Monday, August 10, 2009

NHC Institute '09: Reminders for future years

This post will be of interest primarily to NHC Institute attendees.
  1. Start with the reminders from the 2008 NHC Institute.
  2. Ask NHC to continue to put us in non-air-conditioned housing--Cheshire Hall is reputed to be freezing because the AC is completely out of control and actually gets worse if one opens a window.
  3. Don't order the feminine-fit T-shirt--even the large size, though longer, is not wider, and you're a bit past the age at which you'd look good and/or feel comfortable in just about anything that skin-tight.
  4. Remind the Punster to order a new NHC Institute sweatshirt, and to bring his ancient NHC Institute shirts for resale to benefit NHC--some attendees enjoy collecting the old NHC Institute shirts, especially since the graphic changes every year. While you're at it, bring your own skin-tight 2008 T-shirt for resale.
  5. Empty the camera and bring extra memory sticks, so you'll stop running out of room and be able to shoot more videos.
  6. Bring three night-lights: 1 for the powder room (with the noisy fan, which you don't want to leave on over Shabbat), 1 for the kitchen/livingroom (so that you won't have to waste electricity running the ceiling light while out at night during the week--leave the ceiling light on over Shabbat for middle-of-the-night reading), & 1 for the bedroom ('cause it was pitch black in there when we came home from Shabbat dinner and z'mirot singing).
  7. Bring an external mouse, so that you can upload photos and video from the camera to the hubster's laptop in far less than 45 minutes and without cursing.
  8. Nu, if you're going to bring a tape recorder, bring blank tapes! (Hmm, I saw a woman recording z'mirot one weekday afternoon with a Blackberry. I don't think it's possible to upload taped music. Is there a lower-tech MP3 recorder, or is it time to make the big switch?)
  9. Re last year's reminder #14 concerning n'tilat yadayim (the ritual hand-washing), here's a better idea, suggested by Rabbi Susan Gulack: Bring a full coffee-mug of water and an empty bowl to the table, and do n'tilat yadayim right at the table! (For the record, Shabbat dinner is even worse than lunch--we're all at the same Kabbalat Shabbat service, which means that all Institute attendees hit the cafeteria line at the same time.)
  10. Do Birkot HaShachar with all three paragraphs of the Sh'ma (which includes the first line and Baruch Shem K'vod) before breakfast--our current rabbi says that one is not permitted to eat m'zonot (grain products other than bread, for which one must wait until after Shacharit) until after one has recited the full Sh'ma, and also, one can be sure that one has said the full Sh'ma at the proper time/z'man if one says it before 8:15 AM (New York City time).
  11. The left-over grape juice (if any) from Friday night Kiddush gets put into the beverage cooler directly behind the salad bar. (We said Kiddush Rabbah/"Morning" Kiddush over bread this year.) I haven't figured out where the leftover challah is.
  12. Don't bring a (mini) siddur/prayer book to Kabbalat Shabbat/Sabbath Evening Service, even if your wrists are bothering you--the NHC provides very light-weight spiral-bound special Kabbalat Shabbat siddurim for everyone.
  13. But for heaven's sake, do remember to bring your tallitot to Saturday morning breakfast, because Shacharit starts immediately thereafter! We missed probably 20 minutes of (Birkot HaShachar and?) P'sukei D'Zimrah rushing clear across campus to our suite to get our tallitot. (Shout-out to our suite-mates Yael and Alan from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, not true about the tapes. You can buy a cord at RadioShack or Best Buy that will hook up a tape player to the audio jack on your computer. It's then possible to record the tape onto an audio track on your comptuer. Audacity is free and relatively simple to use. You can filter out static as well. Its one downside is that the audio files it creates are only readable with Audacity, so you have to convert them to mp3s after you've finished fiddling with them. But they've got an extra program (also free) on their website that will do this, so it's not that annoying.

Mon Aug 10, 11:37:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks for the info. I'll ask my husband to try to "translate" your instructions into something that Ms. Tech-Challenged, here, can understand. :)

Tue Aug 11, 12:15:00 PM 2009  

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