Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Notebook and Who Is It?

On Sunday our Ulpan teacher #2 (we now have 2 teachers who split the week, so I shall call them #2 and #3, since #1 was our teacher for a few weeks before that) wrote a list on the board of supplies we would need:

1. Scissors
2. Markers
3. Ruler
4. Pencil
5. Pen
6. Eraser

These, she said, were needed so that we could create a "machberet" (notebook) that would contain all of the conjugation families we are learning.  She asked us to have the materials with us on Wednesday when she returned.

We all wondered at the list and felt a little like kindergarten students.  Indeed, I have to say that when I went into the stationery/office supply store, I did feel like a little kid getting all ready for the new school year.  I even anguished over the color of my notebook (purple!), the number of markers, the size of the scissors, etc.

After I made my purchases I realized I'd forgotten to buy a pencil case in which to store all of this.  I've noticed, via my granddaughter, that schoolkids here all have HUGE pencil/supply cases that they shlep around with them.  In fact my granddaughter Ariella generously and graciously offered me one of her erasers when I told her about the list.  But no problem, I thought, I'll just use a ziploc bag.

Today was the day Teacher #2 returned and we were to create our notebooks.  I have to say, I was looking forward to it, wondering how we were going to create this useful book.

I can't possibly describe the intricate instructions that made that little plain machberet turn into an incredibly useful tabbed notebook but suffice it to say that it took our class over an hour to do this.  And that most of us were almost comatose from either trying to figure out her Hebrew instructions or laughing at ourelves at how inept we were.  Here was a group of accomplished professionals with our scissors and paper, looking at how the guy next to us was carrying out the instructions, hoping we'd done it right, running for the tape because we made a mistake, getting bits of paper all over the place.

I mean when was the lasst time you took scissors to paper, cut carefully, wrote in little tabs, used a ruler to write a straight line, and used markers?  If you say not a long time, you either are a primary school teacher or you need to get something better to do all day.

By the time the notebooks were "done," half of us were vowing to redo them at home, and the other half were popping Excedrin (OK, that was just me). 

My biggest boo boo happened early on in the session - I cut the page the wrong way.  No problem, I thought, I'll just tear these two pages out and start again.

Then, as we went on, I realized that she meant to use up the entire notebook - uh oh.  I was going to run out of pages before everyone else.  Panic.

As we went further, we got to the last few pages of the notebook.  Some people had many pages left, I had one. I was ready for the big embarrassing moment when I would resign myself to doing the whole thing again at home - and maybe asking my five year old grandsons for help.

But - then she said we were done!  Yahoo, I had one page left! 

The second half of class was talking about the parts of the body.  After listing them in groups according to whether the words are masculine and feminine (they don't divide up the way you might think, of course), we moved on to providing adjectives for them. You know, long legs, brown eyes, etc in order to practice our feminine/masculine expertise. The teacher then asked us to write a paragraph describing someone else in the class and we'd all try to figure out who it is each of us is writing about.

Hmmmm...sounds like a recipe for disaster.  I mean, would you really write that someone in the class has a big nose or a pointy chin?

As we went around the room with each of us reading our descriptions, it was clear that we were all beautiful/handsome and healthy.

Oh, and remember the ziploc bag that I used to store my supplies?  Well, what do you think happens when you put a scissors in a ziploc bag?  Bingo.

1 comment:

  1. We did not have such arts and crafts in my ulpan. Yours sounds intense :)