To quote the good old mothertongue, Yiddush:
א מענטש טראכט און גאט לאכט / A mentsh trakht un got lakht / People (men) plan and God laughs.*
*Translation courtesy of a Newton Center Rav.
So I worked out all of the kinks, and got to Israel, excited to start ulpan and go to Hebrew U and find a grammar tutor (ok, I wasn't so excited about that.). I couldn't wait to do all of the other fun things that a year in the Holy Land could bring me.
Then I had to petition my part-time status at Hebrew U. During the process I realized a few things:
1. Hebrew U (and by Hebrew U, I mean a variety of offices and officers, but most specifically, the NY recruiter who handled my case) never realized / communicated / completed the process necessary to make me part-time.
2. Hebrew U DOES have ulpan-style classes through the school year. (NY recruiter told me to go to an outside ulpan.)
3. Hebrew U MAY be able to tutor me in "Academic Hebrew Grammar and Rabbinical Text Analysis." (That was the best working title we could come up with after looking at my handouts from JTS. The best I could come up with on my own was "Ick.")
4. Israelis, including the finest academics in the country of Israel, home of the native Hebrew speaker and the Hebrew academics, thinks that JTS's Hebrew program is (wait for it...it's a shocker...) a little ridiculous, difficult and not useful at all. (There's a song called Vindicated. That is what I am.)
So, long story short: I was vindicated by a professional who deals in actual Hebrew language instruction, signed up for Ramah Aleph graduate Hebrew classes, and changed my enrollment to Full-Time. That's right, SBB is a full-time student at Hebrew U! I'm going to drop my ulpan enrollment and spend more time at Hebrew U up on yofi-tofi (pretty-mitty) Mount Scopus. Yes, I'm pissed that I was pretty much misguided up the wazoo about my time at Hebrew U, but it's ok, because I'm a Rothberg girl now!
Also, today, I ran into Jordana, one of my closest friends from USY on Wheels Bus D 1997. We may have lost touch after Wheels, but running into her not once, not twice, but three times today in Jerusalem, the city she now permanently calls home, was awesome! I also saw "Roach," one of Rafi's campers from Darom, Baylene, and old friend of mine from USY and Pilgrimage Group 7 '99, and hung out with my friend / Rafi's roommate-to-be Robbie.
Things are slowly and falling into place, although it's not how I thought it would be. Rafi will get here soon. This is good because now that I have a cell phone, I have been spending harbeh dolarim (many dollars) calling his NY number. We're also almost set with planning a trip to Egypt and Jordan, and I am researching where else I will wander from my starting post in the Middle East.
Yom Kippur is rapidly approaching...tomorrow I hope I get to the shuk to see kapara (a different way of getting rid of your sins.) and the girls and I are hoping we get to the Biblical Zoo, too. Jerusalem is FUN!