Monday, October 24, 2022

Publications Outside This Blog

This is a (likely incomplete!) list of stuff I've written and published outside this blog.  


      The 18 Ugliest Hanukkah Sweaters On The Internet - Nov. 23, 2021

       22 Low-key Ways to Celebrate Tu Bishvat - Jan. 13, 2022

       The Rotunda

       Survey: How did the first week go for first-year students - Aug. 30, 2016

       Survey: What students view to be the most important part of Longwood and why they love it - Sept. 2, 2016

       Trump vs. Clinton: Education - Sept. 17, 2016

       Secret Service holds first security open forum - Sep. 30, 2016

       Breakdown of VP candidates -  Sept. 30, 2016

       Third party candidates hold out hope for last debate - Oct. 14, 2016

       Walker's Diner under contract - Oct. 28, 2016

       Survey: How Longwood students reacted to debate - Nov. 4, 2016

       Long-term impacts of hosting the debates - Nov. 14, 2016

       Four things Lancers can be grateful for in November 2016 - Nov. 20, 2016

       Update: Construction - Jan. 27, 2017

       #AlternativeFacts: Longwood edition - Jan. 29, 2017

       Longwood Village to see change next fall - Feb. 3, 2017

       LU College Republicans at odds with Cumberland Republican committee - Feb. 11, 2017

       Longwood hires new dean of admissions - Feb. 17, 2017

       Old tobacco building to be renovated into new off-campus housing - Feb. 24, 2017

       Library to continue with upgrades - Mar. 17, 2017

       COLUMN: The rent is too damn high - Mar. 19, 2017

       Longwood Libertarians host mobile liberty ball - Mar. 24, 2017

       The Library, LU Art Dept. and LCVA bringing award to art students - Apr. 1, 2017

       College democrats co-sponsor restoration of rights event - Apr. 7, 2017

       Walker's Diner making changes under new management - Apr. 7, 2017

       Accepted Students Day sees 140 student increase - Apr. 14, 2017

       SFC process will see change next fall - Apr. 21, 2017

       What would you tell your freshman self? - Aug. 18, 2017

       In SGA: Moe's and Chick-Fil-A opposed to meal exchange, increased Midtown Landings parking enforcement - Aug. 31, 2017

       Bracelets, Supply, Distribution: Better ways to give out G.A.M.E. scarves - Aug. 31, 2017

       Students now able to use meal swipes in new locations - Sept. 1, 2017

       Campus under construction: What's happening and what's next - Sept. 11, 2017

       SFC Report: $1,620 allocated on Sept. 7 - Sept. 11, 2017

       Library finished hiring, embarks on new projects like student gallery - Sept. 15, 2017

       Candidate for local delegate seat addresses social issues - Sept. 28, 2017

       Interfaith collective gathered in unity after local mosque vandalized - Oct. 5, 2017

       PRIDE panel discusses LGBTQ+ community at Longwood - Oct. 12, 2017

       Longwood student employers set to use myLongwood portal for payroll - Oct. 21, 2017

       Survey: Meal Exchange receives mixed reviews - Oct. 26, 2017

       Bookstore relocates to bring more students downtown - Nov. 11, 2017

       In Rotunda survey, bookstore relocation receives mixed reviews - Nov. 15, 2017

       Library experiences updates for spring semester - Jan. 27, 2018

       Demand for mental health services on the rise in last five years - Feb. 1, 2018

       Two construction projects planned - Feb. 8, 2018

       New mental health organization hits ground running with 40 members - Feb. 18, 2018

       Four students to begin enforcing parking - Feb. 22, 2018

       Inside look of Upchurch University Center - Mar. 1, 2018

       Survey says: Rotunda asks students for opinions on campus parking issues -Mar. 15, 2018

       One19 to gradually open starting in April - Mar. 22, 2018

       Farmville's SOUP event awards $2,500 worth of grants to community-driven proposals - Mar. 29, 2018

       Emergency plan in place for active shooter - Apr. 6, 2018

       SFC Report - Apr. 19, 2018

       For Kim Bass, her job is "never dull" - Apr. 28, 2018

       Library Update: Zen Den completed, Java City gone and new art installed - Aug. 25, 2018

       In SGA: Students services moving and Lancer Park mail addressed - Aug. 29, 2018

       Greens to Go moved and meal plans changed - Sept. 1, 2018

       Longwood faces sustainability challenges - Sept. 2, 2018

       Longwood sees burglary and vandalism in first three weeks of classes - Sept. 8, 2018

