Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I've been told recently that I should have started blogging about this when the process began. Here's the Coles Notes version.

In September 2007, I began my Master's programme in Interdisciplinary Studies at York University. It had been decided during the initial meeting I'd had with my committee the previous May that a year of study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem would be fantastic both for my thesis research and for my overall education. So, in January 2008 - the winter/second term of my studies - I began the application process both for the academic program and for the scholarship package provided by the Canadian Friends of Hebrew U. I was accepted as a Visiting Graduate to the Rothberg International School of Hebrew U in Jerusalem, with a full scholarship.

Then the nitty-gritty of it all set in: a student visa; a new home for the very lovable Shadow; renting my apartment for a year; obtaining permission from my home university for a year's leave of absence, and subsequent re-instatement upon my return with the original entrance scholarship there intact; graduate student housing in Jerusalem; finding the funding to participate in at least half of the six week archaeological dig at Tel Hazor. It's all done. The last spectres hanging over me are a paper due for the previously mentioned prof - that is fodder for another post, since I seem to be having many more problems finishing it than I had anticipated (and the guilt about this is killing me - but, on the other hand, it's not like I've been idle. But the perfectionist in me beats myself up for it...grrr - bad graduate student. Bad.) Plus, in the next two to three days, I have some loose ends to tidy up for the rest of my committee, get my shit together re: packing, and see a few more people to say b-bye. Yikes.

Now, I've been told by the incredible Rahmer that I must post what I'll be doing while in Israel. She's been suffering, you see, from not knowing exactly what I'll be up to while there, and this is bothering her because she feels lost when others ask her what the scoop with me is. She confided in me that her usual response is, "Well, she's doing something really cool but I don't know what it is." Don't worry, sweetie, you're not alone! Others have expressed just such a dilemna to me recently. So, I will outline below what I will be doing, as far as I know it now, until the end of October. This will be the physical aspect of the plans; the outline of my work regarding my thesis will be included in a very-near-future post.

July 11: fly to Tel Aviv; land on 12 July.
July 13: arrive at the kibbutz guest house near Tel Hazor after 2p.m. to begin a three week adventure weilding pick-axes and hauling rocks at the largest archaeological dig site in Israel. http://hazor.huji.ac.il.
August 1: dig ends.
August 3: arrive at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University; move in to graduate students' residence.
August 6: Ulpan (Modern Hebrew Language Immersion Program) begins.
September 25ish: Ulpan ends.
October: no classes because of high holy days recess; head to Egypt for two weeks.
October 25: classes begin.

We'll leave it there for now. It hasn't yet set in that I'm going to be in another world in another four days. I know that my world, personally, is going to change and I'm so excited to see how.

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