Amherst College is a small community, so I am sure that many of my fellow classmates already know that I left Amherst to join the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). I am sharing my experiences with you from this past week to illustrate two things to the Amherst community: why I took a leave of absence to serve in the Israeli Army and why Israel deserves an apology from her many critics on and off of our campus.

A normal voting experience for an Amherst student seems to be a case of ordering "the usual." Even when we open our ballots to unfamiliar candidates, we still order the usual political Happy Meal with all the little (D)s. We probably look right past the (L)s, the (C)s, the (G)s, and non-aligned, only stopping to gag slightly over Romney, Ryan and other (R)s on the menu. In a world of options, we see only two, and even then still only pick the same.

Throughout this fall, I found myself craving a hamburger. However, it couldn’t be just any burger. I needed one bursting with flavor in each bite of tender, juicy beef, and with each weekend, my hunger nagged at me and reminded me that I had not fulfilled my dream. Soon the desire morphed into a necessity, and I could hold off no longer.

Back when the NFL locked out its players, the NFL Players’ Association emphasized that theirs was a union looking out for every NFL player, not just the superstars. To their point, they explained that on average, a player who tries out for an NFL roster has a career that lasts all of 3.3 years. Clearly, longevity is tough to bottle up in the NFL. Opportunities are fleeting, perhaps most constrained by the chance that the next hit, the next missed play, or the next loss could dismantle a team.

Interim head coach Jeff Matthews already has his work cut out for him. The Amherst squad, which nearly won a NESCAC Championship last season, has dropped three of its first four, including a crushing overtime road loss to conference rival Hamilton.

In the first game of the home-and-home series with the Continentals (Friday, Nov. 17), the Lady Jeffs did manage to take care of business by a 6-5 score. It was the seniors who carried the team on that day, as Megan Doyen, Geneva Lloyd and Kaitlyn McInnis all got in on the scoring action.

Women’s basketball opened the season in convincing style over the break, beating Brooklyn and 25th-ranked William Paterson to win the Amherst Tip-Off Tournament before coasting to a 30-point blowout of Mount Holyoke.

The Lady Jeffs went into their season opener ranked 15th nationally and coming off their fourth straight Final Four appearance. The team lost four starters from last year’s squad to graduation, but it hardly seemed to matter against Brooklyn as the Jeffs built a 15-point halftime lead and went on to win 67-42.

“New Girl” premiered its second season on Fox late this September after a successful season last fall. What started off as a means of channeling the cutesy and awkward caricature that has become Zooey Deschanel’s trademark since “500 Days of Summer” soon morphed into a full-fledged hit as its directors fleshed out the supporting characters and gave them stronger plotlines. The show revolves around the lives of four often down-and-out characters in their late twenties as they struggle to keep their footing in the adult world.