       Citizen Leadership Institute enters its second year with major changes - Sept. 13, 2018

       Local democrats hold Leslie Cockburn rally in Blackwell Hall - Sept. 23, 2018

       Hurricane Michael takes Farmville by surprise, like most of east coast - Oct. 20, 2018

       Longwood student advocates to change service dog in training policy - Nov. 4, 2018

       Gamma Rho Lambda hosts drag show with student performers - Nov. 15, 2018

       Joan of Arc statue will make three on Longwood's campus - Nov. 17, 2018

       Wesley Hadsell charged for murder of A.J. Hadsell - Nov. 18, 2018

       Longwood gets NEA grant for community program - Jan. 25, 2019

       SGA holds town hall on campus safety - Feb. 14, 2019

       Projected Class of 2023 expected to be similar to recent classes - Feb. 16, 2019

       Protest held by BSA, SDIC, and HLA - Mar. 1, 2019

       Longwood administration responds to town hall and protest - Mar. 16, 2019

       Longwood continues work on Frazer, new admissions and academic buildings - Mar. 17, 2019

       Transgender folks aren’t scary - Nov. 1, 2019

Friday, December 4, 2020

100 Different (Hypothethical) Ways to spell Hannukkah: how the heckybecky does one spell this holiday?

Originally posted 12/4/20. Views expressed are the author's own and not representative of any organizations she is or has been affiliated with, past or present.

Today, I have truly created a beautiful monster: 100 different ways to spell חֲנוּכָּה in English. 

I think Khannuccah is the worst option, but I'm open to other opinions.

While most of these have rarely, if ever, seen the light of day, it's still shocking that so many permutations could exist within the parameters of things people actually do (if you spell it with a Q or an X, please stop). 

The most commonly accepted English spelling is Hanukkah, so that's the short answer to "how to spell this". The long answer is that there are at least 16 that are commonly recognized, and a couple dozen more that get used very occasionally.  Why is like this is actually a fairly common/explicable issue: transliteration, especially from one alphabet to another (well, technically, an Abjad to an Alphabet) is a messy business, and particularly so with sounds that aren't a thing in the language being transcribed to. 

The five most commonly used ones, which all crack the million result mark on Google (U.S. and in English), are Hanukkah, Hanuka, Chanukah, Hanukah, and Hannukah. Eleven more, which are various permutations of including (or not including) the C at the beginning, n or nn, k or kk, and including (or not including) the h at the end will generally be recognized and considered normal (or normalish). 

In addition to that, occasionally someone will substitute K, X, or J for C/Ch (in the beginning of the word). The X and the K make no sense to me, phonetically or logically. The former is a wild card with (thankfully) very low useage, and the latter was apparently used occasionally in the past, really before the internet era. The J, while still not mainstream in English-language spaces (and IMO, unlikely to become mainstream), has become gradually a little more common in the past 5-7 years. Although I don't have data to substantiate this, I imagine it might be a carryover from another language's attempts at transliterating the Hebrew, as "J" makes a H/H-like sound in some languages. 

Additionally, occasionally someone will substitute a q or a c/cc or the k/kk. The former seems to be a rare quirk of the internet age, and the latter an older spelling that largely fell out of use pre-Internet. As an aside, some older sources list the holiday of Sukkot and "Succoth" or "Succot" so, while I don't have sources on hand, I suspect that this is a relatively common trend in older transliteration techniques. 

In any case, using the possible substitutions that have been documented, I've populated a chart with 100 possible permutations. 40 of these have likely never seen the light of day before this, another 10 are rare, and another 34 are rare but that's because they've fallen out of style or may have come from another language's transliteration. Only 16 are within the normal scope of English-language transliteration, and out of those five dominate the usage landscape.

So the long answer is that I'd stick to spelling it Hanukkah, Hanuka, Chanukah, Hanukah, and Hannukah, but it's unlikely that anything based off of the permutations of including (or not including) the C at the beginning, n or nn, k or kk, and including (or not including) the h at the end is probably fine.

If nothing else, at least the Hebrew spelling is consistent! 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Welcome Week & The First Week of Class (#3)

This is another attempt at a series on my blog, containing advice from my own time at college. This is a series of blog posts (which will be linked as they are posted) intended to help first-year students and freshmen navigate their new settings. This is all written with the hopeful assumption that it will be safe for students to move back into college soon. Each post is limited to seven items in an attempt to provide manageably-sized bits of advice.

