Step-by-Step: Making Aliyah to Israel

Documenting the very personal process of making Aliyah (immigration to Israel) by one very atypical Israeli-American girl. Aliyah on 17, August, 2005. Roadmap: What do you mean there's no roadmap?! Hang on, we're in for a bumpy ride! Ole!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

a mixed bag

That is what my week has been. First the horrid ulpan day and then two days of basking in typed paper glory --yes, I was still Yaeli on Tuesday: she complimented me several times in passing on the essay and when she passed back the papers she waved it about and announced to the class "just like in the university, kol ha'kavod." After class, when I told her I would have to miss both wednesday and thursday and could I have the assignments if there were any in the book she beamed at me and showed me the pages. I hope we have another essay to type soon.

I spent Wednesday at the IDC. Wow. Sababa. Achla. Mitzuan. Eyzeh Yofi! Can I find any other exclamations to make over the new Communications building that is going up? It is really amazing. I got the grand tour of all four floors (three of which will be dedicated to communications), walking in among the construction workers and generally getting in their way. (This by the way would so not happen in the States --what someone could get beamed by something or fall off those stairs without any railings and lots of construction "stuff" on them and die or...worse, live...and file a lawsuit!) I got to meet Noam and a variety of other people associated with the department there.

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn, after staying up til late working on a chapter, and got everything ready for my class. I made the train (was 20 minutes early) and so got there in time for my first meeting. Then there was the talk to listen to (b'ivrit) which had something to do with journalists being anthropologists and anthropologists being journalists and it all being very subjective --I think. I think I understood about 30% (maybe less). What was seriously frustrating was hearing all the words that I should know and at one time knew but not being able to remember the meaning. Because the talk was rolling along it was impossible for me to stop and figure out the meaning from the context either. I was itching to get at my dictionary but frustrated that I should be in a position of having to look up the word _again_ .

Then I found out that my class wasn't happening. I really wish someone had told me this sooner (like maybe yesterday) because then I wouldn't have spent the many hours preparing for it and could have used that time for other pressing needs. I will still have to do a lot of re-preparing next week because my brain is like a sieve these days. Instead of class I had to take the class to watch some films (the jewish film festival is happening at BGU right now) and hear a panel. I understood the first film perfectly --it was in yiddish :) I was mostly clueless during the panel discussion but did pick up some of what they were arguing --again, feeling happy that I was understanding. (And oh yes, I had a 10 minute conversation with a student in hebrew today and that was kewl). So I was feeling pretty good.

Then after the panel ended there were cabs there to take those of us who live not in Beer Sheva (uhh that would be all of us on the faculty) to our respective abodes. The cab driver had me sit up front because the other two lecturers were going to be talking in hebrew. I was kewl with that: their talking in hebrew, that is. I was eager to stay in the "the mode" and, feeling completely mentally drained, really wanted to sit and listen and not have to say anything in any language. It was not to be, however, because the cabbie talked to me the whole way back and he insisted on talking in english and whenever I tried to respond in hebrew he a) told me my hebrew was too bad and to talk in english or b) pretended he didn't understand me --and I'm sorry but I've been able to correctly ask someone where they live in hebrew since I was a child --my hebrew ain't _that_ bad or c)moved the conversation back to why was I not married. I was ready to strangle him an hour and 10 minutes later. But it was a free trip home (wow) and he dropped me off just two blocks from my apartment (double wow) and I still got home more than a half-hour than I would have if I had taken the train and then the bus (triple wow).

So the week had ups and the week had downs. I've figured out that I feel really hopeless and depressed about ever grasping this language whenever I am tired and when I am more rested I feel (slightly) more optimistic.


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