I am emerging out of an 9-day run with the flu here and life has felt like being on house arrest. At moments, I’ve had to remind myself that I’m in a different country since most of my interactions have been with my family and no one else. This has coincided with a change in the weather to Fall/Winter. My default clothing option is sandals and shorts, but it looks like they will be retired for a while now (so sad). It is getting chilly and we’ve been receiving some rain. Sacramento rain comes all day sometimes for days, but here, it comes down hard then stops, almost like a Florida summer-afternoon pounding without the humidity. Most days have been nice from my isolated perspective and my outdoor explorations consist of looking out at the Palestine sunbirds and bulbuls in our front yard.
Unfortunately, my health prevented us from going to Tel Aviv for the Fulbright Thanksgiving dinner. However, my outrageously hard working and talented wife and daughter put together a Tday dinner the next evening with friends. I have been catching up on some shows on Netflix (like the genius of Fargo and Better Call Saul) in my sickness and doing some writing and reviewing. I am proud of two of my graduate students, Rebekah Berkoetter and Robin Shin, finishing their Master’s theses and presenting their exit seminar next week and I’ve been cranking through thesis and seminar drafts.
There's the old joke about why the whole plane is not made from the same material as the black box...I was called into Sacramento County Jury Duty. Prior to to living in Sacramento, I had never been called to this duty, but like clockwork, I get called every other year. I tried to get excused for being out of the country, but noooo...I immediately received an email saying "when will you be back?" I am happy to be a good citizen and will be doing it in May. However, the same efficiency and aggressiveness of the jury program should be used for all the rampant problems of Sac County (increased crime, crumbling infrastructure, and homelessness).
We will be starting our “nomad phase” next week. We have to be out of our apartment for the month of December and will be fittingly nomadic in this land and beyond. We will be taking a trip to Italy for 10 days. When we return, we will be having family visit and will be traveling. Fodder for future blogs…with pictures!
This blog will follow my experiences as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel (University of Haifa) during the 2017-18 academic year. Also check out the family blog for another perspective.