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So having spent a long day exploring the city yesterday, I spent today taking care of academic concerns. Specifically, I got to go to the first day of Hebrew classes for those students in level Aleph (the beginning level, as aleph is the first character in the Hebraic alphabet). This was quite the entertaining, uh, ‘immersion experience’ – the teacher came into the room speaking almost exclusively Hebrew, and thus set the tone for the morning. We learned mostly by repetition – she would point to herself and say “ani Gillie” multiple times, and then point to someone in the class until we caught on that she was saying “I am Gillie.”

We learned the first several characters in both the formal and informal Hebraic alphabet, and then started to learn that in very few cases (if any) do vowels actually show up in the words. That, combined with writing right-to-left and having to keep track of different pronunciations made for a complex morning of language to mark the first day of classes.

** EDIT **

It turns out the portion of Ulpan that is most difficult to adjust to for me is writing in the Hebrew notebooks… I can’t deal with the spiral spine on the other side. (end the the edited portion)

Other than that, I got dunked into the famed sea of Israeli bureaucracy yet again. The gym next door to my dormitory complex is affiliated with the school, and so we were supposed to get a special price for a membership during the duration of our semester here. After a bunch of discussion and even some arguing, the following became clear: 1) the sheet from HU with the deal offered to us was at least 3 years out of date; 2) the price they wanted to offer was almost the same as paying the monthly rate, making it nothing at all like a deal; and 3) I ended up essentially haggling for the [fairly good] price that is now being offered to abroad students at HU. Not too bad for a day’s work.

Enjoy the first day of the American/Western work week tomorrow.

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One Comment

    • Jonathan Cechner
    • Posted January 19, 2009 at 10:31 AM
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    • Reply

    Point of interest: Since converting to Judaism, me mum has been taking Hebrew classes at some special Jewish college. She spends almost half of her waking days working on it because it’s just that difficult.
    In other words, good luck 😉


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