Header Photo Credit

*The stunning photo in the header of my blog is all thanks to Ron Shoshani. Visit his facebook page for more of his amazing photographs of Tel Aviv!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tel Aviv During Exam Time

The only thing frustrating about the semester schedule in Israel is the fact that vacation seems to come unbelievably late.  Yes, it's great having the high-holidays off in the fall, but the whole Moed Bet thing and paper extensions does make me a bit crazy. I'm a girl who needs clearly defined deadlines and lots of over the shoulder criticism in order to get me going.  This simply doesn't happen here.

What is Moed Bet, you might ask? Moed Bet is the second round of exam dates for anyone who couldn't, wouldn't or didn't make it to the real exam, or who got their grade back from the real exam and didn't like it. Being a spoiled graduate of a small liberal arts institution, I was unaware that anything like this could ever exist. Where I come from there is one date and one date only for exams.  There is no such thing as a make-up exam except for very special and particular cases which typically involve hospitalization, deaths in the family and the likes.

From what I understand, Moed Bet came about due to 1) the previous frequency of student strikes, teacher strikes and university worker strikes which made life difficult for everyone, 2) the army reserves which calls back nearly all young men who have served their three years to train with their squad every year or so, depending on the political situation, and 3) the craziness of life as a student here with most students working part time to pay rent and tuition during the school year. 

Now, I see the benefits of Moed Bet, I certainly do.  Especially since I woke up the day of my Moed Aleph (First exam date) for my Shakespeare course, with a completely stiff neck.  Unable to even get out of bed, I decided to simply lie back and relax as much as possible.  I would just take the text a month later. 

But, the month later has arrived and I realize that all the information that was fresh in my mind, all the opportunities I had to be at school and discuss relevant topics with my teachers, has simply vanished.  I've forgotten I ever took classes during the spring of 2010 - that's how distant the school year seems. 

I am left desperately struggling to find some way to muster the drive, ambition and motivation I need to write two papers and get through this exam.  The exam, at least, requires physical attendance and therefore is essentially unavoidable that I will get through it.  The papers, well, let's just say they are a bit more abstract!

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