"Nu, have you decided yet what you want to major in?" asked
her neighbor, Yael, the one now finishing seminary. Actually,
Shoshy wasn't sure what to answer. She had already picked out
her specialty years ago, while she was still in grade school.
Her cousin, who was also in seminary, was trying hard to
decide but Shoshy already knew then that she wanted to go
into special education. She cared so much for these special
children and had such sympathy for their learning
difficulties that she'd decided she would like to be a
special ed. pre-school or elementary school teacher.
But that was then, and as often happens, over the years this
goal lost part of its appeal and other interesting
possibilities came up, so that she wasn't really sure any
more what to choose. In her heart, she knew that she had
chosen her specialty years ago, but somehow, it wasn't as
appealing anymore. Her mother advised her to ask among her
teachers and older girls who had studied special ed, but the
information left her feeling more confused than ever. The
girls who had finished the first or second year of the
teachers' seminary had varying opinions. Ruchi claimed that
it was exhausting work and whoever could, should stay away
from it. "Why should you study special education? It's like
putting a healthy body in a sick bed, with all that it
entails," she explained animatedly to Shoshy. "Besides, the
demand for teachers is much less than it used to be. Why
don't you choose an easier profession? Believe me, you'll be
much happier for it."
Yochi, on the other hand, encouraged her in her choice. "It's
really worth your while, and it can help you with many other
areas of education. Of course, it's difficult and takes a lot
of effort, but I think your parents are behind you on this
and with their support, you'll manage just fine. You know how
many girls from my class wanted to study special ed but ended
up not doing so for various reasons. It would be a shame for
you to miss out if you have the opportunity."
Then there was her good friend, Sari, who tried to convince
her to study graphics, a subject for which she herself had
registered for. So by now, Shoshy wasn't sure what really
suited her from the whole range of possibilities. "Once, when
there wasn't much of a choice, I knew what I wanted, but
today, with so many opportunities, how can I make up my
mind?" she thought to herself.
As Yael was walking alongside her, she exclaimed, "What?
You're still hesitating! I can't believe it! A sensitive,
intelligent girl like you. I was sure you'd pick special ed.
You're so suited for it. I just can't understand why you
haven't made up your mind," she concluded emphatically,
without realizing how important her words were to Shoshy. The
compliments found their mark. Yael thought she had the
necessary sensitivity for the profession -- she hadn't
realized what was missing in her decision, but now she knew
that her mind was practically made up.
The next 2-3 years flew by while Shoshy dedicated all of her
time to learning her specialty. As she applied herself with
enthusiasm and commitment, she realized more and more how her
studies were truly suited to her personality.
But studies are one thing and practical work another. Not
everyone who completes their studies automatically finds a
job. Not always did those who excelled in seminary and had
the special talents required find something in their own
field. Every day found Shoshy scanning the want ads for work,
running after principals, checking into different
institutions, yet the desired position remained elusively
Then one morning, while she was having breakfast, she picked
up the newspaper to keep from sinking into boredom or even
worse, depression, and she noticed a small ad on the last
WANTED: Special Ed Kindergarten Teacher for little girls
with mild to medium retardation. Without wasting a
moment, Shoshy picked up the phone and dialed the number.
After introducing herself to the director of the institution
and hearing details about the work and where the gan
was located, she made an appointment for the end of the week.
But once she put down the phone and reviewed her
conversation, she felt that her excitement was really
First of all, the kindergarten was located in an area very
far from her house, and second of all, as she remembered, the
whole institution was about to close down for lack of funds.
She started to wonder if it was worth presenting herself at
all. Suddenly, she felt a great surge of diappointment. No
wonder they were looking for a teacher -- because of their
financial situation, they were understaffed. "Before I go for
the interview," she promised herself, "I'll try to find out
more about the place. But whom could I possibly ask?"
The first name that came into her head was that of her friend
Dassy who used to live in that neighborhood before she got
married. She was about to call when she remembered that
Dassy's little brother suffered from serious coordination
problems. It might depress her to be reminded of them.
Another friend, Shuly, also lived in the area, but she knew
that Shuly still hadn't found a job, herself, and would
probably feel uncomfortable if she heard that Shoshy already
had a job offer while she was still sitting it out at home.
Then, all of a sudden, an idea popped into her head.
Yael, the neighbor's daughter who was older than she, was
married and had been living in that neighborhood for several
years already. Yes, she'd be the one to ask. She was a
serious, caring person, and Shoshy could surely count on her
to tell the truth about that school. As she was dialing the
number, she remembered that it had been Yael, herself, who
had encouraged her to pursue special education. It would
really be interesting if she also helped me get the job,
Shoshy mused. That's what's called closing the
She smiled as she heard Yael's voice on the other end. Yael
sounded a bit surprised and even reticent at the beginning,
but as they continued conversing, her voice took on a
friendlier tone and she promised Shoshy to look into the
matter as soon as possible. "You'll be doing me a great
favor," Shoshy reassured her.
Reviewing their conversation, Shoshy realized that Yael had
sounded very reserved and guarded at the beginning and only
after Shoshy had explained her reason for calling, had she
thawed a bit. "What the years do to a person," she thought.
Then she put aside her impressions and wrote herself a note
to call Yael in a few days.
The next day, while shopping in the local supermarket, she
met her good friend Rivky. "By the way, you have regards from
Yael," she told her as they were wheeling their carts to the
"Yael? Which Yael?" asked Rivky in surprise.
"What do you mean `which Yael?' Have you already forgotten
your good friend? So that's how it is after the wedding,
hunh?" Shoshy exclaimed.
Rivky ignored her comment and pressed her. "Yael, really?
Where did you see her?" She couldn't contain her surprise.
"I-I spoke to her on the phone," Shoshy almost stammered.
"And how did she answer you?" asked Rivky carefully.
"What do you mean? What kind of a question is that? She
doesn't have any speech defects, so why are you even
"No, she doesn't have any speech problems, but since her baby
girl was born with special problems, she just stopped
talking. She cut off all contact with her friends. She even
stopped talking to me."
"What? Yael's little girl? Are you sure we're talking about
the same Yael?" Shoshy tried to convince herself that it was
all a mistake.
"Yes, my friend Yael, that's exactly who I mean. Didn't you
see her baby, I mean, her little girl? She's almost two years
old. When you look at her, you can tell right away that
something is wrong. She suffers from developmental problems
due to a certain syndrome. Yael took it very much to
Shoshy broke out in a cold sweat and remorse flooded her.
Look how sensitive and caring you thought you were. You
didn't want to hurt Dassy because she has a brother who
suffers from an entirely different problem, and you only made
things worse for yourself. You hurt Yael, who's having such a
hard time coping with her situation.
Final part next week