Welcome Week and the First Week of Class
1. Walk through your schedule BEFORE classes actually start. 
You will probably be lost your first week of class. That's okay, but you can mitigate this by find your classes before they actually start. Take half an hour or so to find the best route from one class to the next.
2. Actually go to the welcome week events.
You probably won't meet your best friends for the next four(ish) years or have a life-changing experience. Some of the activities will, however, be tons of fun and more importantly, help you situate yourself on campus get more comfortable with the school's spaces and geography.
3. Unpack before classes start.
You will somehow, simultaneously, have a ton of time and no time when classes start. Get most of your unpacking done before this happens.
4. Be on time for class.
This sounds obvious, but it's true. Professors are trying to remember your name, some are really finicky about attendance, and you're paying a lot of money for classes. Particularly for shorter (hour-long) classes, it's really disruptive to roll in super late, and it's not a good first impression.

On the other side of the coin, you don't need to get there crazy early. I'd recommend aiming for 5-10 minutes early, max. It's kind of weird and you'll get pretty bored if you are 15-20 minutes early, unless you have a meeting with the professor or something. 5-10 is good because that's approximately when other folks will likely roll in, so you'll have people to talk to.
5. Read the syllabi BEFORE classes start if possible, or as soon as they are distributed. 
Is it cliche advice? Absolutely. Is it true? Absolutely. It's less likely for lower-level classes and gen-eds, but if a professor posts the syllabus before
6. Talk to upperclassmen about the specific classes and professors you have. 
Not all classes and professors are equally difficult. Some professors have quirks and pet peeves you have no way of knowing about. Some classes use nearly every page of the textbook, others hardly crack them open. This is (one of the reasons) why you should make friends with someone who has had these professors and classes before. It doesn't mean their advice will be perfect or should be taken as the absolute truth, but it can help you figure out how to pronounce the professor's name or if the cheaper, older edition of the textbook is okay.

Most colleges have "peer mentor" programs or something similar. Does ever upperclassman want to help you? No. Do the people in the peer mentor or orientation programs want to help you? Yes. And even if they can't help you, they'll have friends they can refer you to.
7. Check with the professors which textbook version is okay, and if you need an access code.
If you don't need an access code, you can often get a textbook that's 2-3 editions back, and significantly cheaper.

Have fun with the first days of school, and stay safe!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

7 Things To Know For Your First Year at College: Packing & Move-In (#2)

This is another attempt at a series on my blog, containing advice from my own time at college. This is a series of blog posts (which will be linked as they are posted) intended to help first-year students and freshmen navigate their new settings. This is all written with the hopeful assumption that it will be safe for students to move back into college soon. Each post is limited to seven items in an attempt to provide manageably-sized bits of advice.

Packing & Move-In (#2)

1. Ask yourself these three questions before you pack something:
What will I use this for, can I safely store this elsewhere (not at college), and can I replace this at college if need be?
If you're saying "oh I might need this though" with no definite use and it's like $10, leave it at home.
2. Limit your clothing but in particular t-shirts.
I get that you love your dozens of t-shirts from activities. You won't wear them all. It's just not happening. You will also be getting a ton of t-shirts from college activities you'll probably prefer anyways.
3. Don't double-pack appliances with your roommate.
I mentioned this last week, but you don't need two toasters. Or microwaves. Probably not two mini-fridges either, but that one can be debated.
4. Keep track of the clothes you actually wear over the course of a week or two. Pack those instead of the back-closet things you never wear. 
Anecdotally, a lot of incoming freshman (myself of 2016 included) have a fantasy of how cute they'll dress in college. I'm not saying it never happens, but most people's aesthetic doesn't drastically shift when they move into their first dorm.
5. Have at least one "adult" or "business" outfit but not an excess of them.
There will be some occasion you need grown-up clothing for. It's not every day but you will have some interview, event, or occasion you need to be professional for. On the flip side, unless you actually wear a professional outfit to class every day (and most people don't), you really don't need more than two or three business outfits.
6. Pack a mini-fridge.
If there is any way you or your roommate can bring one, it's a great idea. Communal fridges are risky not only because of "disappearing" food but also because it's easy to forget food in a communal fridge.
7. Don't forget cleaning supplies. If you live with your folks, you may not have your own yet.
This is a really good time to get them. You will need to clean your dorm occasionally, and owning a mini-broom will help.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

20 Gifts for the Class of 2020

Well, it's been a time to graduate. It can be hard enough to find a gift for a graduate during normal times, but in the pandemic-stricken world we now live in there are fewer available options and perhaps more pressure to find a gift. In any case, here are 20 gifts for the 2020 grad in your life. 

