Still Kickin'... er, Still Typing, at least

Hello all, I am still alive though obviously not pulling my weight blog-wise. I am very well, we are returned from a triumphant tour of the Galilee region as you can see from Brookie's exquisite photographs and now I have begun my classes. Here's where we stand:

I got an A in my Hebrew Ulpan during the summer, which puts me in the Gimel category of Hebrew learners (that's the third level out of six and I have to pass the fourth level, Dalet, by the end of my MA program). I have two teachers and they both seem great. What's more, I can actually understand them when they talk. That's a huge plus.

These first few days on campus have been interesting. I am seeing formerly deserted halls packed with students returning from the summer and there are lots of people from various companies and organizations who are thrusting free materials into my face every time I walk by. They accompany this with incoherent speech that I assume is Hebrew in origin but, combined with a speedy delivery and a touch of desperation, incomprehensible. I scurry away in fear.

The Boyar Building, the hub of the Rothberg International School and all international programs, houses all of my classes. They are as follows:

Israeli Politics in the Comparative Perspective: this class looks to be very fun, because the professor has already insulted the six or so history majors and there is going to be a brawl in every class. The professor is a lot of fun and his idea is that you can indeed achieve comparability between many different nations and states if you follow the methodology of comparative politics and keep your examples to a minimum.

Introduction to Israeli Society and Politics: this course is the opener for people like me who are hoping to get their MAs in Israeli Politics and Society. It is taught by the academic advisor for the program, Gideon Rahat, who has some extensive writings on the Israeli political system and I think that this class will provide enough background that I can find some sort of emphasis or focus for my program.

Israeli Society between Colonization, Globalization and Americanization: yes, there are perhaps too many -izations in that title, but suffice to say that these are important factors to consider in the history and development of Israeli society. You can argue that Israel grew under the imperialist and colonizing auspices of the British Empire, is both benefitting from and radically evolving under globalization and, according to some, suffers from the onslaught of American media and culture in its everyday life. Should be very interesting.

Historical Geography of Jerusalem: this class is just going to be fun. The professor is quite gifted and gave his entire 3-hour lecture today without notes or slides. He just found a marker and started drawing maps, dates, factoids and everything purely from memory. He will lead at least 5 expeditions into Jerusalem's Old City, the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives.

1 comment:

  1. May I hop a flight and stash myself in your back pack so that I might sit in on all your classes? Please?