Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
1st week of school
So the first week of college hasn’t exactly been like Asher Roth’s infamous song “I Love College” but it is getting there. Stam. (Just kidding)
Classes have been, for the most part, very interesting.
Here is my list of classes, get ready:
Positive Psychology; 2x a wk
Biological Foundations; 2x a wk
Probability; every other wk
Intro to Psych; 2x + recitation wk
Intro to Communications; 1x wk
Departmental Seminar; 1x wk
Intro to Stats; 2x wk
Applied Psych Workshop (3.5 hrs); every other wk
8 classes. 4-day week. 3-day weekend.
I’ll do a run through over the classes, periodically in the coming weeks once I’ve experienced all of them and know more about what is going on in them.
Positive Psych – I was worried that this class was going to be a bunch of “New Age” mumbo gumbo and was going to hate it. The first class, (which I was a bit hung over for, sorry mom, but it was my birthday the day before) proved this to be utterly false. The professor, Tal Benshachar, (brother of my David Project class that I had in Bat Yam) studied and taught at Harvard before moving back to Israel. He moved back after a health scare and realized where he need to be—in Israel.
Biological Foundations – is taught by Dr. Daniel Levy, he used to do research at UCSD, so he talks about home a lot, which is the only time I’ve been homesick, so far. It is interesting so far. In the recitation we have been reviewing the cell. It is very different going over the cell from an Israeli research student. Luckily I did okay in my biology class in high school and remember enough to get by from the books.
I and others have found a few things that are very special to IDC and/or Israel: They serve beer on campus, not just at our first night meet and greet on campus, but throughout the week during the day (we don’t think this will continue throughout the year, but who knows?) and they tell us to copy our books in the library and not buy them. Thankfully I bought 4 of the 5 books for only $40, so I only have to copy one of the books. It is really cheap and kind of nice only having to carry around a chapter at a time. Also, you hear a million different languages on campus.
For my three day weekend, I spent Thursday in Tel Aviv at the Azrielli Center with Moran, my madricha from Jerusalem on YC. It was really nice catching up with her and I cannot wait to see her again, hopefully next week for a BBQ before all of my friends join the ARMY! After a late brunch, I met some friends at the beach in Herzliyah. Friday was spent at the Beach, catching the last bus home and arriving ten minutes before Shabbat comes in. I jumped into the Luke Warm shower and quickly got ready for a Hillel Shabbat. The service was really nice, even though Talya (Californian/Israeli that lives next door) and I were late. Don’t worry the sermon included telling the boys to pick up girls. After dinner a bunch of people went to someone’s apartment, where they have a beautiful view on their roof overlooking downtown Herzliyah. It was a really lovely Shabbat evening.
Shabbat Day consisted of studying, kiddish lunch with my roommate and a bunch of her friends, more studying, coffee, face masks at the neighbors, wine and an AEPi bonfire where, not naming any names, but a few people, may or may not have gone into the ocean.
It was a lovely evening and now I am off to bed for two classes tomorrow morning beginning at 9:15.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wow. It has been a very, very long week becoming aquatinted with IDC and fellow first year RRIS (Rafael Recanti International School) and Israeli students. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were full of meeting new students, learning my way around campus (small but still plenty confusing), learning about the Library, ethics and regulations (where they share amazing stories of how people have been caught cheating—items, which I would never have been able to think of), and other things that come with orientation week. Most importantly, of course, is meeting the people we will be studying with for the next three years.
Now, I know, that this is an international school, but I don’t believe I had any idea just how international is. I literally have classmates from Singapore, South Africa, Somalia, all over Europe (including a ton of Italians, Swedes, and French people), South Americans, and even a few Canadians. Walking around campus, you hear every language imaginable, I will probably pick up Swedish by the end of the year.
Everyone from California is from L.A. except for this girl who lives next door, Talya, who made Aliyah and did the army and is from Palm Springs and a couple people from the Bay Area.
Wednesday and Thursday was the Orientation trip to the Negev. We had to arrive at IDC by 7:30 and like all programs in Israel, where they threaten to leave you behind, we left after 8. I was on one of the seven buses with Rebecca, the Swede from next door, with a bus full of people we didn’t know.
We headed towards the Judean Forest where we were met by a tour guide, a British Rachel, and had different team building workshops that involved ropes and teamwork. They were fun and some slightly scary.
After lunch in the Forest we then headed for the Bar Kochba Rebellion caves. It is really eerie to be at these different places with other people besides Year Coursers. After scrounging around on our knees through different tunnels built into the sides of mountains that the Greeks smoked the Jews out of, back in the day, we headed towards a Bedouin Tent close to Arad (where I lived for three months on Year Course). As we drove through Arad, I pointed out my old apartment, and other important landmarks while others looked at me like I was crazy for, ever living in such a place. The truth is that I really miss the adventures that we had there.
As we entered Kifar HaNokdim, the Bedouin Tent, tea, coffee, dried fruit and nuts greeted us. A Bedouin spoke to us about their culture over a lovely cup of tea. Afterwards we were able to shower and relax a little before dinner. Dinner was a delicious spread of different salads, rice, kebabs, laffa and drinks. The dinner company was of course international as well: Danish, Swedish, Singapore, French, Me, and others. There were many birthdays that needed to be toasted for. There most be something about Libras, because there is a ton of us. And I met two other people with my exact birthday, but one is a year younger and the other is two years younger.
Drinking, dancing, bonfire, and the company of new friends kept us busy long into the night.
We woke up at about 6:30 AM to have breakfast, pack up and drive towards Ein Gedi for a hike. Now Ein Gedi is one of the best places in Israel; an oasis in the middle of nowhere, and close to the lowest place in the world—the Dead Sea. It was really hot, even so early in the morning, and we were drinking a ton of water and enjoying the natural springs immensely. It also brought me back to hiking there with Jessica and trekking back to Arad. And when our group became separated from the larger group, no one would listen to me as to which way to go, until I told the counselor to shut up and follow me. He later forgave me when we rejoined everyone else. Once we all refilled our water bottles and loaded the bus we were off to the Dead Sea.
Lunch was at one of those pool/beaches along the shore. There were a ton of different pizzas with amazing toppings; my favorite was with the sautéed onions. If it had thinner crust than it had the potential of being my favorite pizza that I have ever had.
The Dead Sea is always a strange sensation and I somehow, always manage to have some mosquito bites and the bbuuuurrrrnnnnn! After floating for a bit we all just relaxed, and showered up and started the long drive home to Herzliya. It is finally beginning to feel a bit like home.