A few of my friends have asked about my classes here at the JC. (Jerusalem Center for all you uncultured ones who are confused.) Here we go:
Three of my classes are with all the other students here - so 77 other students (two students dropped out from the 80 originally accepted to the program). Religion is split evenly between the two professors (I'm partial toward one but that's to be expected I suppose) with classes of 40 each. And, Hebrew is only 20 students because there are two sections of Hebrew and two others of Arabic.
Ancient Near Eastern Studies 336 - 3 credits
Professor: Andrew Skinner
This class is basically the history and geography of the Middle East. Or Near East, as the title proclaims. It's interesting, as are all of my classes here, and I like it so far. We've only had it once, though, so that could change...
Modern Near East 347 - 2 credits
Professor: Adnan Musallam
This class is the history and current situation of the region taught from the Palestinian perspective. Adnan, a professor at the Bethlehem University, has a fairly thick accent and is kind of hard to understand, especially when he's throwing out names of pre-Islamic deities and you're not paying close attention. He throws jokes in here and there, though, so if you're listening he rewards you. :) We get off on tangents, but luckily he only tests on material he covered in class. Today we learned about Hamas and its origins. Who knew that Hamas is actually an acronymn meaning "zeal."
Modern Near East 349 - 2 credits
Professor: Ophir Yarden
This class is the history and current situation of the region taught from the Jewish perspective. Ophir is great. He grew up in the US and immigrated here, so his English is excellent. He is bald and on the first day one of the students asked him how he kept his kippa from falling off his head. The answer: double-sided sticky tape. Ha! There is a boatload of reading for this class and I'm already playing catch-up (lovely). It'll be good though. I need to brush up on my speed-reading skills anyway. I've also learned some new words that I can use around people to sound smart. Such as eschatology.
Hebrew 1 - 1 credit (pass/fail)
Professor: Judy Goldman
I love this class and I've only been once. I already know five words in Hebrew, can sing a song in Hebrew, and know how to write the first two letters of the alphabet along with a whole word. I'm practically fluent! She, along with Ophir, grew up in the U.S. and also teaches English at the Hebrew University.
Old Testament 303 - 3 credits
Professor: Roy Huff
I'll just say this: I'm grateful that when we switch halfway through the semester I'll be able to have Dad as my New Testament teacher, but I surely wish I could take his class for both halves of the Bible. Oh well, JC policy. Maybe when I get back to Provo. :)
Plus, we also have a field trip course which is worth 1 credit, pass/fail. Who would have thought I'd get actual college credit for going to see the pyramids in Egypt!
It's going to be a great semester, but it will be a lot of work as well. It's a little overwhelming to realize how much time I will be spending with my nose in a textbook this semester, but I know my studies will pay off. It's just going to be hard to force myself to study because, hey - I LIVE in Jerusalem.