So it has been quite awhile since my last post. I'm not even quite sure what I last wrote about, but here's an update on my life.
I've now been in Israel/Abroad (note 4 weeks in Europe) for about 300 some days or about 10 months. Up until I got to HUC life was fairly simple...there was a goal and my whole being was focused on that goal. Getting into HUC was not an easy task for me and I finally did it.
I'm now about a week away from being finished with HUC's summer Ulpan session. I started the session in the Daled level of Hebrew, but now I am in Gimmel. The reason for the switch was my achillies heel: reading. I'm still not quite where I want to be with it, but hey I can pretty much function in this society with my speaking. Take the strengths with the weaknesses.
The Ulpan has been an interesting experience, especially coming from a totally different kind of Hebrew learning. Academically it is far more challenging here, but the Kibbutz Ulpan system forces students to live a life in Hebrew. My co-workers at the Kibbutz didn't speak enough English to even greet me in the morning, and here we are all North American or native English speakers. Holding down a conversation in Hebrew with other HUC students isn't always easy, but we all try our best.
We've also started a Biblical History survey class. Its essentially a two part class with lectures on Wednesday night and Trips on Thursday. Its an interesting concept for a class. Discuss the Philistines and their cities on Wednesday night and actually go to them on Thursday. The professors mostly come from archeology backgrounds and have incredibly interesting insights into the biblical texts. Nothing is taken for granted when they read the bible.
Other than that, my life is pretty much a gigantic ball of frustration. Its mostly directed at the fact that my student loans are now about a month and a half late. This fact alone makes me want to tear out my hair on some occasions. (Good thing I've got a short haircut.) Its making it difficult for me to function here as it is constantly on my mind. I've been told its just a paperwork miss shuffle, but that doesn't make me feel any better. Everyone tells me to have patience and I'm trying. I refuse to yell at anyone on the phone or here in Israel. It just won't do any good so I'm trying to keep calm. My new friends/classmates have been a great help.
In other news around Israel...
Brett finally graduated from his combat medic training course. Its one of the most difficult courses in the Israeli Army and he finished in the top 25% of his class. Not bad for a guy who's Hebrew is admittdly not so strong. I went to the ceremony where he recieved his pin. It was quite something to see him there. He even got a big hug from his commander. After the ceremony I went up to his Kibbutz to celebrate with him. It was also his Kibbutz's 60 birthday so there was a great deal of celebrating. I got to see a movie about the Kibbutz, a show about the founding, and even a concert. It was also the day the new Garin moved to the Kibbutz, thus compounding the good things.
I swear that as soon as I get internet working well enough in my apartment, I will post the 1000 or so pictures of Europe on the Internet.
Till next time folks...