08 March 2009

Catching up!

Despite indications to the contrary, I survived the war. (Whew!)

The real reason for my bloggy silence is that I have had nothing sufficiently important to procrastinate about. Semester-א ended on February 6th, and Semester-ב only starts tomorrow. I've been on vacation!

Now, just to be clear: there are no real breaks between semesters in Israel. Instead of having reading week, finals week, and then vacation, the exams are spread across a whole month, right up until the day before classes resume. In fact, it's even worse than that. All of this is just "Mo'ed Alef" (the first round of exams). If you want to improve your score, you're guaranteed an opportunity to retake the exams: "Mo'ed Bet". And if you're not sure you're ready for the exam when the exam date arrives, you can take it on the retake date, and you're guaranteed another retake date even later on. That's right, "Mo'ed Gimel." I think there's even a "Mo'ed Daled," for students who get called away to reserves service during the earlier rounds of exams.

Consequently, pathological procrastinators wind up smearing one semester's exam period into the following semester. The guy I dated over the summer couldn't go home for Rosh Hashana because he was still studying for last year's semester-ב exams.

So during the break all the Serious Hebrew U Students were busy with a never-ending stream of exams. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to travel and have adventures around Israel! The Center for the Study of Rationality took all of us on a retreat to the Galillee and the Golan Heights, where we investigated rationality, hiked, and thorougly celebrated Tu B'Shvat with wild hotel-room parties. Just after I got back, I took off again and drove half the length of the country on an off-roading jeep trip with my uncle. I crashed with Jessa and her cousin Suzie for a few days at the University of Haifa, hung out in Tel Aviv and Rehovot with Garth, had a cookout with Katey & Dan on the roof of a dorm at Weitzman and spent a few days chilling with Rotem's family in Nes Tziona.

After that, I was supposed to go on a ʇɥbıɹq1nɟ-sponsored trip to the north of Israel, but my body decided it was time to catch a respiratory virus and a digestive bug, and have a total blue-screen system meltdown. I took my packed bags — actually, Rotem took them for me — and crash-landed at my grandmother's house, that well-known middle-east TLC hotspot. A week and a half and a million cups of tea later, I'm coughing but otherwise fully recovered. בשעה טובה!

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