Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bat Mitzvah (Bonus: Poetry Experience)

I was pretty worried, this week, that I wouldn't have any exciting new experiences to write about. I had a snow-day-in-increments on Monday, and then your average week of doing homework and going to classes, before going home for the weekend. I tried to look for stuff to do on my campus, but I couldn't find anything good to do in my free time.

But then I remembered that my third cousin was having her Bat Mitzvah this weekend, and since I technically made the choice to go and wasn't forced to go, it's technically a voluntary new experience. So I'm counting it.

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, for those of you who've never been to one, are not the most exciting thing in the world, but they are generally pretty fun. I don't know my third cousin that well (the last time I saw her, she was nine) but she looked radiantly happy and everyone said great things about her. So I'm glad she had a good time at her party.

The event consisted of first her parents making speeches, then her giving a speech about chesed (kindness). After that everyone went down to a ballroom where they played music quite loudly and there was food. My sister and I, being the obnoxious teenagers we are, got tons of food and sat at a table and made stupid jokes to each other. The rest of the guests danced and did fun stuff.

Obviously, I've been to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs before, including my own, so you might think it's not really a new experience. But this one was more religious than the ones I've been to. It didn't show in terms of religious traditions, but in little cultural things- there was a women's section in the chapel, everyone dressed very modestly, the person in charge of pumping up the crowd was not the usual annoying jerk who clearly knows nothing about Judaism, etc. And surprisingly, the food was really good. Usually, kosher catered food is terrible, but this looked like something out of a Pinterest party planning board.

Anyway, so it was pretty fun, and afterwards my parents drove me back to college (since the party was close to my school anyway) and so now I'm in my dorm room, writing this and trying to get it done before it's technically not Saturday anymore.

I did actually have another new experience this week, but it wasn't so much an experience as it was sort of an accomplishment. As I may have mentioned (probably not though), I'm taking a year-long poetry class, and I've written and polished a good collection of poems. My school is pretty well known for its writing program, so one of the events that we host is the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival, known as the biggest student-run poetry festival in New York State. We're going to have a bunch of famous poets reading at it, but undergraduate and graduate students at the college are encouraged to submit their own poetry for a chance to read as well. So I decided, why not? It's not like I have anything to lose by submitting. I chose three of my best poems and put together a document, wrote a brief cover letter, and submitted it online. There's probably tons of people submitting, and it's judged by poetry student alumni, so there's a very small chance of me actually making it in. But you know, it's fun to imagine that tiny chance coming true.

Next week I promise a more exciting experience- I actually have one planned and it should be good. I'll see you on Wednesday with another regular post.


1 comment:

  1. That's right. Keep us guessing.
    Will you share the poems you submitted? Even if they are not accepted, inquiring minds want to know.
    I think maybe next time take a picture of the food and you can post that as well so everyone will be jealous.
    Also, I wonder: if you go through an experience that you used to have in the past but have not had in a very long time, wouldn't it count as a 'sort of new' one? Because, in a way, it IS new. At the very least you are a different person than the one you were at the last Bat Mitzva you attended. Your outlook and attitude are new, no? It's like re-reading a book from childhood that you have not read since you were 10. I believe it should count as re-new-ed experience.