Since I couldn’t exactly remember the last time I had my eyes checked this seemed like a brilliant suggestion. (It was definitely when I lived in the T-Dot).
I made an appointment from a recommended ophthalmologist. I packed up my pairs of glasses (I have 2 pair) ready to have my eyes checked and anticipating some change in my prescription (and spending money on a new lenses). All the usual eye doctor things happened. I read the eye chart with each eye covered (not at the same time!). I told him of my troubles with reading of late (also acknowledging that I spend a lot of time looking at screens of various sizes) and I have dry eyes generally.
Then he shocked me.
“You don’t need glasses. At least not for distance.”
What?? I have been wearing glasses for distance since I was a senior in high school. I have taken to wearing glasses most of the time (including prescription sunglasses) and see glasses as helpful but also a fun accessory. Being me I say, “You mean I don’t have to splurge on prescription sunglasses anymore and I could just go pick up a pair anywhere?”
“Sometimes this happens with people your age,” he said.
I think he might have been able to pick my chin up off the floor.
HOWEVER (you know that was coming) he then checked my vision for reading. I need READING glasses. Of course, cheaters won’t work exactly but me and your grandma both need glasses to see best for reading. (Until they’re ready I’ve been increasing the font size on my various devices).
“It is pretty uncommon for someone your age. You might have ___________________, but it just means that you need reading glasses prematurely. Come back in a year and I will check your eyes again,” he said.
The rest of the visit was routine. My eyes were dilated and everything looks healthy.
It’s been about 5 days since the big no glasses move. It still seems like I am missing something or forgetting to put something on when I’m working. I have to say that my eyes feel better.
This past weekend I attended my elementary school reunion. That’s right, elementary school. I attended Baldwin Hills Gifted Magnet for all six of those years (until we moved from LA to MN). Thanks to the magic of Facebook. one of my classmates got enough of us together to make this amazing reunion happen!
Many people seem surprised that there could be a reunion from a LAUSD school. My class was different. Because we were in a gifted magnet program in a school essentially I went through every year with the same students. I believe in fourth and fifth grades we were in split classrooms but otherwise, many of the people in the picture to the left I knew for a long time!
Baldwin Hills was a really special place. Celebrating multiculturalism was a tenet of the school. We celebrated everyone’s holiday. We learned and performed an Irish jig, a Mexican dance and celebrated MLK day annually. Sitting around the fire pit at the reunion all of these years later, it was fascinating to hear how our collective experience at Baldwin Hills impacted our lives. We all feel so comfortable in multicultural settings.
I am so grateful that I got to attend this school. Grateful that one of my classmates organized this amazing reunion and that I got to be there! I am proud that each of these people were my classmates.
What was your elementary school like?
I’ve been ruminating. Dangerous. One of my least favorite moments of rabbinic life (and honestly, there aren’t that many), is when someone called me “Rabbi Ellie”. You see, I completed nine years of schooling to receive my rabbinic ordination and the sound of “Rabbi Ellie” sounds like nails on a chalkboard in my head. There is this uncomfortable trend I’ve both observed and heard about from many that male rabbis are referred to as “Rabbi LastName” while female rabbis are called “Rabbi FirstName” by default.
It is for this reason that when I started at my first synagogue post I was adamant that I was to be called Rabbi Steinman. The exception is for students under the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah and remains that narrow. My congregants were more than happy to oblige. Not all of my colleagues felt the same way. Another rabbi and I were both recipients of an email that said, “Dear Rabbi FirstName and Rabbi Steinman.” Confusing.
I vividly recall a conversation with one of my uncles who puzzled at my problem with “Rabbi FirstName”. I stopped him in his tracks when I asked how he might respond if he was introduced as Dr. Louie (not his real name) instead of Dr. Steinman. I watched as the proverbial lightbulb lit up above his head. No further discussion. He got it.
What will I do when I again work in an environment when the custom is to refer to all of the clergy as Rabbi or Cantor FirstName? I do not yet know. I look forward to having that problem.
This whole issue begs the question that I would love some comments on, is this a gender issue or a societal change from formal to more informal? Do parents introduce their adult friends to their children as Mr. or Ms so-and-so? Does everyone go by first names? Thoughts?
I have excellent news for those of you who, like me, lost sleep over the case of the missing Machzor. The good news is that my machzor (High Holy Day prayerbook) has been found.
The book was missing for two years of High Holy Day worship. One year at TS which was somewhat complicated since I actually needed the book (though I did manage to get by with other resources (mostly a photocopied Machzor in a 3-ring binder). This year in MN I borrowed a Gates of Red from MY DAD for RH and the shul I attended for YK used a different book so it was all good.
I have no idea why it took 2 years to find this book. I know TS stores all of the books throughout the year but you’d think the large gold sticker (thanks to LBN for the awesome ordination gift, an embosser), the paper clips and the innumerable pieces of paper sticking out might have made it obvious or that the person who used the book may have found it, seen the priceless nameplate that this was a gift to me in celebration of my Bat Mitzvah and given it to someone.
Nevertheless, I am grateful to the person(s) who found my precious prayer book and gave it to someone who returned it to me. Thank you to THE POET friend for hand delivering the book to me in LA LA LAND, too.