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.


Anonymous Louise said...

If you had that whole conversation in Hebrew, you don't need to be in ulpan!

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been reading Ayn Rand recently?

4:43 PM  
Blogger Wisey said...

Why don't you just put him in his place?

I once had a lecturer. His name was Narciso. He was a narcissistic bastard.
I don't think it really has anything to do with your story, other than him being an educator and a prick.
I still find it amusing that his name was Narciso and he exhibited those qualities.

7:13 AM  
Blogger gils said...

Lou - it was in Hebrew but I still need ulpan - I read Ayn Rand a while ago and Deb, your comments are always enlightening!

12:30 PM  

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