to clarify: the 400 bus is the bnei brak bus. shudder.
I feel: Defeated.
I went to my Conflict Management and Negotiation orientation at Bar Ilan and it was a complete failure.
It took 3 hours to get there and when I did, I got there late, so late that the stupid thing was only an hour and as I walked in and apologized, the director also apologized, laughed, and everyone got up to leave because it was the end of the orientation.
I felt stupid, but only for a split-second, then I felt reenergized. I walked up to the director and he told me I’d have to wait a few minutes. Fair enough, really. Then he turned to me. We started talking in hebrew but I switched to English mid-sentence because I wanted to call the traffic ‘hell’ and thought it would sound ridiculous in Hebrew (and he’s American).
“Do you speak Hebrew?”
“Oh, yes… Well, I understand better than I speak…”
“Right. You should have a talk with all your professors the first day to let them know… that… you know.”
“Oh, right, of course.”
“So why were you late?”
“Yeah, I’m working in Jerusalem.”
“Oh? How will you manage that?”
“I’ve worked it out, timewise, I wont be late like this all the time…”
“And to make sure you can write your papers in English and bla bla bla…” basically, made me feel like crap on a hundred levels – I was late, don’t speak Hebrew with confidence, don’t know about buses, didn’t even have to come to the orientation because I had already known everything he said, he basically called his own orientation pointless, handed me a flimsy pamphlet that I already have 4,000 of because I’ve visited the program so many times in the last 2 years.
Then he asked me if I would be turning my heels back to Jerusalem, I said yes, he said I’m going there, I said really, he said yeah, but I dont have room for you, I said, oh. ok.
So: Defeated as I walked out of there, Defeated as I walked across campus, missing American beurocracy, Defeated as I waited for another 400 to take me home, Defeated as I got on and it’s all charedis, Defeated as there were no seats, Defeated as I sat on the floor of the 400, the odor of BO filling my nose, my heart sunk and frightened to death that what I am doing – working almost full time and going to full time grad school – is a bad, bad idea.