2016 Week 4 – Ashley Vogel and Alex Underberg

July 4th weekend took flight with a tour of Memphis’ famous FedEx World Hub. What an awesome experience!! All the fellows gathered at the apartment at 9:45pm to be shuttled over to the hub ready for the tour at 10:30. There are so many different buildings that make up the hub, but my favorite is definitely the Matrix. – the sorting facility. The sorting facility is where the packages make their way on a conveyor belt in order to be sent to their final destination. Employees are lined up at the front of the matrix handling the packages that are being unloaded, then placing them on a conveyor belt with the label up. The label allows the package to be scanned and sent to the right “bucket” for their final destination. The technology blows my mind!! Right after the matrix, we took the elevator up to the outlook of the control tower where we saw the whole campus of FedEx’s hub – even the little building that Fred Smith first started his business in. Touring the hub was really a neat opportunity that every single fellow enjoyed. Many Memphis residents haven’t even had a tour yet, and they are definitely missing out.

As the weekend approached, many people left town for the fourth of July, but I stayed here. Without Shabbat programming that week, I invited my roommates over for Shabbat dinner, and I think Jaclyn fell even more in love with Rickis challah and cookies ☺. I have loved introducing local Memphis places (especially food) to the out of town fellows.

As we are halfway through the program, there are so many more places I want to take everyone. I am working with my sister to plan a tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for all of us, because it is an amazing place that everyone needs to see while they are in Memphis. I want to show everyone how amazing Memphis is and the reason why we need to make it our future home.

– Ashley Vogel

It is amazing that the twenty other fellows and I have only been together for a little over a month. It seems as if the slight feeling of awkwardness at the beginning has completely dissipated, and a connected bond has formed between everyone. As the Fourth of July weekend passes us and we begin the shortened workweek for week five, a comfortable feeling surrounds everyone. Some of us went on trips to different cities to celebrate the fourth, and it was great reuniting on Monday and discussing what we all did.

Thursday we had a networking event through the New Memphis group. We learned a lot about the history of Memphis dating back to before the city actually gained its charter. As a native Memphian, I had never gone in depth into the history of Memphis, and I was fascinated by all the fun facts the speakers were revealing and history they taught.

Tonight is Shabbat, and we are having our second underground Shabbat service. My group is putting on the underground Shabbat, and we had the privilege of meeting with Rabbi Feivel to discuss how we were going to plan it. Throughout the meeting we learned a lot about the importance of being grateful and connected being thankful to the Jewish identity. In addition, we planned our delicious meal that will consist of Gus’s fried chicken, Mac and Cheese, and several fruit platters. Sunday we will have the opportunity to tour the civil rights museum with Rabbi Greenstein. Of all the events we have planned this summer, the National Civil Rights Museum struck my eyes right away. As a native Memphian, I am surprised that I have never visited the museum, and I am extremely excited to finally tour it with Rabbi Greenstein.

I am overly excited that we still have five more weeks left in the fellowship. I am thoroughly enjoying my job doing research at Stern Cardiovascular. Words cannot express how much I have learned in these short five weeks, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities the TI Fellowship and Stern Cardiovascular have given me.

– Alex Underberg

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