-Graduates walking away from 2020

Disclosure: The links below that are through Amazon are Amazon Affiliate Links, and the writer of this article may earn a small commission from purchases through these links. 

Under $20 - You know this person well enough to get them a gift, but the budget is real.

1. Cute pair of earbuds or a phone charger, assuming you know what kind of phone they have. A nice way to say "I don't know you that well, but I acknowledge you graduated."
2. A quirky new board game, like the Oregon Trail or Unstable Unicorns for all this indoor time, or perhaps a 500-piece puzzle.
3. House slippers, because that's an item that's been working overtime.
4. Bath bomb set, the classic "I hadn't the slightest what to get you, but I appreciate your occasion nonetheless."
5. Home-decor cheat sheets, so they can plan their dream home while living at their parents' house. Honestly, this cute little book is just a great gift for anyone with a house, not just recent graduates.

$20-$60 - These gifts are thoughtful, but are generic enough most grads can use them. 

6. A steamer. It's like an iron, but more Millennial-proof.
7. A set of dishes. If they didn't have dishes in college, this is a great way to say "I believe that the pandemic will end, you will get a job, and not have to live with your parents." If they already have dishes, they probably don't have that many and odds are they're pretty beat up.
8. A decent set of cutting boards. Another way to say "I believe in your capacity to adult."
9. A scratch map of the world or the U.S., as if to claim "one day we will be able to travel again."
10. $20 one dollar scratch-off tickets, so they can try their luck.

$60-$120 - These items require knowing the grad well enough to see if it’s something they’d use. 

11. A nice house robe, maybe even a monogrammed one.
12. A gift card to their favorite store, so they can pick out the gift.
13. A cocktail making set, so they can toast their diploma.
14. A decent sewing machine, if they've been trying to make masks. I’m a beginner and I’ve made ~75 masks and I like the Brother Pacesetter PS100.
15. A three month subscription to a subscription box they'd like. There are literally hundreds of subscription boxes-there has to be something they’re into. 

$120+ - These gifts you should coordinate with the grad in question, to make sure it’s their style and that they don’t already have something like it. 

16. Spotify premium subscription. Well, a gift card for one. They're soon to be kicked off of Spotify student (which comes with premium features like Hulu and no ads), so you can give them the next year of premium for about $120.
17. Fitted suit set-you could go out with your student when this all passes and pick one together.
18. A good watch they can wear nearly every day.
19. A nice or designer card holder for all the business cards they'll collect looking for jobs.
20. Get their diploma professionally framed, assuming they're willing to coordinate.

It's a Brave New World (no, my degree isn't in literature-it's in German & Public History) out there, but the graduate in your life will appreciate these gifts!

7 Jewish Event Things To Know: Invited to a Bar Mitzvah (#2)

This is another attempt at a series on my blog, intended for use when lockdown has lifted, the pandemic has passed, and people are going to events and one another's homes safely. This is a series of blog posts (which will be linked as they are posted) intended to help gentiles invited to Jewish events. Although some of this advice may apply elsewhere, this is written from the context of American Judaism. This advice is not aimed at any particular denomination and will likely apply to more liberal strains of Judaism (Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative) and less so to Orthodox.

Invited over to a Bar Mitzvah (#2)

It's too thick to be a regular card, but probably not thick enough to be a wedding invitation. You've received an invite to a Bar (boy), Bat (girl), or Bnai (more than one child or nonbinary) Mitzvah for some relative, friend, or another Jewish preteen in your life. Now what?

1. Bar/Bat/Bnai Mitzvot celebrate the entrance into Jewish adulthood, at about age 12/13. Sometimes adults, particularly women, who were unable to have them as children have a ceremony, but most Jewish people now do it sometime in middle school. 
Girls are able to have their ceremony starting at twelve, boys at thirteen. Why? It's just how it's done. Technically speaking, reaching on their twelfth or thirteenth birthday makes a Jewish person a Jewish adult, but much ceremony and tradition have grown up around the milestone. As an aside, we don't think 12/13 years olds count as adults in any other way, just in the sense of being responsible for one's Jewish actions.

