Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moving into the Dorms

This morning I registered for my Elementary Biblical Hebrew class. Registration seemed like a mini United Nations. They really mean it when they say its an International School. I heard French, Chinese, Hebrew (of course), as well as British and Australian accents. My orientation is tomorrow afternoon. Class begins Thursday morning.

The big project for today was moving into the dorms. My dorms are considered on campus housing but I'm not so sure the term fits. The school is a good twenty minute walk down hill. On the way up to the dorms I passed by a hospital and a British military cemetery. The student village sits on Mount Scopus which was occupied by the Jordanian army during the six day war of 1967. I overheard someone say that the older dorms used to be Jordanian army barracks. I don't know if that's actually true or not.

I've been calling it a dorm but really it's more like an apartment. There is a kitchenette which means I have a refrigerator and a stove but no oven or dishwasher. I have a room to myself and my room door has a lock on it. Door locks do not automatically lock behind you, not even the front door. My room is special its referred to as the sealed room, basically its a bomb shelter. One room in each apartment is a sealed room that my roommates and I could take shelter in in the event of an attack. The room has an extra two inch thick metal door that locks in. The ventilation in my room appears to be hooked up slightly different from the other two rooms. All the windows and the sliding balcony doors have metal shutters like hurricane shutters. I'm not sure what the walls of my room are made out of because I get cellphone coverage and wireless internet just fine but I haven't tried calling anyone with the blast door closed to see if that makes a difference.

The dorms are very green compared to the dorms at Texas A&M. When you reach your floor the hall lights are off you have to turn the light on and it will remain on just long enough for you to unlock your door. The toilet is a duel flush to help save water. The third green feature I learned about was the hot water heater. Outside the bathroom there are two buttons with orange squares in the center that light up when activated. You must press those two buttons at least thirty more minutes before you want to shower. The hot water heater doesn't run all the time you need to carefully plan when you want to shower.


  1. That's so cool that you will get to interact with people from so many different places! Good luck with orientation and classes! I really miss school, how sad is that?

    Your living accommodations sound pretty nice and a lot like my apartment in Japan. I am also without an oven or dishwasher. Sounds like your roommates better be good friends with you since you control the bomb shelter! Dual flush toilets are pretty standard in Japan too. I have a hot water heater switch kinda like that too. I have to turn the gas on and activate the hot water heater and let it it warm up a little before using hot water, but mine is pretty quick. Then I have to remember to turn the gas off or my gas bill ends up being expensive. Plus, you know, I just doubt leaving gas on is ever a good idea...

    Love your blog and keep it coming! I want to see pictures!

  2. Looked at some of the images for Mount Scopus. Gorgeous and sort of spooky. A lot of highly fought over real estate. At least the walk up that hill will keep you fit. As they say, anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger -- you're likely to be pretty strong.