How Do You Measure?; Really? A Rent Reference, Aj?

AJ Sherman writes:

Just as I began blogging in Israel I will end this one with a list of notes that I wish to add my observations on. Hope to continue blogging at home and further next year! Just to clarify the Rent reference came from a mash-up (to explain for those who don’t know what a mash-up is: it is when a DJ or series of DJs combines the one song with another creating a new song) I heard of a Notorious BIG Song and Rent, I played it last weekend at my first real DJ gig, on my first real archaeological dig (a lot of firsts). I do not have a DJ name Aj is just going to suffice thus the motif of this blog a “Rent Mash-Up”.

The Year: well for me sitting in the Wi-Fi room at Kibbutz Ramat HaShofet, I have determined an estimated measurement of my year, let us all remember in the context of Archaeology there are no exact answers. The answer is at least 108: 3 Countries, 3 Loves, at least 100 new friends and two of me. The countries being the State of Israel, The UK, and The USA. The 3 new loves being Israel, Archaeology and Ms. Samantha Shabman. At least 100 new friends that I have added and have added me on Facebook. Last but not least two of me, one before and one after I came to Israel.

Countries: 3
In my travels during the past year, I have been lucky enough to be in three great countries and be exposed to their people. When I first came to Israel, I did not know what was in store for me accept for the old adage suggesting that Israeli’s are Sabra’s. Prickly on the outside, sweet in the middle. And for the most part this is true. However, I’d like to equate Israel to something a little bit more savory sounding to me at this moment: a Laffa Shwarma. The Laffa Shwarma is a middle-eastern treat that has been eaten by locals on the street as a cheap snack between meals, and sometimes made into one. Today the Shwarma in Jerusalem where I spent so much time, is now served by rabbinically kosher restuarants with all of the trimmings of middle-eastern and european influence. The meat, sauces and the salads are not complete without the french fries, all rolled into one delicious savory snack. Israel is a mix, and let us not forget this as it is even more important now to remember.

In the USA I was a first time visitor. I was not in either country long enough to really feel as if I was back home even though I was with my parents and family which was amazing, the length made it feel a bit off. The strange changes that had set in while I was gone were as follows in the US. Apparently we went from loving Obama to hating him, Girls don’t wear pants anymore they all wear tights all the time and this show called the Jersey Shore filmed not so far from my one time home in Ocean County New Jersey was all over the place. I felt like a stranger

In the UK, like the US, I was a again a first time visitor, however I had a good friend to escort me around. Sarina Sheth Studying at UCL was able to tour me all around London, showing me the sites and the great museums I had pined over after watching their poor depiction on the history channel. I loved the pub’s, the bloaks and the exhibits and thoroughly enjoyed every english minute.

Love: 3
I was lucky to fall in love three times in this country and all under the same context. I had to live in it, with it and embrace it. The first of which would be the State of Israel. This country has truly shown me the time of my life. It has given me more than I ever could have asked for. The Sabbath Dinners, and Holidays in this country is an experience that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. The people are wonderful and I have no idea why people are concerned about this safety thing, if you are in Israel you are among brothers and friends and you will always feel this.

Secondly, Archaeology. I would like to thank this program for this opportunity to dig at Megiddo, among the top minds in the world. It has been truly a blast to take all of the powerpoints I have seen and truly apply them. There is something to be said about being outside in the heat and building a sweat racing through the past with your trowel and petish. It is a feeling unmatched in the rest of the world. I hope to go on in my studies in this field. I can forsee a long road a head of me, but I will never forget past and beginnings right here at the end of the world.

Finally my girlfriend and former “roomie” Samantha Shabman. A lot has happened in our relationship so far and we have not even made it out of the country yet! I was fortunate enough to meet this charming young woman when the night I returned to my apartment in Jerusalem from London. A few days later we began one of the most intense experiments I have ever undertaken: Cohabitation. I know many readers maybe nay-sayers to this ideal, however we did it and loved it. I have never felt that I known anyone else as well as I had known her in our place. We spent a great deal amount of time with each other and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful things she has helped me with and provided for me. Such as the information regarding this dig, how to properly conduct an argument and how to love without holding back. One can only get so lucky to fall in love three times in the same year

New Friends: 100
I know to many people this may seem superficial. Facebook Friends. However, on behalf of my generation our main philosophy: “Facebook is like, all else is chaos and lost memories.” If it is not on Facebook it isn’t official or never really occurred. Hey, even our parents are on Facebook now, it is truly taking over. Even here at Megiddo where Professor Cline posts all of the pictures he takes throughout the day online, where we can tag them and then comment. It is a virtual validation tool, where one can seemingly say “Look! I was here.” I am glad to have added so many people on Facebook. We all do seem to keep in touch on it. We Facebook chat, message, comment and like. Forever let it be known that I “like” Megiddo and all of you who have added me or I have added this year! Let’s all try to keep in touch okay?

Myself: 2
There are now two “me”s. Pre-Israel and Post Israel, Pre-Dig and Post Dig, lost and found? I don’t claim to be found but before this year, I was planning on doing well in school and then hopefully convincing my parents to let me pursue my dreams of becoming a Rockstar, this has since changed. Now, I’d like to think I am more focused. Now, I like to think I have goals. Now, I like to think I have an idea of where I am going. I think it takes getting your dreams and reality shaken a bit for this to happen. This shaking was my year in Israel. I was shaken on all sides: academically, socially, culturally and musically. My prior career path has been changed. I have been but am now full steam a head on the road to becoming an academic, I cannot wait to get back to school, finish out this year and begin the next phase of my life and perhaps the next subject of a blog: Grad School.

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