Not all girls have their Bat Mitzvah at twelve and nor do all boys have their Bar Mitzvah boys at thirteen. Some lenient congregations allow slightly younger children to have ceremonies, and much more common is the Bar/Bat/Bnai ceremonies well after the twelfth or thirteenth birthday. I (a girl) was several months past thirteen at mine, and this was within the typical time frame. As mentioned, there are adults who chose to have ceremonies (my grandma had hers in her forties because in the 1960s orthodox-ish that wasn't an option), but it's much more common in the U.S. these days to have it sometime in middle school or early high school.

In any case, a service/ceremony and a party are very common and are usually sometime in middle school. Within orthodoxy and particularly within Haredi Judaism women are less likely to have Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, although it s becoming more common in some communities. However, in more liberal groups (Conservative/Masorti, Reform, Reconstruction, Nondenominational/Postdenominational), it's the norm that girls have Bat Mitzvah ceremonies.

From here on out in this post, "Bar Mitzvah" will be used to collectively refer to Bar, Bat, and Bnai Mitzvahs.
Image may contain: 2 people
My sister (brunette) and I (pink hair) at her Bat Mitzvah in 2013.

2. The service and the party are often separate. 

Although not universal, the most common arrangement is to have a separate party in the afternoon or evening after the service in a different venue. Some people choose to have a trip with family instead or have the party at the synagogue, but in respect of the restrictions synagogues often have on activities in the building and the fact that guests may be Shabbos-observant, parties are usually held after the service at night and at a separate venue. Sometimes there might be a party a week or two later, but the most typical thing is Saturday night after.

Although not commanded in the Torah, the Bar Mitzvah service and ceremony as we know it has a fairly standard set of events of expectations. One of these expectations is that the child reads from the Torah, not just any Tanach (bible) book but the physical Torah Scroll itself, usually in a synagogue. Since Torah services are usually only conducted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, this narrows the times that Bar Mitzvah ceremonies can happen. Consequently, Saturday mornings are when almost all Bar Mitzvah Ceremonies happen.

Since it's not technically a commandment there's some wiggle room on what to do during the service, but there is a fairly standard set of events that happen. The Bar Mitzvah celebrant will usually read a portion from the Torah, give a Dvar (an interpretation of the reading), in the lingua franca of the congregation, carry the Torah around, and lead certain prayers. Additionally, family and friends close to the person being Bar Mitzvah-ed will have honors as well, ranging from opening and closing the ark (which contains the Torahs), to reciting certain blessings, to helping give out programs. If you are close to the Bar Mitzvah person, you may be asked to help out with something, but that's a more in-depth post for another time.

Image may contain: 2 people
Me posing with the Torah as if reading at the picture session we did the day before my ceremony.

The service is usually sometime in the morning, probably technically starting around 8:30-9:30 and ending sometime around noon or 1 p.m. (more on that in a minute), followed by a brunch. Sometimes the party is instead of the brunch (also called an oneg) that is right after. If the oneg and party are separate, the party will usually be that night after sunset.

3. Unless you are a close friend or family member, money is more common than physical gifts. 
If you have some super cool gift idea for someone you really know or some specific gift to help with the party, great. It's very acceptable, however, to give checks or cash. Denominations of $18 (although usually starting at $36) are common because eighteen is a lucky number in Judaism. For an acquaintance or family friend, $25, $36, $50, or $54 is appropriate. For closer friends and relatives larger sums are appropriate. If the person is someone you are closer with and you want to gift a little bit more, $118 or $120 are also lucky numbers.

4. Try not to give the money in the synagogue. 
Although not a problem most days, it is frowned upon to exchange money on Shabbos, and most synagogues prefer you don't hand checks or cash to the Bar Mitzvah kid on Shabbos in their spaces. You can mail it to them before or after, save it for the party, or be discreet in your hand-off. If you are giving your gift at the brunch after the service, then make sure it's in an envelope. The Bar Mitzvah kid is probably a little busy, so you can give it to their parents if the recipient themselves isn't available.

