NHC Day 3: Lord, take me higher.

Sequestered here in New Hampshire with sharp ears and eyes still focused on the outside world, Israel, awesome primary victories and the AL East standings, it’s still been a pleasure to mostly submerge in the goings on of this year’s institute. A few highlights from the first few days:
The opening program did a great job of getting people up to speed, letting us know what was happening, introducing us to some new people and making everyone feel welcome without feeling like a cheezy icebreaker. BZ and ER really put an incredible amount of effort and thought into the whole Institute and it shows.
I ended up missing the evening program Monday night (in part to phonebank for Ned Lamont), but went out to a raucous round of singing in Cheney Chapel later in the evening, facilitated by Itinerant Rabwhat, making her first NHC appearance as one of this year’s bumper crop of blogging everett fellows (including KungFuJew and TheLastTrumpet). Some great tunes were taught, a lot of folks went for more mellow stuff between the rain and their long travels. After things wound down, I made my way back to bed and a sleeping Knucklehead.
My morning class this year is Phil Terman’s Writing and Listening to Jewish Poetry , and I was pleased to see a good mix of new and old friendly faces inside the class. We jumped right in to writing and critique the first class, which was a little off for some of the members of the class but I was fairly comfortable with. My favorite performance piece is a five minute barage about my lifelong battle with depression, so I slip into comfortable spaces easier than most. Thanks to a smart suggestion by one of my new poetry buds in the class, we did proper introductions this morning, which helped bridge the gap between those who were and weren’t really participating. I’ve really written some entertaining things here that are a complete change from most of my stuff, I guess being up here is a big shift in perspective. Phil’s approach is good for helping me clear my head and write a little differently as well.
My afternoon class is Jewish Ethics in an Age of Global Commerce and Conflict with Brent Spodek, JTS Rabinnic student and educator with the AJWS. Also a good mix of old and new friends in that class, and Brent is really making some great connections between traditional Jewish texts, “modern theorists” (I guess when compared to quoting Exodus, anyway) like Locke and John Rawls, and tying into issues like globalization and how the voices in those texts should guide our actions. Some great give and take in there, lots of good folks to have that discussion with, too. Big issues, serious texts, and chuchums, what could be better?
Well, I’ll tell you what could be better. last night’s klezmer/jazz/bluegrass jam was better. Some AMAZING musicians came through and we played till nearly 2 am. And we really did cover the spectrum, though I know our bluegrass folks would’ve liked for us to do a little more old timey. We even snuck in some Shlomo for good measure.
Off to dinner. Boy, do I miss meet. Stay tuned for more updates!

2 thoughts on “NHC Day 3: Lord, take me higher.

  1. There are a whole WHACK of Everett bloggers… Come meet us at the Everett tea! (which starts in, um, in 15 minutes…)

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