I made it through the first week back in classes and my first week in the new program….
AND I’M EXHAUSTED!
I have to admit that this week kicked my butt!
Every night I have literally fallen asleep in like 1 minute, and I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier as the week forged ahead. My brain is mentally fried, and it’s only just begun.
Not quite sure how I’m going to manage this for the next 4 months; but God Willing, I hope I can.
I made myself a little equation, which I hung next to my bed, just to remind me that I’m not doing this on my own:
SCHOOL + MINISTRY = GOD’S GRACE
I’m going to need all the grace I can….
Last year, I blogged about some HUGE changes in my life regarding schooling. I had applied to the “regular” university at TAU, which meant I would be a Hebrew student instead of an overseas English one…. and I WAS ACCEPTED! While I am still at the same school and still studying, it means big changes for me.
For one, all my classes will now be taught in Hebrew, not in English. My language classes have always been taught in Hebrew and Arabic, but the core classes were in English.
Secondly, I will no longer be studying History, as I was before; I will be studying Arabic Literature. I really am excited about this change, but it also means A LOT more dedication and studying for me. This semester alone I have 10 hours of Arabic and 6 of Hebrew, purely language classes. YIKES!
I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to, and I fear that with my new courses it might only become more sporadic… but please know that I’m not abandoning it all together.
I’m feeling so many emotions about this whole thing: excited, scared, nervous, hopeful, overwhelmed that I just can’t seem to muster up a post.
I hope I will still have some readers during this process, and just know that I am continually reading your blogs… even if I’m not writing my own. Thanks for sticking with me, all my blogging friends! ❤❤
This year is going to look a lot different that last. After much deliberation, prayer, and just plain running around trying to do what is necessary to get this done I will will no longer be pursuing a Masters in Middle Eastern History…. instead I will be focusing on Arabic and majoring in Arabic Literature.
I realized throughout last years seminars that I am just not a historian. No offense to any historians out there, but the dry, emotionless, matter-of-fact way of writing is just not for me. I need passion. I need emotions. I need feeling when I write, and I cannot do that as a historian. I am focusing purely on Arabic and the fervor of its literature.
So what exactly does this mean as far as schooling??? For one, it means leaving the Overseas Program with classes in English, and moving into ALL my classes in Hebrew. It means transferring to the Arabic Studies Department and applying all over again. It means taking a Hebrew exam in December to qualify for the program. It also means an intense 3 months of FULL IMMERSION Hebrew and Arabic in preparation for the exam and qualification.
Am I ready? NO
Am I a bit scared? YES
Do I think this is the right path for me? ABSOLUTELY
I could use ALL the prayers you could send my way! It won’t be an easy road, but when have I ever taken that path???
The woman who follows the crowd will go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is usually likely to find herself in new places no one has ever seen before~~ Albert Einstein.
As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been writing much in the past month. I could use all the excuses of being busy with work, school, life etc., (which are all true) but the biggest truth is this:
I just don’t know what to write!
I have NEVER had problems writing before; usually its a matter of what NOT to write. But I’m suffering with a major brain blockage!
And the worst part is that its not just blogging…. its stemming from the THREE MAJOR PAPERS I have to write for school. I’m down to my last few weeks, and sadly I must admit I haven’t started on ANY of them!
It’s not like I don’t want to. I sit down to write and nothing comes. I research topics I think about discussing and nothing feels right.
I’m Frustrated. Stressed. Annoyed. and most of all Wordless!
How do I get over this Brain Blockage????
We had a Pesach (Passover) Seder at my congregation for the first night of Pesach, to bring in the holiday. Since most of us don’t have families here in the country, we made ourselves one big family. Here is a picture of me and the adorable Nada, who is from Egypt, sitting at our table waiting to eat. It was a wonderful night, filled with lots of matzah, matzah, and more matzah….
