Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Get This Party Started"

Hey All,
Busy, Busy week!!!
I had a long week of classes, filled with BIG exams, and mini quiz's.
All week I was preparing for two Hebrew quiz's. One on words from the week, and the other was for infinitive words, yea I said it, infinitive words such as; to go, to read, to speak, to learn. They all also have different rules, not all are spelled the same, it all depends on how the original word was set up. For example; Gar is "Live" (I live there), or lomed is "study" (I study art). However, when you are making these two words infinitive, they are put into two different categories. "To Live" is La'gor, and "To Study" is Leel'mode. It gets very complicated, and some words have exceptions to the original words. I studied very hard for both quiz's and I am hoping that I did well on both.
The big exam that I had was on basic knowledge of the Holocaust. Which means to me; who is Adolf Hitler, when did the Nazi's come to power, what are ghetto's, what is "the night of broken glass," what are some of the major camps, etc. NOPE!!! I had to read an entire 382 page Holocaust book in 3 days in order to know; other names of generals, officers, commanders, places, vocab, events, and specifics about certain camps. All of this information spanning from 1930-1945. I attempted to read the entire book within those 3 days (same time that everyone else had) and got to about 1939 when I realized I couldn't retain anymore information. I figured I would wing it, and I would have a good amount of information to at least get a decent grade. I went into the exam, and we had to choose 10 out of 20 people, places, events, and vocab to describe in one paragraph each. Then when we were finished with those descriptions, I had to write an essay, out of four VERY different choices. I got to a point towards the end of my essay where I felt that I couldn't write anymore about the Holocaust or I would start crying (because of the actual event, and because I could write anymore information)(I was literally "dead" in the subject). When I was finished, my friends Nicole and Ayala went to celebrate finishing the exam. We went to Burgers Bar which is a great burger place in Israel with a million choices as far as both poultry and meat, and toppings. They also have the BEST fries ever. It was nice to relax after class with my friends and talk about how crazy the exam was, and how now we can look forward to so many other things without having to worry about studying for any more exams in this class (for my Holocaust class you just have that exam and two papers, NO FINAL!!).
On Thursday, I had my regular classes until 2:15, and then got ready to go to the Center again. A board a important people from the Staten Island JCC was visiting Israel, and they were in Jerusalem for Thursday and Shabbat. I went to the Center and met them (all 9 of them) in one of the meeting rooms. Then after they went around the table to tell me there names, we headed out to go on a quick tour of Pisgat Ze'ev (the same tour that I went on when I first got here). They were all really nice, and wanted to ask me a million questions. It was great, and I felt very close to them (like family) after just meeting. After the tour we had a nice buffet dinner in the same meeting room that we started in. By that time, Yoel and Shai had gotten there, and we sat around and ate good food, and had some wonderful conversations. The next day was Shabbat, and I spent I think the whole day in bed, studying, and hanging out. It was a very quiet day, and at night I watched a movie on my computer and made myself some dinner (pasta, and vegys). I then went to bed early because I had to get up early to meet up with the group again.
On Saturday, I got up extra early to take a shower, and get dressed for a walking tour of the Old City. I checked the weather before I got dressed, and it said that it was going to be 80 degrees. I was sooo excited, I wore jeans and a tank top, and brought a light jacket just in case (in some parts of the Old City you have to cover your shoulders for modesty). I met the group that the hotel that they were staying in, and we started walking from there. We met up with two of there Israeli friends that they met when they had home hospitality Shabbat dinners, and they took us to another meeting area where there were a million other groups waiting to go on a tour of the Old City as well. When we got there it was so packed with touring groups that we decided to just go on our own. We figured that we have to two Israeli's with us, and they know their way around, why not go on our own personal tour of the "real" Old City. It was great, they took us through the back alleys of Ben Yehuda, and I got to give my two cents on the places that I had been (aka night life), and then we headed through some other little towns on the outskirts of the Kotel (Western Wall). We got to this little park that was absolutely beautiful, overlooking the Kotel, Jaffa Gate (pronounced Yaffa), and the Arab quarter. We walked through the park and ended up in a little village that we found out was the 1st community built outside of the Old City. As we were walking through, a woman stopped us and asked if we wanted to come into her home. She said that she was an artist, and that she had a beautiful home, and she just wanted us to come inside and experience it (and maybe even buy one of her art and poetry books). We excepted and it was the most beautiful home I had ever seen. It was very small, but everything was hand made, and very antique looking. The walls were COVERED in her art pieces, and felt so warm and cozy. I remember thinking that when I have my first home, I want it to look just like this; lived in, bohemian, hippy, chic. The woman we found out was from Holland and moved to Israel when she was 22. She painted everyday, and would never think about what to paint, she would just paint whatever she felt, and somehow it just came out this amazing masterpiece. It was really wonderful, and she stopped me before I left and said that I should come back to her soon and we would relax in the park and paint together. I thought that was very sweet, and I hope that if I do go back she will remember my face, and we will do exactly what she said we would do.
We finally got to the Jaffa Gate and we walked around the Arab quarter so that the group could do some last minute shopping before moving on. After they were finished we walked to the Christian quarter where we took the group to Church of the Holy Seplicur(I know that I did not spell that right) (the supposed place where Jesus was buried). I didn't go inside because I had already been before and didn't find it to be all too exciting when I first went, so I sat outside in the sun with our two Israeli friends and chit-chat about living in Israel, and if I had ever considered moving to Israel in the future.
After being in the Old City, we took a couple of cabs to the "Israel Museum." We went to the dead sea scrolls exhibit, and checked out the beautiful sculpture garden that was there. There wasn't really a lot to see because the museum has been under construction, and wont be complete until 2010, it was still a very nice experience anyway. Once the group was finished we walked back to the Hotel and rested until dinner. I went to the room that some of the woman were staying in, and took a nap on their couch. It was very relaxing, and when I woke up they acted very mother like, and offered me a million things (they said that since they were away from their own children they needed someone to baby). That night we went to a great noodle bar called River to have dinner. Shai was there, and we sat and hung out and had some fun conversations with each other and the people around us. By the end of the night I was so tired I had to go to bed (I had class early Sunday morning so I thought sleeping might be a really good idea).
All in all it was a wonderful week. I know that this blog is very late. I was having some personal problems so I needed to write it a little later. This coming Sunday however will be filled with EVERYTHING that i did for Purim, so no worries, I will be completely put together by then.
Much Much Love!!!


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