Hebrew

My Week #30, Mar 18th – 23rd

what I saw
Gypsy at the Red Rose Club, directed by Martin G. Berger. For my thoughts on that clicke here: Thoughts.
Super Night Shot, Gob Squad, HAU 1, a little (rather) cool.
Iphigenie auf Tauris, directed by Barrie Kosky
Ohne Titel Nr. 1, (directed) by Herbert Fritsch, Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz

what I read    
my lovely friend S. gave me a book for my birthday. Glücklich die Glücklichen by Yasmina Reza, I’m not too far in, but….

what I listened to
Big Fish, Violet and recently I returned to Bonnie & Clyde because I’m waiting for the Artus recording from St. Gallen.

what I did
I finished my Hebrew class and I liked it (if anyone for you is reading this: today at the gym there was a girl in front of me with לקוות tatoo-ed to her neck), I worked and went to see stuff in theatres and yesterday I got all messed by from my excitement to go to NYC next week!

My Week #29, Mar 10th – 17th

what I saw
Schwestern im Geiste by Thomas Zaufke and Peter Lund and the 3rd-year-students of UdK (thoughts on that coming soon!)
Dawn at HAU 3 (technically I haven’t seen it yet, gonna be there tonight)

what I read    
I read some small episodes from the Hebrew bible. And some other Hebrew texts.

what I listened to
on Thursday the recording of Fun Home came in the mail. And that’s basically what I’ve been listening to since then. Before there was some Violet (again that and Fun Home are by the same composer, btw) and some more Drew Gasparini.

what I did
I started a new Hebrew class. It basically is a two week intensive class, five days a week from 10am – 1pm. And I have super much fun speaking Hebrew again. Finally. On Tuesday my new mattress was delivered and a friend from high school came over. Basically this was a social week – I met four different friends for coffee or an afternoon snack or a post-work-tea. The weather is at least kind of great so I enjoyed running in the mornings and riding my bike to class across the city.

Hebrew Confession pt II

Since my Bachelor’s thesis is gonna deal with identification and building identities in two different theatrical contexts with performers from the Middle East (to be precice Iran, Israel, Palestine and – not very Middle Eastern – Germany) I thought a lot about what ‚identity’ could be and last week I met up with a co-worker from university who lived in Israel for some time and is dealing with the Middle East in her dissertation (and has been before in her Master’s thesis) and we talked for some time about our work(s) and the Middle East and the experiences we made ‚over there’.

Obviously – and that was what we agreed about – identity (and especially national identity) is constructed in a slightly different way in the Middle East and I think that the language plays kind of an important role in this game. And then I realized that my knowledge of Hebrew is influencing me more than my knowledge of English or most basic German (which are basically the only two modern languages I know at a decent level). Even though I love English and I do quite an amount of my communication in that language (not to talk about German being my first language as some of you will know/assume/have figured out) my ‚relationship’ with Hebrew is of a different nature. My Hebrew is (of course!) not of the quality my English is – why should it? I’ve learned Hebrew for two and a half years now (two years ‚active’) while my English has been growing for eleven years now (gosh, I’m getting old!). But still it really belongs to me and it had from the very moment of learning the Alef-Bet – which wasn’t really the case when I started learning Russian (for the record, no, sadly I really don’t relate to Russian).

The week before our meet up I talked to a class mate from from the Hebrew class I went to before I decided to go with the harder one. When he asked me why I as a theatre girl would learn Hebrew I answered something very weird but fitting at the same time.

I said: You know, I guess in fell in love with Hebrew the minute I started learning it. And now we’re married. Life-long.

Actually THAT gives me a different perspective of some other things in my life, but I guess, that would be another story….

The “Why Hebrew?”-Confession

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Since my first semester at university there is one question asked the most:
Why are you studying Hebrew?

I like to answer: Because it was possible.
Of course that is not even close to a ‚nice’ answer. I mean, I wouldn’t like getting that answer at all if I were the one asking. But it gives a nice hint to what my motivation was.
In the very beginning I wasn’t like: Wow, I love the middle east!
Or even: I like the forms of theatre they have in Israel – so let’s learn Hebrew to understand them!
I was more like: Well, they have nice a nice alphabet. Let’s try that!