I have also had this entire week (and next week) off of school due to the holiday, and its been so nice! I’ve really needed this break, to take some time to prepare my new place and just rest. No Arabic or Hebrew for 2 weeks
And the last bit of new news is my NEW DOG!!! Thaljee (snowy in Arabic) is the latest addition to my life, and he’s been keeping me company and guarding us. I think he’s a Shephard/Lab mix, but can’t be 100% sure. He was rescued from an abusive situation by a friend of mine, and I agreed to take him in. We are both starting to get accustomed to the new arrangement
I like fun, new categories to play around with so I’m gonna give it a try. Some foto’s will be recent flashbacks…. and some not so recent! Here’s one from my teaching days, back at ICS Rio. This was the night of our School Christmas Program, me with my 5th graders. (Who are now Juniors/Seniors!!!) Fun times
… through the semester.
I told myself back in October that if I could JUST make it through this semester… and well, I did! There were definitely many challenges and obstacles throughout these past 4 months: boring lectures, Hebrew, Arabic, ministry, the swine flu, family issues, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, relationship ups and downs, loosing a dear friend, and everything else the comes in between.
And although I keep telling myself the hard part is over, I know it’s really just begun…
Only writing three 20-30 page research papers for each topic by June. Urgh. But, for today, I’m taking a little Gaga advice and doing something I haven’t done in a LONG time….. AND JUST DANCE… gonna be ok…d-d-d-dance!
Today instead of my Ottoman Empire class, we had a tour of the Research/Grad Library at the University. I can honestly say that I haven’t been in a school library since back in the 90′s, and even then I never was one to hang out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE TO READ, but for some reason libraries freak me out.
Its too quiet…
There’s soooo many serious people…
You’re not allowed to bring in food or drink…
And its always really cold in there.
I also need distraction.
Its the only way I can get things accomplished. Therefore, this library tour wasn’t on the top of my list of things to look forward to today. BUT…. I must admit, I was mildly impressed. They have special archives there that no where else in the world has.
Israeli/CIA documentations… (within limits, of course)
Every article/journal written in the Arabic world dating back years and years…
And anything regarding Middle East Conflicts and Policies (and you know that could be its own library in itself!)
SO, after the little tour of this not-so-library-feeling-library, I’m actually thinking of MAYBE going there once in a while, if necessary. After all, I don’t want to commit to anything that would give me reason to actually LIKE a library. That would make me one of those Literary Lunatics!!!
Today is the first day of my LAST week in Kita Bet (Level 2 of Hebrew) I’m soooo excited to be finished for many reasons:
1. It was an intensive summer class. 5 hours each day, 5 days a week. I’m just over it!
2. Finishing the class just brings me closer to my break and coming home for a few weeks!
3. Leaving ב (Bet) behind means that I move into ג (Gimel) in the Fall. I’m moving on up….to the east side. lol
4. Ok. Really I only had 3 reasons, but number 4 is that I’m just REALLY, REALLY happy to be finished!!!
Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago….I was The Teacher. I have my degree in Elem. Education, and I taught for 6 years. I enjoyed teaching… as with any job it had its highs and lows; but there are many days when I truly miss being in the classroom again.
Now, my life has come full circle and I am The Student (again). Long story short (if you don’t follow along daily and aren’t up to speed with my visa situations) I am beginning my Masters in Middle Eastern Studies, here in Tel Aviv. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m up for the task. After all……
I am on the wrong side of the desk….
I will be writing papers instead of grading them….
I am reading books, and not assigning them….
I am taking tests, not administrating them….
And I keep telling myself, “God’s ways are bigger than my ways; its all for the greater good!“
So, I was feeling nostalgic today and decided to post a bunch of pictures from my teaching days in Brazil on facebook. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that I look more like a student than the teacher….
… Ok, maybe this was a bad example for a picture (with me goofing off with everyone else: bottom right hand corner), but there’s no law against making teaching fun! Ahhhhh, this is when I miss teaching!
This morning I took Micheal to his Middle School orientation; he starts 6th grade this year. Being back in the school, getting his schedule, meeting teachers, and touring classrooms makes me really miss teaching. Middle school is definately my favorite level to teach and being in the atmosphere makes me miss it even more.