My new Hebrew class that I began two weeks ago is a far-cry from the previous one in terms of content, but also, I must admit, in terms of the amount of effort I am putting into it.
One amazing thing about my class at Milah downtown is that you can hardly hope to have an English conversation with the other students, as there are only three Americans. The rest: a Venezuelan, two Brazilians, an Italian, two South Koreans, an Egyptian, a Hollander a Ukrainian and a Belorussian.
While the class is only two mornings per week (as opposed to the previous one, which was five), there is a sizable and quite challenging amount of homework thus far. I’ve made a pact with myself to study at least an hour-and-a-half per day on my own, and I am thus far – more or less – actually achieving this goal.
Right now, I’ve also realized that I need to start readjusting even my personal life to be much more in Hebrew – i.e. stop speaking to my Israeli friends in English, even if it is a force of habit. I’m looking forward to the day when I will actually be able to call myself 100% fluent in this language.
Meanwhile, with a change of venue for Hebrew study, I’ve also entirely changed my morning routine, and my new habits have proved quite refreshing and financially beneficial. First of all, I’ve been actually managing to wake up on time to arrive to my class this semester consistently early, rather than 20 minutes late – despite my exhaustion, I feel really eager to learn in this class. At the same time, I’ve abandoned using the buses to get there, as I could no longer stand the nauseating feeling of crawling up the perpetually clogged Agripas Street.
One day, I even played a game along the way. I tracked the #18 bus where it and I met at Herzl Boulevard and Shazar Street, and followed its path as I walked. I was still ahead by the time I reached Gan Sacher, and crossed the street onto Agripas past the Ema restaurant. As I started walking toward the shuk, the bus pulled in front of me and took the lead, probably beating me by about five minutes to our shared destination.
Despite the fact that the bus won the race by a couple minutes, the 35-minute walk is just so much more refreshing – especially since it’s really starting to feel like spring.