To be honest I bought one of these study-by-yourself books for Hebrew and I taught myself some (VERY little) when I was about 16, but I basically forgot everything before I started learning Hebrew at university.

My university offers a very small minor-programme for Hebrew language only (which otherwise is a part oft he Judaism-major-programme) and a friend of mine (whom I got to know in a Hebrew intensive after my third semester) and myself we are – as far as I know – the only ones who started that programme and are still doing it.

So I enrolled in that programme because it seemed appealing.
In the first two semester I had Hebrew class three times a week. In the early mornings, in the 8 to 10 am slot – after I spend a year working in theatres and slowly teaching my brain not to work before 10 am. Yay. But somehow I did well. First semester modern Hebrew (Ivrit) and I so loved. I fell in love with that language like right from the start! (after I kind of checked how to read that – without the vowels and stuff….)

Second semester biblical Hebrew. That was even better in some parts because – hey, the stories are much better, weirder, funnier. J

From the third semester on I had a different teacher and only one class a week. (which was – actually good, because I kind of didn’t like that teacher…), modern Hebrew again.

After my third semester I took a Hebrew intensive class for three weeks, five days a week for hours a day taught by two Israelis, one constantly living in Berlin, the other one living in Haifa and coming over fot teaching….In that intensive I kind of first started speaking Hebrew (because I tend to not speak a foreign language until I know I can speak like five proper sentences unless someone makes my speaking). That was last spring. Two and a half months later I travelled to Israel for the first time with a German-Israeli youth exchange (yes, for them I’m still „youth“….well….) and I had plans to spend August completely in Israel.

I really wanted to enroll in the August intensive programme Hebrew at University of Haifa. But before I did so I applied for a scholarship programme provided by my hometown university and the DAAD. I got the scholarship – the money they gave me covered basically the tuition and housing fee at Haifa – and so I was able to spend a month in Israel, three and a half weeks at Haifa University in a lovely class in Rama ה with the best class mates. We were the only class in that programm consisting of girls only with the only male teacher in the programme. I guess especially during the last week or so our Doron had a hard time with us, but we had fun. And I learned a lot.

But now I’m like: Have I ever been able to speak Hebrew? Did I ever know that language?(because I don’t have to take Hebrew anymore at my university, I could my Haifa class get count)

To conclude and write something suiting the headline: I still don’t know why I had the feeling of needing to study Hebrew, but here I am and I love it. (not the My-Hebrew-is-bad-stuff, but the I-know-Hebrew-stuff….) 😉

What are you going to do with THAT?

*Disclaimer: Irony included*

Imagine:

People ask: So, what do you study?
You answer: I’m a theatre studies major.
People raise an eyebrow. Some people think: There is such a thing?

But your answer continues: And I’m also studying German literature (at this point people usually don’t care anymore) and Hebrew (they raise the second eyebrow).

People ask (after you explained that NO, you WON’T be an actress): Well, nice – but what are you going to do with that one day?

Now you have two options:
a) Say the truth:
I want to be a dramaturg, I’m not sure I’ll get a job, but I really like what I’m doing. And I just don’t care about anything else.

b) Lie:
Well, there are some very nice and secure options. As everyone knows theatre studies graduates are very very rare and everyone wants to employ them. They’re like the biggest deal. Haven’t heard of that? Oh – I’m so sorry!

but most of the people will think:
She’s gonna be unemployed. And we will pay for her food. Because the state will be. F*ck the theatre studies majors!

what they will say is:
Nice! Interesting, it must be so fun to go tot he theatre all the time.

what they mean by saying that:
I can go to, see theatre performances. Everyone can. Why does she have to study that?

As if that theatre studies part wasn’t enough – when I mention Hebrew people go all crazy about that.

They say: What? Why Hebrew? Are people speaking that anymore?

To the last question the answer (of course) is:

Yes, I heard people doing so, I have friends speaking Hebrew as their first language!

The other one: That’s to totally different story. I’ll tell you another time.

So – stay tuned. For my: Why Hebrew?-Confession. 🙂