Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just finished my midterm exam

So I kind of disappeared for a while. The modern Hebrew class is very intensive, 25 hours of class in a week. It's 5 hours of class each day then around 1-3 hours of homework. But just doing the homework isn't enough to pass the class you have to study for several hours beyond the homework if you want to be able to actually speak the language. Learning a new language after the age of 10 is supposed to be harder. Almost everyday after class I have a huge headache. I think it's because my brain is trying to categorize the new words I learn each day. My throat is also sore because Hebrew has some guttural sounds that we don't have in English. So after class I have a snack take a short break and read a little in an English book then start homework. I do almost the same things everyday it seems. So that means I don't have anything too interesting to post lately. This is going to be more about everyday things.

School is quite stressful right now so you have to find humor somewhere in the day. I get a kick out of the misspellings on the packages in the store. In the school store they sell ralling stamps (rolling stamps) for kids. When we first got here Claire bought a pillow that said it was hiege quality. So anytime we see something misspelled we just say its another hiege quality product made in Israel.

I made spaghetti I think this was last week. I've made it before but this time was the first time I used gluten free pasta and I didn't fix the recipe correctly for that. The sauce is olive oil, green peppers and garlic. I didn't think about the fact that this pasta wouldn't absorb the oil like normal pasta so it turned out a little too oily. I think I should mention we do have flatware other than the maroon ones in the pictures. I just noticed that the food looks better in the pictures on the maroon flatware.

Claire made pasta and meatballs. The meatballs were made with the help of a packet of spices. The instructions on how to make them were of course in Hebrew but there are pictures as well. Claire was cooking while I was doing my homework and I asked how she knew what to do. She said she was following the pictures. Since she is in the Hebrew level above me she knew what half the words in the directions were. Just for fun she started reading off the directions and came across the word for egg which we know. This surprised her and she exclaimed "There's an egg in this?" We had a good laugh about that one. So cooking using just the pictures is not a good idea.

Claire and I made chicken in a bag! I still don't understand how the bag doesn't melt in the oven. It actually came out pretty good and it was nice to have meat. The oven belongs to our Israeli roommate.

As I mentioned in my last post there are a lot of cats living in the student village. Below our balcony there is a garden that the cats like to hang out in. These two kittens were napping under the tree while there mother was off somewhere else. They have another sibling but that kitten was under one of the bushes.

I've named a few of the cats if they are distinctive enough that I can't think of a name quickly. This is Smokey Jones. He likes to pick on the kittens I think because he doesn't have any family in the student village but he keeps trying to join other families and getting chased off.

Claire named this one Angler after the Angler fish because of the white tip of his tail.

These are the twins we've been watching them grow up since we got here in June. I love watching the kittens play fight in the garden. We aren't allowed to keep pets in the student village so a lot of students adopt one or more of the cats. Its fun to watch people feeding the cats some people sneak over like they don't want anyone to see them feeding the cats. The garden always has several paper plates of food and bowls of milk and water.

Ever since I got here in June the weather has been the same everyday. Sunny and hot once or twice it was cloudy but other than that its been the same. So imagine my surprise when two mornings this week we woke up to fog on the Mount Scopus. The fog didn't last for long but I have the picture here to prove it!

Back in the botanical garden Claire pointed this tree out to me. The branches are covered with these sharp thorns they are really strong you can't break them easily. The trunk also has spikes on it. The leaves are strangely small looking.

Here is what the entire tree looks like. I have no idea what kind of tree this is.

The tree across the path looks similar but its covered with blossoms so I'm not sure if they are the same tree or not. Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?

If anyone is interested my roommate Claire also keeps a blog. You can follow her blog to get a different view on life here. Since we live together and are both in the Bible and the Ancient Near East degree plan we tend to do things together so you might end up reading about the same things just different perspectives. Her blog can be found here:

Questions from the last post:
Uncle Joe- I live on the third floor of my building the picture of the dove was taken from my bedroom window. I had English breakfast tea with the eggs and chocolate rolls. I think I had coke zero with the chicken, high class yes?

Nikki-Yes we had enough room in the freezer for the chickens.


  1. I enjoyed this posting very much. I love the everyday life of a struggling grad student. Good food pictures.


  2. I hope you did well on your midterm! I like the cat pictures. It must be nice to have them around so you can all have pets witout "having a pet." Community kitties!

    Sounds like you are having some pretty exciting adventures in cooking.

    Also, I am jealous because your blog now has more followers than mine! Just shows how loved you are!

  3. Anna,
    Thanks for the posts. I am glad that Claire shared your blog. It helps to read your blog when she does not have time to update hers.

    (claire's mom)

  4. Tree looks like an acacia. There are a zillion varieties but they all have thorns, are low and spread out, and have lacy leaves. The other may be just another species.

    Glad I got it clear now what floor you're on.

    Kinda weird looking at that skillet of meatballs. They all seem so evenly distributed it looks like a picture from an advertisement.

    On the high class question: You're only high class drinking tea if you've get the saucer in one hand and the handle in the other, with the pinkie extended, and drink it with a slurping sound then say, "Pip, pip and cheerio, old chap." Practice and I'm sure you'll get there. :)

  5. I hope you're able to enjoy your Hebrew classes. It's sounds like such an intensive course schedule! Thank you for sharing Claire's blog site, I'd been meaning to ask you how to read hers, too.
    Another great post....I always look forward to them.