5. Be aware and courteous of the synagogue's policies and customs on photo-taking, seating, and contact.
It's also frowned upon in many synagogues to take pictures or videos during services. Most folks do pictures the day before or the day after out of respect for Shabbos. In some Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues cameras are allowed, but generally speaking, it's kind of tacky. If photos are allowed in the synagogue on Shabbas, there's probably a photographer or close family taking the pictures, you don't need to. On a related note, it's pretty tacky to have your phone out during the service to text, as I imagine it is in most houses of worship. If you have to take a call or there's an emergency text, step out of the sanctuary and into the lobby.

Like taboos on photography, seating also varies by congregation and denomination. What I mean by this is that adult men and women are separated during the services. This is the norm in orthodox synagogues, but not practiced in more liberal denominations of Judaism. If you are in an orthodox synagogue, there will be a men's section and a women's section. Kids (under 12/13) are free to float between either. Sometimes one section will be behind the other, and sometimes it will be side by side with some sort of barrier between them. If there is gender-segregated seating, it will be obvious.

The other faux pas to be aware of in orthodox congregations is physical contact between men and women. This doesn't apply in non-orthodox settings, but for many orthodox Jews physical contact between non-related adult men and women is taboo, so if someone of the opposite sex isn't comfortable shaking your hand it really isn't personal.

5. You rarely show up to synagogue at the time on the invitation. 
Jewish services are long. The absolute minimum, in the most liberal reform and reconstructionist synagogues, would be one and half to two hours for a Bar Mitzvah. Most run closer to 3-4 hours, and in the U.S. generally the more traditional the denomination the longer the service. The good news is that while the service may start at 8:30 a.m., it is neither the norm nor expected that guests arrive at that time. The invitation may indicate the time guests are expected to arrive, or you can ask whoever invited you a good time to aim for. In my experience, most guests at a Bar Mitzvah trickle in somewhere in the neighborhood of 9:30-10:00.

A Saturday morning service is actually usually several services combined into one: Shacharit (morning), Torah, Musaf ("extra"), and Mincha (afternoon). The Torah service, which is the portion the Bar Mitzah celebrant is most involved with, usually lands around 10:15. Even if services technically start at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m., it doesn't mean that everyone is there at that time. It's not rude or wrong to be there for the whole thing, but as a guest, it's not really necessary.

If the invitation has a super early time on it, it's okay to ask when the Torah service is or what a good time to arrive is. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, but I'd say if you arrive by 10:00 a.m. you're fine. If you have an honor or part in the ceremony, make sure you know approximately what time that's at so you are there for it.

6. Dress more "Sunday Best" than "Come as you are" for the synagogue. 
My observation is that many American churches often have a relatively lax dress code. No judgment, but that's not how most synagogues work. Think of a more traditional Sunday best, a nice dinner, or business casual. Outside of orthodox congregations, women can wear dress pants, but anecdotally, I would say skirts and blouses and dresses are more common. Men should wear dress pants and a dress shirt or button up-you don't need a suit.

Additionally, The more traditionally observant the denomination, the more modest you need to aim for. For most synagogues, you should be covering shoyour ulders and above the knee if not the knee. If a dress or skirt is a little short then tights are helpful. Shrugs and cardigans also come in handy for sleeveless shirts and dresses. Colorful clothing and patterns are acceptable, but excessive cleavage and sheer clothing should be avoided.

In most synagogues, men and boys are expected to wear a kippah (plural kippot), regardless of whether they are Jewish or not. Outside of orthodox settings, women are permitted but not required to wear them. The synagogue will have them available, you do not have to provide your own. In fact, many families will make commemorative kippot for the occasion with the name of the Bar Mitzvah and the date it happened.

7. The party is roughly equivalent to a Sweet Sixteen, Quinceanera, or other big birthday celebrations. 
There are some Jewish touches, like specific songs (including the Horah, the "chair dance") and the food may be kosher, but expect something comparable to a younger Sweet Sixteen. Some people have fancy parties, and some people have more kid-focused parties. Unless it's explicitly an outdoor or otherwise messy event, think fancy dress for the party. Depending on the venue, you should be aiming for somewhere between business casual and cocktail attire.

These seven things don't cover every little detail, but they are good basics for you to know as a guest, and can help you find the right questions to ask whoever invited you. At the end of the day, it's a celebration - Have fun!

Publications Outside This Blog

This is a (likely incomplete!) list of stuff I've written and published outside this blog.   ●   HeyAlma ○        The 18 Ugliest Hanuk...