, “My name is Knowledge. I live alone, like you, but at the bottom of the deepest depths of the sea. I see none, hear none, love none, but know almost all. These are the first rays of sunlight I have seen in over a thousand years. The ascent from the sea floor has nearly burnt and blinded me. But I had to come, for I must know one thing more. Who are you, that you are gaining so much knowledge, nearly to equal my own? How dare you even dream that your knowledge can surpass mine?” Smoke curled from Knowledge's nostrils.

The princess was astounded by the dragon's words, for she knew not the why of her life. Shaking slightly, she replied, “But I do not know why I have such knowledge! This is my life...” Suddenly, to her great surprise, a colossal red dragon with shimmering scales and butterfly wings flew down from the heavens. The green dragon looked at the other dragon with dismay and sneered. The glorious red dragon spoke. “Good evening. My name is Wisdom. I live in the open sky and in the deep sea and on the green land. I see many, hear many, love many, and understand almost all. For more than a thousand years, I have lived amongst rays of sunlight. The descent from above is commonplace for me. But I had to come, for you must understand one thing. You are not like Knowledge. You are like me, Wisdom, but you do not yet know why.”

Knowledge growled, muttering, “Wisdom. You always swoop down wherever there is knowledge and try to take over. Can't you leave knowledge in peace? Why must there always be more?”

The princess looked at Wisdom in confusion. The red dragon smiled and quietly said, “Yes, it is true that I do not like to leave knowledge alone. Because it is unnatural that knowledge remains so. Knowledge must evolve into wisdom, lest it becomes corrupt. Just look at Greenie over there. Princess, your entire life has been the gaining of not knowledge, but wisdom. You have not learned information just to know much, but to do much. You have learned in order to shape who you are and who you can be. You have learned in order to affect all around you and all within you. You have learned in order to affect the world. It can be done in many ways. You may not need to leave your castle, for one man is an entire world. But if you do leave your castle, your life of lessons will be wisdom for you -as long as you call upon it, it will be wisdom. Remember, all your lessons, classes and information will not change yourself or the world if you leave it as inaccessible knowledge within your mind. Place it all in your heart, place it all in your soul, and you will change your place in the universe.”

And so the story ends.
But the journey is just beginning for us all...