University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Study tour is over, and I’m at the beginning of a new university semester. First day of classes was yesterday, and I’ve got a good feeling about what’s coming up in the semester. Coming out of study tour and going into the academic semester is going to be challenging, especially because of the compactness of the semester – it’s about 13 weeks. Still though, I’m excited. Speaking of study tour, I’ve had enough time away from it to get into some thoughts about what it did for me. Traveling about like that, I’m trying to link it to my fiction. It’s great timing too because of National Novel Writing Month, which starts in November. But as for what it meant, study tour, it was a real eye opener. Hezekiah’s tunnel stands out in particular. Moving along that tunnel, feet and calves soaked, having to duck below downward jutting rock formations, and sidling through narrow slits, slick with water. It was a lot of fun, but also, the water that the tunnel carried was paramount for the survival of Jerusalem when it was under siege by the Assyrians. The trip through gave life to people, in a way that’s really easy to take for granted today, the value of water. That’s what a lot of study tour was for me, being able to look at the outside world, one not familiar in a tangible sense under a lens of retrospection. And being able to do that and gain appreciation for past generations. Laborers who laid the Jerusalem stone of the Kotel. Farmers who laid seed and tended the fields. Soldiers who took up arms and defended the borders from outside threats. I got to see the present result of centuries of progress and a fair amount of fortune, and the second half of my time here holds many fortunes itself.