Monthly Archives: November 2006


Gmail has this cool features where headlines are displayed at the top of your inbox. I clicked on one such news article titled “Night of soccer violence in France reveals an ugly underside” (International Herald Tribune – Europe), and although I had a sneaking suspicion that this article concerned me more than just because I studied abroad in Paris last spring, I was still upset that my expectations were met…

The article speaks about an incident that occurred after the Parisian soccer team lost to a team from Tel Aviv(Israel). European soccer is known for its hostile, aggressive, drunk fans and also for its refusal to truly let go of old ideas, but it’s sad to read about this kind of stuff in 2006.

“The crowd hurled insults – ‘dirty Jew,’ ‘Dirty Negro’ and monkey cries – and raised Nazi salutes,” the state prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, said afterward.

A fan who called himself Maxmax said on an Ultra Internet message board posted on Friday that someone shouted, “Jews to the ovens!” after the shooting.

It’s also disturbing because this sort of thing isn’t a such a rare occurrence. At the end of February, I wrote a post (found here) about a young Jewish man (only two years older than me!) who had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a gang because they thought that the Jewish community would pay an exorbitant ransom (since obviously all Jews are rich).

Although at the beginning of my stay in Paris, I wore my Star of David necklace, I quickly changed to a Chamsa one and then even felt a little unsafe in that. I felt like a stranger’s eyes immediately went straight to my neck and then labeled me. I soon took it off – a big sign that things are definitely differeint in Europe than in the United States.

So, I guess while I frequently think about my time abroad and miss all the charm, there are some great things about being back home.

Carpe Diem

Grey’s Anatomy became a huge success while I was away in Europe and although I jumped on the bandwagon a little bit late, I am totally addicted to the show. This provides quite a conflict since it airs at 9pm on Thursday night, which as we all know, is already the weekend here in College Park… but that’s a whole other story.

I’ve been getting frustrated with the show lately because it has been moving rather slow. But what I’ve come to realize is that what makes it so special isn’t actually everything that goes on, but the insight that can be found in the little introduction and conclusion found in every episode. These monologues provide a truly accurate commentary on things that really hit home. I feel like the writers take my thoughts and just word them better than I would.

So, on this lovely Monday morning, I leave you with the following quote, the subject of which was discussed at the bar last night when my friend Covin wisely said that it’s better to know that you’ve done everything possible to achieve your goals than to wonder “what if?” for the rest of your life…

A couple of hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today. This is the man who discovered electricity. You think more people would listen to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you’re wrong? What if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo? The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can’t pretend we hadn’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.