Sunday, January 24, 2010

אההההה....איך אומרים...

Ulpan began last week. I'm in kitah daled (ulpan goes in alphabetical levels alef-vav, vav being the highest level) in my ulpan. I'm in Ulpan Etzion in Jerusalem. What's unique about this ulpan is that there is the option to be an internal student (live in the absorption center) or an external student (live outside the ulpan). I'm an internal student-- aside from it being MUCH less expensive, it's nice because I get to get the full experience and not have to worry about when the last bus is to get back to my apt.
I'm still waiting for one roommate to arrive, but Eden and I have set up a LOT of stuff already, which will be good when Miriam (our third roommate) arrives.
Back to classes-- more about the accommodations later. I'm in kitah daled-- the ulpan only goes up to daled. They were trying to have a higher class, but in the end I don't know if they didn't have enough people or if they didn't have a teacher, but daled is as high up as it goes (but the level that's being taught is actually higher than daled). We are doing grammar and "reality"-- reading articles, listening to the news headlines, etc. It's a work in progress. There are about 15 people in my class, give or take, but the classroom is small so it's kind of tight space-wise. There are levels/classes alef 1-4, bet 1-3, gimel, and daled. Gimel is really big-- something like 30 people, I think. Most of the classes have 2 teachers; my class has 2- Mira on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday; Esther on Tuesday and Thursday (like many other places in Israel, Ulpan Etzion is on a Sunday-Thursday schedule). I already have a test on Wednesday-- grammar (masculine/feminine plural nouns and adjectives). I actually remember this from about 6th grade- maybe 7th or 8th, but definitely Mrs. Eshed's class. I had a green/blue 5-subject notebook and I remember the list of words that look like they are masculine but are really feminine (it's a difference in conjugation). Brings back memories... One of the things the teachers are really concentrating on is higher-level vocabulary and proper, higher-level grammar and language use, beyond what's spoken on the street. I will update you as classes go on. But so far I like my classmates and my teachers.

Ulpan Etzion is housed in Beit Canada, which is a merkaz klita, or absorption center, in Jerusalem. There are other programs housed here as well, but I don't really know much about them. Beit Canada is pretty much the edge of Jerusalem, but there are 2 bus lines (one that goes downtown) that come every 20-ish minutes.

Although the previous location of Ulpan Etzion was sooooooo much better and central to, well, everything, one advantage of Beit Canada over the old location is that the rooms are real apartments with proper kitchens-ish. The kitchens come with a fridge and 2 gas burners, and of course a sink. Eden and I bought a kumkum (electric tea kettle like thing), a toaster, an iron, and Rita and Dov lent us their old toaster oven, which is really quite large. It's really a mini oven-- and it works nicely; I already baked cookies in it :) The way the apartment itself is set up is: you walk in and immediately to your right are 2 closets and to your left is a table; in front of you there is a bathroom and the kitchen (yeah, they're right next to each other...I know...). If you make a left and walk just past the table you walk into a small bedroom which is Eden's. If you walk just past the table and make a right you walk into a large room (separated from the eating area by a doorway-- I need to get a curtain for it) with 2 beds, 2 desks, and 2 shelves (1 double, 1 single) which is my and Miriam's room. The bathroom is pretty standard-- toilet, sink with a mirror above it, shower (not a shoilet) with a folding rack that we haven't figured how to fold back up so it just stays down... The kitchen is really small; it has a fridge, small counter with 2 drawers (dairy silverware drawer, pareve silverware drawer) and 1 cabinet (medium, no shelves, dairy dishes) beneath it (we usually put the dishes to dry on this counter), a sink with cabinets above (1 small, 1 large, 2 shelves each, that we use for food) and beneath it (1 very large but no shelves-- just an open area; we put cleaning supplies and bags under here), and then another counter that we put the oven on and the burners are on with a large cabinet with 2 shelves under (meat silverware/dishes, and pareve dishes). We put the kumkum on this counter too. The toaster, which we haven't used yet, sits on top of the fridge with the aluminum foil, saran/cling/plastic wrap, cereals, paper towel roll, and containers (we got a set of containers in 3 sizes for storage). Not that we really need to cook because we get lunch and dinner every day; we are responsible for breakfast, but that's not too intense. I did make myself a grilled cheese sandwich in the oven yesterday, though.

What else? Well, the heating doesn't really work...we have 1 small radiator in the eating area that works but the big heater in the big room doesn't work and it's a bit chilly.

I think that's about it. So far so good.

More about shopping adventures next time!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lauren, I have a friend wanting to immigrate to Israel. Just wondering for post college ulpan's do they accept graduates from technical/vocational schools?