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.
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).