Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Academics

This morning in Ulpan we had our third Hebrew test. It was definately the largest and hardest we've had yet, but I think that I did pretty well.

After Ulpan, we had our "Academic Orientation" and they went over our class options a bit. I'm still looking at the same classes, but in a slightly different way. Everyone takes Hebrew plus four other classes. (They said that they are trying to put at least two field trips into each class around Israel.) You can either choose classes you want in any order you want, or you can choose one of two tracks: Peace Studies and Regional Security or Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice. In the tracks, you take three set classes and have one elective one. It's sort of like a mini major. They suggested doing it as the classes are selected to compliment each other. They used to be only for the year, but now the tracks are also designed for the semester. I am considering Peace Studies and Regional Security - (not all of the information is up to date).

I had wanted to for sure take International Security and Conflict Resolution and Critical Decisions in the History of the State of Israel. For the other two, I want to choose between Arms Control in the Middle East, Jewish Identity and Contemporary Issues, and Environmental and Natural Resources Policy in Israel and the Middle East. In the track, Arms Control is required so I would have to choose between Jewish Identity and Environmental Issues - the two I wanted to take a bit more than Arms Control. Arms Control though sounds like a really good class. Both of my last options are unique to Ben-Gurion University.

International Terrorism and Arms Control are both popular classes and are taught by a Professor who I am told is world renown - Jonathon Fine.

Right now, I am kind of leaning towards Jewish Identity and Contemporary Issues, but I'm not sure yet.

Anyway, we leave tomorrow morning at 3:30 a.m. (!) to climb Masada for sunrise, go to Ein Gedi, and go to the Dead Sea, all before coming back to Be'er Sheva in time for Shabbat. It should be a fun and busy and tiring day.

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