Hey Guys,

I hope everyone had an amazing Yom Ha''Atzmaut. I spent mine in Jerusalem, bouncing around from concert to concert, soaking up the amazing enthusiasm of the people around me. This was the third Independence Day that I''ve celebrated in Israel, but I think the first that I truly felt connected. Walking around Jerusalem with my friends, we unexpectedly bumped into almost every person we know in this country and every time we''d pass by a crowd of people, we''d automatically feel like we were part of it. It felt like one big affirmation of what I''ve come to believe – home is where everyone knows the same happiness, where there''s still something we recognize as larger and more important than the sum of all of our disagreements.
 
Despite the progress I''ve made since my Aliyah, I''ve yet to settle into a life of normalcy. I think the ridiculous experiences that have characterized the past two and a half years will continue for the rest of my life. For example, as I write this I''m conducting ''The Carrot Experiment.'' This is the very creative name that I''ve chosen for my investigation into why exactly my carrots never stay edible for more than two days. They always seem to whither and soften, no matter what I do. I''m not exactly sure what it is I do though anyway. Today I bought carrots and thought, “Okay they usually go bad because I leave them out so this time I''m going to refrigerate them. No wait, maybe I usually refrigerate them so I should leave them out instead?” So after some deep contemplation, I decided that the best thing to do would be to divide my carrots. I bought two. One is currently chilling in my fridge, and one on my counter.
 
I realize that this experiment is faulty because I have not taken into account variables such as the difference between upper and lower shelves in my fridge or the location of the carrot on the counter in relation to the nearest window (air, sunlight, etc.), but in my defense, I feel stupid enough already. I couldn''t bear to buy a pack of carrots and then put one on each shelf and spread the rest out all over every surface in the kitchen with a fixed distance between every two carrots. And anyway, I already know how this will go: they will either both go bad in which case I will never buy carrots again, or both will be fine. The latter would mean I''d be condemned to a lifetime of splitting up my carrots: some would be sentenced to the cold refrigerated life, while others would idle their time away amongst the sweet potatoes and butternut squash arranged in the bowl on the counter. But all, I assure you, would survive.
 
Does this sound ridiculous to you? That''s because it is.
 
In other news, a new venue has opened in town. It''s called ''Right Below Rachel''s Window.'' Here, you hold marching band practice or youth group shouting matches, loudly break up with your significant other, set cars on fire or teach salsa class. It''s open 24/7, especially when I am trying to study.
 
No amount of expletives could help. That doesn''t mean I didn''t try, it just means they had the advantage of a car sound system with speakers and I only had my open window and burning wrath. I''ve called campus security numerous times. They''re always very sympathetic, but that''s part of the problem. The noise-makers don''t seem to take them seriously. The minute they leave, the partying is back on.
Anyway, the academic year is almost up and we''re all getting ready for finals again. Here''s to hoping for quiet study time and easy testing for all!
 


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