Skip to main content

Yom HaShoah – Reach Out

Posted by on Monday, April 23, 2012 in Academics.

This past Thursday, the world celebrated Yom HaShoah, or Day of Holocaust Remembrance. Well, how is this related to Vanderbilt? Well, for one, Vandy has a phenomenal Jewish community on campus, but also, last weekend, I had an interesting opportunity that would not have occurred without the effort to create a connection with one of my TAs.

This has been quite an interesting semester for me, in that all of my classes have in some way intermingled with one another. Trust me, that is a wonderful feeling, because suddenly, your courses make sense, and it’s not just a question of “Why am I learning this?” but more of a “How can I use this elsewhere?” You see, my final Anthropology paper was inspired by my Jewish Studies course on the literature of children of Holocaust survivors.

Depressing subject, I know, but please, bear with me! So this inspiration and a bit of luck allowed me to come to know one of my TAs who was also coincidentally a child of a survivor. He helped me through my final paper in any way possible, and in the end, he informed me of the Yom HaShoah service the Jewish community in Nashville had last weekend at the Jewish Temple. While it took a bit of effort to get out to the temple, it was worth every while, as I saw Life in a Jar, a play which had been created by high school students years ago in honor of a woman, Irena Sendler, who saved 1000 children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

You wanna know another cool connection? Last semester, while I was abroad in Poland, I wrote a paper on Irena Sendler herself, and so I learned all about this play. Somehow, across the world, months later, I had the opportunity to go see the play performed by the students who rediscovered her. How? I took the initiative to really talk to my TA in Anthropology 101 and make a connection with him. These are the kind of opportunities Vanderbilt provides if you make the effort, and you really will have a plethora of them surrounding you, to the point that it might be overwhelming, but in a good way!

Bottom line is, really, do reach out to your professors and TAs, because they will do their best to ensure you do your best. Vanderbilt professors and TAs are something else, because you see how much they care about their students. So take advantage of your wonderful community, especially if there is something that truly interests you! It will come around in every way possible, across all of your classes. Don’t allow yourself to miss out.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,