17 December 2007

[Insert Expletive Here]

Let me preface this entry by saying that I'm most probably overreacting.

I know I said that I'm on a Hafsakah from writing on this blob until I'm finished with finals and midterms, but there is some breaking news that gives me time to write:

In a turn of events that can only be described with adjectives that are not appropriate for my parents, my grandparents, schoolchildren and any civilized, public conversation, the Israeli University שביתה / shvitah / strike has extended to the International school. I woke up EARLY today to get to my Hebrew class, only to find it was cancelled.

Now, you may think that this enhances my cultural experience and that now I understand better the plight of the Israeli university student. This, however, is not the case. It just makes me angry.

If I am to complete the credits I need to transfer to JTS, to be on schedule for my third year of the MA program, and to graduate on time, then I have to complete the classes I'm taking in Israel. The repercussions of this strike could be personally disastrous, nevermind that the senior lecturer strike is putting the entire Israeli higher educational system in peril. Israeli Universities may have to cancel the ENTIRE academic year if they cannot reach an agreement, as they've already pissed away more than half of the regular schools' semester.

I understand they don't get paid enough. I understand being a teacher or professor in the Israeli education system, from K-PhD, is rough. What I don't understand is what I have to do with this. I'm not Israeli. I paid (and I was given a generous scholarship) to learn at Hebrew U. Not to show up at a teacherless class.

I may have extra time to write my papers, but what happens in a few weeks, if there's still no school? Will I chance it out and stay here for a Spring semester that doesn't happen, screwing me out of, among other things, a semester of grad school, a timely graduation, and that pie in the sky, a salary with medical and dental? Will I have to leave Israel and return to New York to take classes at JTS for the Spring semester, so I can still graduate on time? At this point, it's all possible.

There are a lot of things that piss me off about Israel. Yes, I'm having a good time, and I'm learning a lot, but that doesn't mean I don't find certain things frustrating. Why can't Israel have normal water heaters that heat water all the time? Why can't the whole world just speak English? Why don't my schools' calendars line up, rather than land me in midterms AND finals at the same time. And WHY, oh WHY, did I not have my Hebrew class today!?

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