19 December 2007

"Do I Look Like A Prophet To You?"

"Do I Look Like A Prophet To You?"
(A high-up member of the Hebrew department's response when asked about the next 6 weeks / months of my Hebrew education here at Hebrew U.)

A visit to the Hebrew department proved to be more frustrating today than helpful. The person we spoke to was nice (well, mostly), but just like EVERYBODY ELSE in this ridiculous country, they have no clue what's going on with the strike, that has metastasized to the international school, thereby ruining my life. As a good friend points out, I was once an observer of the strikes in Israel. Now, I am another victim.

Here's what I do know:

1. Some of my professors are striking, including 1 of my 2 Hebrew teachers.
2. My striking education professor has pledged to meet with me to discuss my papers and grant me full credit at the end of the semester. He is stellar.
3. If they cannot guarantee me a Spring semester with normal, uninterrupted classes, I will be returning to NY, and JTS, in the spring.
4. The offices at school claim they will know more on Sunday.

While TiVos across the states, during the current writers' strike, lie sadly empty, forcing reruns on my beloved, fellow Americans, Universities across Israel lie sort-of fallow, with some classes happening, and some not happening. Tomorrow is the 2-year anniversary of the irritatingly freezing NYC transit strike of 2005 (and, coincidentally, my 2-year anniversary with Rafi). That strike was cold, and ridiculous, and over in, what, 3 days? Not having new episodes of the Office and Grey's Anatomy makes me sad, having to Rollerblade to work in 10 degrees F is crazy, but getting screwed out of education is a CRIME. And I will not sit idly by and let Israel ruin my year and my graduate education.

What happened to negotiations? Why can't the lawyers and representatives get together and work something out BEFORE it gets to semester-long strikes? Why does everything have to be so dramatic here?

Should I be surprised that a country that has never been able work out a peace agreement with hostile neighbors cannot find a way to properly pay their professors, or at least, not force a catastrophic stop in business, the after shocks of which will be felt for years.

What the hell is wrong with this country?

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