08 January 2008

Back to School - Ulpan & Post-IDEX

I've started to going to ulpan again. Twice a week, Sundays and Tuesdays after work.

Aside from the article I have due tomorrow (deadlines, deadlines), for which I just got an initial response from the main subject today, things have finally begun to calm down at work. Aside from tonight (and tomorrow if I don't finish this article tomorrow afternoon), and exceptions such as when we're closing the magazine and the closing date happens to fall on the day that I don't work on the magazine, I'm not working in the evenings anymore, and my weekends are not filled with OH-MY-GOD-I-HAVE-TO-FINISH-THIS-ARTICLE-OR-I'M-DEAD-MEAT!

All this to say that I suddenly found myself in the last month quite bored and with a lot of time on my hands. Of course this is all relative. Let's just say I suddenly found myself with a bit more free time on my hands than I was used to in the almost hellish previous six months at work.

So I began thinking about what I want my future in Israel, post-IDEX, to look like. Of course, this is still a work in progress, and I'm not sure what the future will hold, but I know that I want to go to graduate school and get my master's degree.

While life here can get pretty tough, and the government agencies most of the time are less than helpful (to say the least), one of the really cool things they do for new immigrants my age is to cover the tuition for their next degree. For example, in my case, I already have a BA from an accredited university, so the Student Authority will pay for my Master's degree tuition. All of it.

I'll still have to pay for books and housing and all manner of things like this, but my tuition will be covered. If I study in Israel in the next two years, I get a Master's degree, completely free. Now, never being one to pass up a good deal, this is a good deal I just can't pass up.

All this to say that I decided to do something, to take an initial step toward my second degree - go back to Hebrew school.

I've been here for a year, two months and ten days. My Hebrew is getting along, but it's definitely not where it could be, or where it needs to be to do a master's degree in Hebrew. The good thing about being a native-English speaker is that all of the reading material, research material and papers will be in English. It's only the lectures and study groups I'll have to manage through in Hebrew.

This is only the first step. There's a lot more work to do. But taking that first step, knowing that I'm moving forward, made me feel very happy, satisfied and proud of myself. Just thought I'd share that.

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