Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Day in the Life

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of travelogues. In order to remedy this inevitability, a few weeks ago I wrote down several ideas for blog entries. I lost the paper. But it occurs to me that, while I may talk a lot about the different places that we go and the people that we visit, I haven't told you what the majority of our times consists of.
What many of you may not have guessed is that the Jerusalem Center supports a very challenging academic program. We take, from what I know, 2 of the only 3 - 3-credit-hour religion classes offered at BYU. We read most of the Old Testament in the time frame that would be alloted to a block class. We will do the same thing for New Testament later in the semester. My only regret is that we don't have time to even touch Isaiah. Shame. Aside from religion classes, we have an Ancient Near Eastern Studies course. It deals mainly with archaeology, geography, history, and a few other topics. This and religion are the only two classes taught by BYU faculty. History of Judaism and History of Islam are taught by native Israeli and Palestinian faculty members, as are Hebrew and Arabic. (We only take one of the two language classes.)
Because of this challenging class load, I hit the alarm clock at the bright and early hour of 5:30. My roommate, Tadd, always manages to get up five minutes before me and be getting in the shower at that time. I then justify my staying in bed until 6:00 when he's completely done. This is a daily routine. Breakfast starts at 6:30, and is therefore the least-frequented meal of the day (Food here is great, BTW). We have classes at different times throughout the day. They vary from morning to afternoon in order to let us visit areas in the city that are open at different times, so while you get used to the schedule, it's nothing like the Provo campus' scheduling.
After a day's worth of classes and sightseeing (which we get graded for in ANES), it's off to finish the huge amount of reading due for the next day. Don't tell Brother Whitchurch this, but even though we always finish it, we spend more time talking and laughing than we do studying. The main topic of conversation: Relationships. When you stick 16 boys and 28 girls into one building for a period of 3.5 months, don't allow them to leave unless they're in groups, and then impose a strict, no-dating rule on them, the most amazing thing happens: they talk about nothing else. :) There's also plenty of things to do in the center. The snack bar is open every weeknight, there are a lot of activities in the center, and the gym is open from 5am to 11pm. They even have some nice bean bags to chill on while you watch movies or DVD's. As for my principal use of time: blogging, what did you think? :)
As a final note, it occurred to me that many of you don't know my sister, nor have I included her in any pictures on here. Well, on the right is the kindest person I know, Krystina Davies. The beautiful redhead on the left is my little sister Rachel. She's even available, but you'll have to go through me first. (She's going to kill me when she reads this. Enjoy this paragraph while it lasts, it probably won't be here in a few days).


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