Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Free Time

Since I have some random time on my hands my thoughts flow from - becoming a photographer, to a fashion designer, to maybe one day studying my degree...food and boys.

Food is first of course - I think about food a lot, I dream of what I am going to eat for dinner all through the day, I always have food on me, I am always composing new things to eat in my mind and I am the president elect of my own fine dining club - we meet once a week to eat in a restaurant...and I send the email telling everyone the details, which I think therefore makes me president, although others may differ in opinion which is fine, because it isn't really a club anyway....just a few girlfriends and anyone is welcome!

There are many benefits to the Fine Dining Club...the main one being food.

After that - great conversation - as opposed to going on some boring date - we discuss the boring dates and somehow that makes them interesting??? Go figure -

Last week we discussed the patheticness (who cares if that is a word or not) of some random guy who cancelled on friend of mine because it was raining and he didn't want to leave the house...they made a "rain check" but she wondered what would happen if it rained again...What does this guy do if he runs out of toilet paper and it's raining outside? You know what, I don't want to know...

What else to do with my spare time...hmmm...Oh yeh, I shop for food, I make my mum send me recipes and discuss them, I really truly wonder how much time I spend thinking of food...maybe it's a bit unhealthy? At least thinking about it isn't fattening though...I hate fat, I hate that I can't buy lean meat here and I hate that I now have to go to Power Yoga in order to get rid of my fat. I was in pain for 3 days after my class and if it wasn't for that Lemon Mousse, what a weakness!

Should I take my own food tomorrow or should I buy lunch at Uni? Oh no need to worry now because my lectures have just been cancelled due to an intensification of the strike. The intensification has made such an impact that it's nowhere to be reported on the news.
Which essentially means more free time...however this isn't really free time.
I cant go on holiday
I can't start some other new course
I can't sart a new job
I can't really do anything, because we just don't know when it will be over.

It's so great to be able to sit here in front of my computer and do nothing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why I like Tall buildings but do not like my Ulpan Teacher

Part 1)
I like tall buildings because they make me feel at home, they make me feel like man has the potential to create something larger than himself...perhaps this is the Howard Roark in me, I mean he did have red hair as I recall. Lately, wondering around Tel Aviv, I have been looking at the skyline and for some reason I find it quite comforting, it's modern and large...something that Jerusalem lacks, but not necessarily in a bad way, just a difference that is you know, there. I can look at a tall building for a long time, just like I can look at water for a long time. I'm not sure why but I like it.

Part 2)
As I am enrolled as a student at Hebrew University, by the end of my first year I need to pass a Hebrew exemption exam. In addition to my coursework which I don't really have much of due to the strike...yes it is still on...I have to attend 6 hours of Hebrew classes 3 nights a week, which is a royal pain...

I actually do want to impreove my Hebrew and initially I was excited about these classes...but my teacher is not really a teacher...he is a preacher of his philosophy on why he thinks the standard of Hebrew in my class is so bad.

HE could on one hand teach us to improve, but instead he chooses to preach to us about why our mistakes are so bad and are a reflection of why his view on life is the only view on life...I was waiting for the perfect example and it just so happened to come along today....

If he was a good teacher he could have said "Gila, as an English speaker you need to pay special attention to Male and Female conjugations." Instead he chose to do the following:

"Gila, your sentence is very intelligent....the problem with intelligent people is this. They think that the language that they know is suffice and so they don't put effort into trying to relate how the Hebrew language differs. I like intelligent people, but if you write me an intelligent essay it doesn't really matter because you will only get 5 marks for content, but there is 10 marks for grammar/ structure and another 10 marks for appropriate language and conjugations. I work with a professor and he makes mistakes all the time with his Hebrew in this issue of Male and Female and it is because he does not have the perspective that he needs to leave behind his language and pay attention to the finer details of the Hebrew Language."

Me: "So in other words I should pay more attention to when something is Male or Female"

Him: "No Gila, You need to change your perspective on your attitude towards Hebrew as a language, it is a big problem with people who want to write intelligent sentences, but don't relate to the details of the language, but don't worry, I think if you want to you can still change your attitude".


If I didn't want better Hebrew then why would I be sitting in his class?
It's like he singled me out and said "You're smart, but it doesn't matter cause you are lacking in paying attention to what really counts, which is the way that I view life."
Instead of giving me constructive criticism, he berated me, patronised me and put me down, which I found offensive, de-motivating and not very educational.

Ok, thanks for the rant.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shedding some Light

So I am doing my masters in Public Health at Hebrew University, concurrent to my course is an International masters program which attracts Dr's and health care workers from Ethiopia, Mynamar, Turkey and all sorts of other places that I had only heard of in my stamp collection...
At a combined chanukah celebration, we asked some of these participants how they feel about being in Israel, and amazingly they replied that they don't feel safe. I find it interesting that here they have come from all these 3rd world countries which aren't necessarily the pillar of security, and they are studying here Masters degrees, which means they are educated people, and they still can't see the bigger picture.
After to talking to them for a while, they admitted that perhaps this has been shaped by the international media, because, to date after 3 months here, in the safety of Jerusalem, they have not seen tanks running around as is portrayed on T.V. I posited maybe the media over-sensationalises just a little...???
It disappoints me slightly when we are hosting people from overseas and they are still unable to reconcile their experiences on the ground with what they have been told...
I hope we get to mix with this group again, I think it's important for them to see exactly what Israel is like...