And we’re off. This is where it gets good.
It’s still slightly early to draw conclusions about my classes, but I’ve been enjoying them. I also went to Nazereth last week; I promise I’ll put up pictures sometime very soon. I really need to update my Facebook album too…
Classes. Good stuff. I guess I’ll hit them one by one:
Hebrew – Business as usual, but less rushed. Well, except for the slew of new vocabulary that got thrown at us on Thursday. Yikes rote memorization. Seriously, this will be the last foreign language class I take. It’s messing with my French, too – yesterday I tried to say “I have a book” in French, but could only come up with “yesh li sefer”. It took me fifteen minutes to remember that “book” is “livre”. Akk.
Israeli Drama – I’m really enjoying it. I knew we’d be reading essay and plays, but there are also a lot of workshop elements, like readings. So far we’ve done some symbolic stuff and societal commentary, and already I’m bummed that the semester is only twelve weeks long. The instructor is an ex-Brit who promotes and produces a lot of community theater; he’s pretty laid-back, but he doesn’t get off track, which is great.
Roots of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – Sweet. I think the professor gets a lot of frowns from the students for his American insistence on being on time, but I don’t really mind. Somebody has to do it. There’s a lot of material, but he mentioned right off the bat that we weren’t going to chase political debate rabbit-trails, which I think is a good way to approach it.
Ethics of Terrorism – This may well be my hardest class. I think the amount of reading is about the same as other courses, but the topic is inherently troublesome. We’re going to be dealing with stuff like torture, targeted assassinations, legal issues, and really current-day issues. And the class itself is once a week, but for four hours at a time, which could be a stumbling block for even the most engaging of lecturers. The prof is a lady more on the eccentric side of well-versed, and she has a slight tendancy to get off-track, but on the whole it hasn’t been bad.
Press in the Middle East – Shall be cool. Class is definitely more discussion-oriented; we’ve been covering some background so far. The professor is really into the ‘whys’ behind all the historical fact. She also speaks five languages, so her English will be fluent most of the time, and then suddenly fall into something more stilted as she either finds words or reconfigures them, and then shifts into high gear again. We’re going to be doing a media monitoring project, which should be interesting, to say the least. Al-jazeera, anyone?
Creative Writing – Very loose and relaxed, workshop style. The instructor is an Israeli novelist/poet who really likes to wander. If he were teaching anything else, it would be infuriating, but it works in the context of this class. He’s kind of like Brotzen, only much, much more so. And everything that he has to say is interesting. I think the class is a little large, but this is one of the few (read: two) that will transfer for my D1, so I’m sticking with it. Besides, I like the class.
The online course system, with all the readings, was down for a few days, so now I have massive amounts of stuff to read (bleah – I want problem sets! Well, maybe one or two) and I’m suddenly finding that I don’t want to read them. But that’s irrelevant.
The program had a kick-off dinner a few days ago. Absolutely delicious. Lots of beef – ask me about that privately. I had way too much sugar – it was awesome. And it even tried to thunderstorm. A full-fledged one would be great.
Random quote of the day:
Replicator bad guy – “What were you doing in the flooded section of the city?”
Jack O’Neill – “The backstroke. I think.”
–Stargate Atlantis, the Return pt. 2