University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Today I came to class far more prepared than the day before, and was able to actively participate in conversation and when called upon. It felt good to have a little more control over the language. We also had a placement exam to gauge our progress in the course. I knew that I wanted/needed to be at a lower level class, since mine was moving along too quickly for my acceptable frustration level, so I left a section of the test blank that required reading and responding to a written conversation, which I could not understand anyway, and copied print into script for the rest of the test that I could not understand either, which was pretty much all of it. It wasn’t like I didn’t try on the exam, I just did not do what the instructions asked of me, because I was incapable of doing so with my current skill set. I was lowered to the lowest level Hebrew class, which is so relieving, and will begin working on that on Sunday (Israel’s Monday… ha).
After class, I returned to my room, took a nap, and proceeded to write for the afternoon. I’m becoming very good at being okay with spending so much time writing. It’s beginning to become habit forming, which is a major ups for future MFA-programming. I still need to buy a fan (so much that I used that as my interesting fact later on at shabbat), so existing in my dorm in the afternoon is rather difficult. I need to learn the hours/schedule for the library and other air conditioned locations, as well as the hours for the post office, which is annoyingly closed exactly when I need it. At least I was able to pick up some food at the mini-market before it closed down for shabbat. That would have been awful.
Shabbat dinner was offered this week, which was wonderful because I didn’t feel like cooking. I sat with my group of friends and enjoyed a lovely kosher meal. I enjoy listening to the different life experiences of my peers, even from America (I know that implies that foreigners are more interesting, whatever). I am also interested in seeing how students from different colleges respond to a different university setting like I am.
After a filling meal that included singing and lighting candles, I returned to my room to change for an outing later at the beach. I joined my friends to live on the other side of my floor for a little wine outside of their “flat,” where we were greeted by a cat that they fed fish (bad idea guys, really), and thus attached itself to us. The cats here, if I have not mentioned before, are like rats. They are ruthless in their desire for food, and when given attention, they are like an insecure girl flipping her hair in front of a boy, they won’t stop. Oh, cats.
The buses here don’t start running until 11:00, so we waited for a cab for a bit in front of the university exit and took a ride down the mountain to the beach. There, we met up again with Nimrod’s, Becky’s cousin, friends, but not Nimrod, because he’s back in the army again. They are an entertaining bunch. I got a real fruit smoothie of peaches, strawberries, mango, and orange juice that was so refreshing. Later, we sat at a bar called Nirvana, right on the waves, where we complained some more about the prices of drinks. Apparently, here, they call double-shots “chasers” and chasers “shots.” It’s confusing. We hung out at the bar quite late, and went down to the beach for some of them to go swimming. I was too tired, so I took a seat in an abandoned chair and stared at the movement of the waves and the stars above, which were slightly washed out by the beach light pollution.
We ran to catch the 200-bus back up the mountain, and kind of didn’t get to properly say bye to the guys (whatevs, they didn’t drive us back up the mountain, nor pay for anything, Israelis…), and we made it back to the dorm very late. I was so sleepy and fell asleep quickly in the evening’s still light heat.