Thursday, April 19, 2012

Test, Siren, Husband

Yesterday in Ulpan our teacher told us that we'd have a test today.  We spent half of our class yesterday learning words you need for the bank - deposit, interest, loan, overdraft (very important to know that one), etc. etc.  We learned six new verbs and added them with great ceremony to our sheets.

Have I not told you about the sheets?  Well, this is worth a digression.

At the start of Ulpan, we received a sheet titled "Daf Poalim" - Verb Sheet.  It is a table ("tabla" is the very difficult Hebrew word for this) with a column for the infinitive, the gerund (come on, you know what that is, don't you?  it's the noun that is created from the verb!), the present, past, and future, the root, and what "family" it belongs to.  We have been in Ulpan for 2 months and we now have 81 verbs.  I know, I know, you're so impressed you can hardly speak.

We also have sheets for Adjectives, Opposites, and Prepositions.  Each new word is added and a consecutive number is assigned to it.  Chaos such as the modern world has never seen erupted the day we realized that we didn't all have the same numbers for the same verbs.  Oy va voy.

So the teacher ran to the xerox machine clutching one person's perfectly numbered sheets and then we all continued with the same numbering.  Whew!  Now, each time she annoucnes a new verb or adjective, we rush to our sheets, pull them out and everyone HAS to agree that we are now adding Number ____. 

OK, back to the test (but you have to admit that digression was worth it, wasn't it?)  So today we had the test.  She hands out the sheet and tells us to close our books - hmmph, there goes our chance of an open book exam.  The first part of the test was, as she promised, about the verbs we had learned the day before.  But the SECOND part of the test was about the nouns we had NOT known would be on the test.  NO FAIR! 

We all (well I) flunked the second part of the test, but then we went through it together.  Our teacher is super sweet and super supportive, and she realized she'd kind of tricked us. And, of course, I did something really dumb, which only topped the really dumb thing I did yeterday.

Yesterday's dumb thing: Yesterday I mixed up two words - I wanted to say that something was "free" - chinam - but instead I used the word "cherum" which means emergency.  So I said that I had emergency checking. The teacher kept giving me this weird look.

Today's dumb thing: Today, I couldn't remember the word for savings and mixed it up with the word for princess, so I told everyone I have a princess account in the bank. 

Today was also Yom HaShoah.  Living here, and not just being here for a visit, makes everything so much deeper.  At 10 AM the two minute siren went off.  We all stood in class silently, as did everyone, everywhere in the entire country.  Knowing that this silence was happening all over the country was staggering.  Last night, the Comedy Channel and other cable channels went off the air for 24 hours in observance of the day, and most of the channels only showed Shoah-related movies, and the radio started playing only serious music, no rock music at all. Next week is Yom Hazikaron, the day the country mourns its fallen soldiers, and the entire Ulpan is going to visit the Modiin cemetery area where the fallen soldiers are buried.

I was just thinking of what it means to be living in the country that so many refugees had fled to during the war, and so many others dreamed of coming to.  I felt so lucky and so blessed.

Oh, yeah, Husband!  Bern returned!  Yay!  He can finally see our apartment, our new car, and we can start our real life.  We met him at the airport (unfortunately he returned the same day about 5,000 yeshiva students also returned, so it was forever until he came out), and it was quite festive.

This Shabbos is our first together in our apartment.

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