Somehow my mother managed to convince me to get a plane ticket home for today after failing to convince me to take Amtrak. I just can’t bring myself to go through another horrible Amtrak excursion. It’s not healthy for me. Anyway, I generally consider myself extremely well-planned and not spontaneous at all, which is why I was very surprised to find myself booking a flight only six hours before its scheduled departure.

On Tuesday I wrote the following letter to the university complaining about the dates for move-in weekend next year. I wonder if they’ll listen to me. I wrote it by hand, but I’m pretty sure that this is exactly what I wrote modulo some formatting.


To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I am currently a third-year undergraduate in the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, studying mathematics. It has recently come to my attention that move-in weekend for the 2006-2007 academic year is scheduled for September 23rd-24th. Unfortunately, this is the same weekend as Rosh haShanah, the Jewish new year. As a result, even reasonably secular Jews who wish to live in the residence halls would be forced to go through incredible contortions to arrive before instruction begins. It would be necessary to arrive on a weekday, which is extremely difficult if not impossible for students whose parents work full-time jobs. I trust that the decision for move-in days to be this weekend was simply an oversight and that it will be moved to the previous weekend. I would also like to suggest that classes begin (and hence end) a week earlier than previously scheduled so as not to have students in residence halls for over a week and a half before classes begin.


I look forward to any future correspondence on the matter. My addresses are as follows:


Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo

P.O. Box 11146, UCSB

Santa Barbara, CA 93107


1201 Pendola House, Manzanita Village





Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo

Do you think they’ll listen to me?


About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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5 Responses to

  1. okb says:

    I don’t think it’s that outrageous, man. The standard procedure is if you can’t, for whatever reason, move in on the weekend, you move in later. In particular, there are lots of students who do not involve their parents in the move-in process at all. My parents helped me move in freshman year, and sophomore year my mom came along, but last year and this year I just moved my stuff in by myself.
    Also, would you (and/or your parents) take the day off school/work if Rosh Hashana didn’t fall on a weekend. If so, is it really that much different to take the day off on the following weekday in order to move in?

  2. grumf says:

    you should be fine.

  3. sthira_sukha says:

    Maybe you could bring this to the attention of a Jewish students’ organization on campus (I assume there is one)? You will probably have more clout if you align yourself with a group, and I’m sure there are other Jewish on-campus students who are dealing with the same situation. The longer you wait, the more bureaucratic red-tape you’ll face, so I think it’s better to do this now rather than later if you want to pursue it. I think this seems like something that really matters to you, and of course as the other posters have suggested you should probably be prepared to change your own personal schedule in case things don’t work out (although it’s not that fair), but I don’t see any harm in pursuing the issue…at the very least, perhaps you’ll raise awareness of Jewish religious dates and lessen the chance of similar mis-schedulings in the future.
    I think it was probably more a matter of oversight than malice on a part of the organizers. To be honest, I grew up in a Protestant household and didn’t know the dates of the Jewish New Year until I saw this post (although I probably should have!).
    Let us know how it goes!

    • Simon says:

      There is indeed such an organization that I think will agree with me. I would rather solve this problem on my own if possible, but I’m not sure if that’s a smart idea. I doubt I’ll be able to do much over the break, but afterwards I’ll inform certain influential people in the Jewish community of the problem assuming nothing has been done by then.
      I don’t blame you at all for not knowing the dates of the Jewish New Year. I didn’t know either until my father mentioned to me that he had checked this and happened to notice.

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