First Week of Ulpan

So this is from a few weeks ago, I’m trying to keep up. I really don’t remember most details, so I’m a bit sorry.

I got to base once again on Sunday morning. We start the week by getting tested on everything we learned during basic training. Now I thought this would be pretty hard. We all figured that it would be a written test in Hebrew. I know everything I learned and how to do everything, so if was all in english, that would be easy. But, I’m in Israel…so its in Hebrew. I guess our commanders also know that a written test in Hebrew would also be very hard and we would all fail making them look like they didn’t teach us anything, so they helped us out. One by one, each of us got called out and sat with a commander to do the test. My Mifikedet, was my tester. She read everything out loud, if I didn’t understand she would explain it in more basic hebrew, or point to things and ask me what it does. It was really funny too, I would always start to say an answer slowly and if she gave me a weird look I would change my answer. Guess What…it worked. I passed with almost 100%.

On monday we were told that Basic training is over and we all made it. They therefore had a presentation of what is going to be different. The answer is….nothing! Well, I’m being a bit dramatic, but tell me what you think. Here are the changes:

1. Use of the base market (30min during our free hour at night)

2. After dinner on breaks we don’t have to wear our Hat.

3. Use of the Pop and Ice Cream machine during the Lunch break. (Lunch is a Meat meal, so this sucks if you keep kosher.)

4. More Discipline, no excused taken.

5. and the best part…. We get 1-4 minutes to run place to place instead of running in 20 second intervals.

6. New form of punishment: Smakcum! (The new favorite that now overrides pushups. Its a pushup with a combined jump and clap. They usually come in packages of 15-20). They a very funny to watch!

7. Sport (A hebrew word to describe all physical activity. Its not games) So from now on, almost every morning, we have sport. In our clothes from home, not our uniforms. Oh yea, and if you want to work out more, we have the option of doing it at night by ourselves.

and Thats it….

Ok so the biggest difference is that we started Ulpan (Hebrew Class). For the next two months we have hebrew classes eight hours a day. I found out very quickly that I am way ahead of my class. This is like most hebrew classes though, they all start out basic to get everyone on the same level. I understand, but its so boring to sit though. My Hebrew Mifikedet is probably the best Hebrew teacher I have had though. She has a lot of patience, is very clear, and knows how to control us. She also knows about all our hebrew weaknesses and strengths. She sees that I am further ahead so I have been getting extra work and personal one-one help.

In addition to learning hebrew, we also have Zionism classes. Not Zionism in a political sense, but Zion, like the name of the holy land. Its history of Israel class. My favorite part of the day.

I really hope I know hebrew a lot better at the end. I think I have a greater potential that ever before, so I’m jumping at the opportunity.


One thought on “First Week of Ulpan

  1. Israel has such an interesting approach to learning Hebrew. Most countries don’t offer new-commers the chance to learn the language for hours a day. I’m glad that you also had time for your Zionism class which sounds very interesting.

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