My Tu Bishvat Story

Before I got miraculously accepted into Bard, I went to a New Jersey community college to work on my English. The place, and especially my English Composition classes, was full with immigrants and busy people who already had children. I became friends with a girl from Kosovo who won her green card in a lottery (“I am incredibly lucky.”)  and a Korean girl who wasn’t half as shy as she first looked. Both never heard about Israel. “There is no way your country is smaller than Korea, I can drive across Korea in one day!”
One morning, an Israeli girl appeared in one of my English composition classes. We discovered each other faster than the speed of light (“How did YOU end up HERE?” she demanded). She was older than me, very confident, with straight impressively long black hair that used to be curly. We shared a desk. Class started and we got an assignment to write a short essay about something from our home country that we missed. There were so many things I missed. But I didn’t know how to name them or how to pick one. Eventually, I wrote about Tu Bishvat.
In that moment, Tu Bishvat symbolized the earthy atmosphere I grew up in and the countless trips I took with family and friends to visit nature, a specific kind of wilderness New Jersey simply doesn’t have. Tu Bishvat also tends to arrive when winter is weakened and you can finally take off your coat. One of my favorite moments in life.  
“Oh Metuka Ktana At ! (you little sweetheart)” she laughed, so amused by my topic.  After class, she sat with me outside and told me all about her essay in details. It was about the IDF. The experience there, apparently, was very meaningful to her. While listening, I couldn’t help but feeling as if she was striving to educate me. She was telling me to grow up. And not to write about Tu Bishvat next time. Maybe it was only in my head. Surely I focused on the differences between our choices instead of listening to her.  
A few hours later, my other friend told me about the war in Kosovo during the 90s. I didn’t know much about it. She told me it was horrible. People she knew died. I found myself gazing at a specific spot on the wall. I was about to cry. God knows why. I went to the bathroom to do just that.
I missed Israel but I also didn’t miss it or the obligation to protect it.
I grew up a bit and I have a similar feeling today. 

Tu Bishvat was my lonesome then, I would still write about it today, with love. 

school post

because i do actually go to school here!

i do have homework at times, and some projects here and there.

It does feel more laid back than Bard.  it might has to do with the way people are treating me as if i was a baby taking her first steps. Sometimes it seems like my teachers are afraid of the moment i’ll start crying in despair for not coping with their class.

maybe i’m taking it too far.

But really, Bard is a different story. I’m producing less physical work here, the time is ticking slower for each project. Or more like, i feel like i’m allowed to take my time. In contrast, my last semester at Bard was a craze race against time and my own sanity.
and i know my next one will be even tougher. so i let myself go here. and i do not tell my Seika teachers how way too kind they are.

Nevertheless, i am learning all the time. my new environment has a whole study body of its own. i’m learning to take care of my needs, find my ways, be patient and listen even if i do not understand.  i do learn Japanese that way, hopefully.
Last but not least, I learn that there is so much more to communication other than spoken language. Which is a great thing to keep in mind while going at it in an art school.

As a start, check out this romantic pair of lizards who can be seen all over the window next to my room, every day and night.

how about naming them?  i feel like they deserve names for their consistency.

these photos are a bit dated. from our last critique at the painting studio

 (the tree on the left is mine)
 these were amazing (!!)

my plans

and some of my work from Ceramics class. 
…it says “חמסה יפנית”. i did have a bit of a hard time explaining the nonsense behind it to my classmates.  they received it as an exotic meaningful thing.
not from school but from artbooks store in Osaka
a dragonfly eating a butterfly. my photography skills at their finest. 
(it’s on the way to school)
open campus day.
i ended up making a lamp like these above. or whatever you call them.

different lamps. these were too complicated for me to make. i did try though. 

The Textile department !

the next photos are with a big credit to Pinyuan, until i say stop:
 I’m making a thing. the teacher said it looked like a dish of yammy foods

matching to our personalities
this cutie was busy skipping around and getting all the attention the room had to offer.
stop.
another photo of my own:
that’s all for today.

pre weekend update

I have SO much to write about! however, sumimasen, I still think in Hebrew about a lot of the things I’m going through here in Japan, so giving them shape and form in English takes a bit from the excitement. that’s why this time I DO have some photos to share and decorate my poor descriptions with. hajimemashou!

This morning I went with two other exchange students(lovely ladies) from our dorm, Kino Ryo Minami, to the University. last night was really rainy so the air was heavy with an addicting after-the-rain scent, one of my most favorite things to start my morning with!

 the dorm

from the 10 minutes walk to the university:

Kyoto Seika Daigaku 
and from inside the campus:

I love this water thing, it is all over the campus. the sound is very relaxing.
the walls everywhere are full of posters, ads, and other interesting things, but this one also has nice kanji on it so here it is. 
I had to go to the photo ID machine to get 1 more Japanese type passport photo for my student ID card. but I got 6 of them cause this was the only option… so I have enough Japanese size passport photos for life. and I look really tired in all of them because it was a moment before I drank my morning coffee.
after the coffee, we went to the international office and met with more gaijin(foreign/alien, this word might have a bad connotation, but I’m going to use it often here so let’s get use to it) students. and these 3 Japanese lovely student ladies took us on the subway to this very formal office for our insurance&residence issues. Now, I have absolutely no idea how we would have managed without their blessed help.  there were SO MaNY forms to fill out, all in Japanese. and all the formal people in that formal place did not speak English and did not know what to do with us. we made everyone very nervous and confused there. we made them want to cry. most definitely.  but with the help of the lovely seika ladies and some translation work, we eventually went through it all. with a lot of arigato gozaimasues to all the office people.
papers!
at last, I could finally go to the restroom, and of course, I had to create the most embarrassing scene there. there were so many buttons in that bathroom cell! so I was looking for the one that flashes the water but pushed the “HELP” button instead, which turned an alarm on! I panicked and then pushed the “music” button, so there was some music as well with the siren. 2 lady officers came in asking if I was OK. and I came out of that cell all pink to welcome them with “daijoubu, daijoubu!, gomenasai , OK OK” lol
the embarrassing gaijin that i am
look at me with my grandma skirt 
Later on i had a japanese language level check. 2 nice old ladies sat with me privately in a small room and asked me a lot of questions( in japanese).  they have decided that i am of the “basic-intermediate ” level. and they are going to be my sensei, which means we will meet once a week to try and improve my japanese abilities… and they expect me to prepare for each meeting! oh boy
then I talked with Oha-san(a funny guy btw, he laughs a lot) a bit about classes. it seems like i’m gonna be busy soon… meh. well, at least, it’s going to be art busy. 
some more Seika photos:

see you later