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This week, we introduce you to a bunny-loving mensch who graces us with tips for better sleep, great podcast recommendations, and a short poem for Jewish DC!
Allie: What brought you to DC?
Shoshana: I’m from New York but grew up in NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) and came to DC right after college in 2009. I graduated from Penn State and applied for alternative teaching programs. The first one I got accepted to was in DC teaching science and math in inner city schools. After that, I started teaching at an all-girls Orthodox yeshiva (Jewish educational institution).
Allie: What made you stay here?
Shoshana: If I wanted to go back to school or change jobs – DC was able to offer that. I like that DC is small and easy to navigate. Also, plugging into the Jewish community here seems to be easier than it is in other large cities. You can carve out much more of a community.
Allie: Tell me about your job and what you do.
Shoshana: I work at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and help with their online continuing medical education program. All medical professionals have to take courses to keep up their licensure. I describe my job as half curriculum design and half tech. I also do some IT troubleshooting. All of my years of teaching have been super helpful, and since a lot of education is already very online (especially right now!), I was already managing similar systems in the classroom. This was a natural transition for me. I can do a lot of different things career-wise from here, but think I want to stay in the medical education space. My dad was an adolescent psychiatrist so I know the importance of that role.
Allie: Are there any helpful psychology tips you’ve learned from your job that you can share with us?
Shoshana: One thing I tell my friends is that your bed should only be associated with sleep. If you are tired, don’t go into your bed and be on your phone. It’s better to relax on a couch, or if you can’t do that – you should change how you sit on your bed. Rearrange the pillows just to create some difference in the way you use it and that should help you sleep better.
Allie: Walk me through your dream DC day (post pandemic of course).
Shoshana: I wake up not too early (after nine), and ideally it’s a Sunday. I would go for a run through Rock Creek Park, and then go to the Dupont Farmers Market. I would get a bagel with lots of cream cheese from Call Your Mother. In the summer, I like to go to the pool. If I feel like being more social I’ll go to the Banneker pool or if I want something more relaxed I’ll go to the Georgetown pool. Afterwards, I would go to Meridian Hill Park and check out the drum circle. In the evening I would go to The Big Hunt for a comedy show. That bar has the game Big Buck Hunter which I love!
Allie: What do you do to relax?
Shoshana: I really like to exercise. I use ClassPass and try to do workouts to break up my day. I also like to take baths when it’s cold outside. It’s really helpful to listen to podcasts. I especially like film review podcasts like Blank Check, Unspooled, and Nerd Critic.
Allie: Do you have a favorite Jewish Holiday?
Shoshana: I would say Shabbat, because I like that it’s weekly and comes often. I just really like the cathartic end of week feeling that comes with lighting candles, saying the prayers, and having a traditional meal. I don’t fully unplug, but I still try to have a good conversation and make it a special time.
Allie: Is there anything people would be surprised to know about you?
Shoshana: If you don’t know me well, you would be surprised to know I love bunny rabbits. I was raised with rabbits as pets. They lived with us like a cat or a dog would, they were litter trained. I have always loved rabbits. I would love to get one, but don’t have any currently. I like that rabbits have been really popular in movie symbolism lately.
Allie: What would you name your rabbits if you got them?
Shoshana: I love the idea of coordinating names, especially food names like Avocado and Toast.
Allie: What is your favorite kind of rabbit?
Shoshana: I grew up with floppy eared rabbits or lop rabbits. I follow Flemish Giants on Instagram and they can get up to 20-25 pounds and are supposed to be really smart. Sadly, this breed doesn’t live as long. Something about having an enormous rabbit seems really appealing to me.
Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…
Shoshana: I wrote a little poem for this! Very few tattoos / some will Booze / many will schmooze / most will share their views / all will be amused.
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