Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2007 9:57 AM|
Subject: Summer Ulpan grades
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2007 4:58 PM
We are on break from classes right now, we have most of a month left for break. I found out my grades for the Ulpan today. I got an 89% for my final and I got a 90% for the entire Ulpan. I enjoyed the class a lot. I am signed up to study with the graduate students in Level Bet (second level). I think that classes start the 21st of this month.
After coming to Israel I feel quite safe. It seems that I am more likely to be in a car accident than endangered by terrorists. The every day safety situation at Jerusalem is similar to that of a big city. I think that the largest threat is for war to break out over here.
If I go anywhere at night it is with at least one other person. The only times that I have actually been alone were in places that I considered safe. Places at which I wouldn't mind being alone include Damascus gate, near the Garden Tomb, places inside the Old City, the Western Wall, and around campus.
Subject: walking in Jerusalem
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:42 AM
Yesterday, I walked from the Old City to the Givat Ram Campus. It was a long walk. That's the first time that I have been over there. At home there are a lot of squirrels in park areas. Here we don't have squirrels, we have cats all over the place.
Subject: Hebrew classes
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:13 AM
Thank God for my prior tiny bit of Hebrew. It got me into an intermediate class in level Aleph. That means that we weren't beginning by learning the alphabet (Alephbet). It also means that we were able to finish Aleph by the end of Ulpan. Classes that were somewhere below us didn't finish and would have had to take a supplementary course to finish Aleph. Classes that are somewhere above us got to start learning things in level Bet before the Uplan ended. About being registered with the graduates, it means that I attend classes fewer hours a week than the undergraduates do. Both the graduates and the undergraduates cover the same material, the graduates just do it in less class time. This is a good thing for me, I like it to be faster paced. Since I am an external student, not pursuing a degree from the International School, it didn't matter which group I studied with. The Ulpan books have reading sections which are usually about history or culture. I am glad that that is included in our learning the language.
Subject: touring Jerusalem
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:20 AM
Someone pointed out a
mustard tree to me. It wasn't all that big, but it wasn't a bush. The seeds were about the size of a grain of sand. I also was told that a fig tree gets fruit on it, then it gets leaves on it. On Monday I went to the Old City and learned some more Aramaic. I go all over the place in the Old City. The people who want to talk to you are usually the shop keepers. One made some mint tea for me yesterday. They talk in English though. Being through level three does not mean that I would be fluent in Hebrew. There are six levels in Ulpan. Level three is the minimum to enter the University degree programs. God willing I will be through level three by the end of Spring Semester.
I met a Christian at the Garden Tomb yesterday evening. He has lived in Israel for quite a while. He had lived in Jerusalem but now lives up north.
Subject: Fall Semester classes
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 10:29 AM
First day of Hebrew class on Sunday went quite well. So far I am liking this class. We have had two classes now, and each time we have had writing assignments. I'm glad because it means more practice for me. There are some students in this class that were in my class during Ulpan. Some others I know or recognize. I am definitely enjoying Hebrew. I don't know if it feels natural or foreign.
My computer access is mostly from my suite mates. They are very nice about letting me use their computers, but I am doing fine without one. I just save my information on my hard drive.
Subject: Messianic Congregations
The Messianic congregation that I go to is on Shabbats at four. They don't have their own building, they meet in a big shopping center where there are rooms set aside for gatherings. The service is all in Hebrew, and the style is somewhat like the Pentecostal church that I went to. The young man that I go with knows more Hebrew than I do, so he explains the message to me afterward. I can pick up what it is generally about with the Hebrew that I know. One of the teachers at the congregation does a lot of speaking at various events. Before this, we both heard him give a message at the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem during a large convention.