Does Life Begin at... Going on Fifty?

The great thing about living for half of a century is that you have lots of experience to draw from. I won’t be 50 for a few years but I figure that I better start preparing now for the inevitable. Come to think of it, having a mid-life crisis seems to play right into recent choices that I have made. Well, I’ll be lucky if it is really mid-life for me based on everything... so I decided to pick up the blog pen again because of a few friends and acquaintances that wondered what I was up to here in the Holy Land. I think I will just give an accounting since my last blog “My Dad and the Beit Din.”

After I passed the Beit Din and started my new life as Drew the New Jew, I started a course in technical communication (writing). It was a 6 month course that tested both me and my family to the edge of patience. Numerous times I was ready to walk away from the class, not because of the course material but, because of the quality and abrasiveness of the teaching. Let’s just keep this course as a backdrop to the rest of the last six months and remember when you read on that I was working full-time at the factory. On Fridays I got up at 6:00 to take the train to Tel Aviv for intensive TC theory and computer training until returning to quickly clean and prepare for Shabbat, which entered sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening. (For those of you Non-Jews, it is like Christmas Eve. and Day, every week and without a car or the ability to turn on and off lights or a stove or anything like that.) The rest of my week was 3 to 5 hours of homework a night, which I mostly got yelled at about and the occasional Torah learning session with a friend or two. (no surfing, no cycling, no skateboarding, no hiking, and no nothing...), and I think that there was a war on with Gaza then as well.

Remember the blog entitled “Cowboy Up, Butthead?” That was about the turning point when I decided to take a new career direction and signed up for the TC course. It was great for a few weeks but then I missed a day of class to get married to Adele, (and you all thought we were already married... well, technically we were, however that is too long a story to explore here). We got married in Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount! This time around we really did it for real. You know, sheva brachote (seven blessings) and the whole bit. I don’t remember everything accept for a few things like Adele’s beautiful face under the veil, a tish (contract signing at a table with lots of speeches and singing) that lasted about 2 hours, The view of Har HaBayit (Temple Mount) from Abba and Pamela’s rooftop (thank you, thank you!), and drinking and dancing all night long in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. So, after missing that day of class, the teacher said that it would be possible for me to still succeed in the class... What? Still succeed? Oy, it was down hill from there. I went from being at the top of the class to next to the bottom, and stayed that way all the way until the end of the course.

About halfway through the course, as I was shriveling up for lack of life, I was approached at work by the Managing Director of Export, who I had spoken to periodically over the last year and a half about transferring to a different department like graphics or computer drafting. He said that he wanted to open up a position for me in his department; in Export! He said that they could really use my help there and that I could start in about a month and a half! They didn’t even know about the course I was taking. All I could think about was telling my teacher that I already got a job and didn’t need to put up with her B.S. anymore. Well, that didn’t last long. That Friday she really let me have it. I made a simple little mistake and she must have been having a real bad hair day because... never mind. Let’s just say that she felt the need to apologize afterward and that is definitely not in her nature. I found myself sinking another level down... Oy. I did let her know about the job a few weeks later and she really didn’t seem too happy about it. I later found out that she was and is still dealing with so many really hard things that I would never want to be faced with. So just remember, “It is not always about you know who...”

I met with the department heads in Export and Personnel, finished building and organizing the woodworking storage room, had a few holidays like Hanukah, Purim, Passover, and Holocaust Remembrance Day, and then met with my teacher to make up the other missed day of class work that I unfortunately acquired, the day of my final exam. You see, Josh developed mononucleosis (the kissing disease) and had to be hospitalized. I spent the day with him there, instead of in class taking my final exam, so my teacher, after receiving my final project (a user manual and a website), said that I might be able to pass the class if I take an oral exam detailing the 10 golden rules of technical communication and the principals of how to apply them.

In the mean time, my new job in MARCOM (Marketing Communication) has been going really well. We will be receiving representatives from around the world next week to show them our wares and also around The Holy Land. I have also been recruited as a guide in the Arab Market in the Old City which should be fun and interesting. Recently my work has involved developing presentations and documentation for the representatives to better understand and to promote the sales of our products (NBC, TIC, ROTA, and CO, filtration systems for army vehicles and tents) in Europe, Asia, and the America’s. After learning all about our products I can safely say that we really have the best systems around (in case any of you are army generals in need of nuclear, biological, and chemical, warfare protection). I think I am going to get a system for the bomb shelter in my house. With guys like Achmadinajad out there, you never know.

So, in the end, after I got a new culture, country, and language, I got a new house, I got a new car (it is really old and small but works), I got a new soul (you know, the Jewish thing), I got a new religion, I got a new marriage (again), I got a new job (driving a desk instead of a forklift), and I got a new career! Now I just want to go surfing and make some art already. Tomorrow is Independence Day (by the way, Zach (hyperlink to related blog) just received a 97 on his army entrance score, which is basically like 100, because they take off 3 points for circumcision or something like that. At this point, he can be whatever he wants in the army; maybe a pilot!), and I have the day off of work to spend at the beach!


Chag Sumeach too!

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