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!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Oh the drama of it all.

For those who don't read hebrew or who can't translate the hideous stuff that I try to pass off as hebrew into real hebrew :) here is a quick summation of what has been happening at ulpan. Last week our teacher Ruti had a freak-out and screamed at the class because tons o' people aren't showing up regularly and tons o' people arrive late (and having arrived early once last week, go me and for once!, I realized that I am not the last one in the door tres late but that I actually get there kinda early compared...). She then cried and accused the class of not coming because they don't like her and of liking our other one-day-a-week teacher, Gila, better. This second part is true but not because Gila is a kewler person but because she actually teaches and makes things interesting and you really really want to come to class. We all like Ruti as a person but we like Gila as a teacher (and a really good one!).

We don't really talk in class anymore. When we first started out we were doing a lot of talking and, maybe because everything was new it was all interesting, but in the last month or so we've settled into a very predictable routine in the class with no things like news programs or movies or actual talking and discussion but rather worksheets and reading newspaper articles and occasional chats with each other but uncorrected and unstructured (so we end up using the words we know and not practicing the new words, and also on topics so general no one knows what to say to begin with-- and even these exercises not very often anymore). So, despite having talked (not me, other people and lots of them) to Ruti on 2 previous occasions about trying to liven things up and to be given more structure the crud hit the fan last week.

The day after Ruti's yelling/crying fit --and since this is the teacher that made me cry I have so little sympathy (ok well actually I do have a little after today) --the class confronted her. Well, half the class did. We spent something like an hour talking about what people are unhappy about and everyone is pretty unhappy about the same things. We tried to do it in a constructive manner, not attacking her, though I'm sure she felt attacked, with lots of assurances that we like her we just need more variation, more practice talking, more structure to our talking, more things like news programs or movies or radio or something other than just hearing each other being wrong in our pronunciation and in our phrasing and learning bad habits and something more than doing exactly the same thing day in and day out. She countered every argument with "but you are in kita bet now and not kita aleph, we do things differently at this level, you need to read, etc etc" Yes, we do need to read, of course, obviously, but as person after person pointed out we are still lacking in being able to communicate very basic things to people and need to learn those words and to actually speak! We didn;t point out that Gila gives us readings and similar assignments but makes them interesting and gives us a focus and when we talk it is productive and structured and she corrects and does other fun things. Anyway, it was obvious that nothing was going to change.

So the next day half the class (12 people) demanded to see the principal and made a formal complaint. The principal was unreceptive and wrote everyone's name down along with their statement of complaint. And then, as we suspected, gave those names to Ruti. Lovely, yes? So yesterday (I wasn't there, lucky me) Ruti was again upset because people "went behind her back and she knew exactly who it was." So today I arrived and...there were 7 people in the class. Seven. I was like, where is everyone....?? Answer: in Devorah's class which is now up to 30 plus people. The entire french contingent abandoned ship along with the Brits (and who says those two countries can't get along?) and a variety of miscellaneous other people. I sat next to Courtney and Halla and was like ohymg-d. And of course Anna was sitting on my other side continually whispering at me (for what page what are we doing what what what....)and it took all my strength not to just slap her (Kat if you are reading this commiserate!).

Oh the other bombshell is that Devorah's class is using the green gimmel book rather than our blue book that we aren't even halfway through and they are more than halfway through theirs. So er I can't even think about transfering to that class. Courtney is considering it. Maybe I should try the new bet class. The other girl I just can't stand went into that class but I can ignore her. I can definitely ignore her. Eeeuuuwwwwwwwww.

Kat, ya go away for a couple of weeks and you miss all the excitement. Not like getting married is anything special or anything.... :)

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