Ain’t Got No Worries

Hanukkah, finals, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all.

Chag Sameach (or Happy Hanukkah to all those who don’t speak the language)!

Since my last post, I have experienced Hanukkah in Israel.  What’s special about Hanukkah in Israel, you might ask?  Well, it’s not a major holiday.  We didn’t get 10 days off like we did for Sukkot.  Instead, we got one day off…Christmas Day.  (But I don’t have class on Sunday anyway…so it was just like any other day.)

Additionally, as a student in Israel over Hanukkah, the members of our apartment had to improvise with regards to a chanukia (menorah) so:

Bottles courtesy of Leo and Jessica…

I’ve spent the last week or so watching Christmas movies like Miracle on 34th Street…and Star Trek with the roommies.  I’m now completely caught up on Torchwood and Doctor Who (how bout that Christmas special, aye?  I got teary!).  I’ve been writing a bit.  Wrote three chapters of fanfiction (two for my Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia story and one Doctor Who/Toy Story crossover…don’t ask.).

Best Hanukkah present yet?  Got a gift basket from mom and Scott with goodies.  But my second best was the three or four reviews that I got on my stories.  Made me smile.

I’m really not going in any sort of order at all with regards to this blog.  …No, I guess that’s a lie too.  I believe I’m going in order of importance as compared to chronologically like I normally do.  Ah well.  Cheerio!

I finalized the classes I’m taking next semester (with the exception of one outstanding registration.  I only need ONE MORE PERSON for this class to happen!  Come on!).

  • T/Th – 9:30-10:50 – Theater Improv
  • T/Th – 11:00-12:20 – History of British Literature (meh…)
  • T/Th – 12:30-1:50 – Introduction to Psychology
  • T/Th – 2:00-3:20 – Graphic Narratives (Only needs one more person)

I am quite looking forward to next semester…assuming my classes from here all transfer as they should.  I’m quite hoping that Rothberg doesn’t decide to be a huge pain in the ass…as they’ve been for the entire semester.  I’m NOT holding my breath.  =\

On Tuesday I got my quiz grade back from two weeks ago (covering Jerusalem during the Second Temple period).  I left the quiz feeling a high A.  I got a 76%.  Decidedly frustrated, I took four hours to cool down and approached the professor about my grade, explaining that I didn’t feel I deserved it.  To which her response was “This is a great grade.  You did better than many others.”  To which I responded, “Uhhh…I’m practically a straight A student.  In no universe is this okay.”

She offered extra credit.

I took it.

In those four hours that I was taking a break from Marva, I went on a tour of the Old City with the other tour guide.  He was quite fun.  He took us to all the Muslim and Christian locations in the Old City to describe what Jerusalem looked like after the Romans conquered in 70 AD.

We started the tour from the other side of the city this time.  Entering through Lions Gate (by the Temple Mount) was rather interesting…and busy!  So many cars.  From here, we walked the Decumanus – one main street heading all the way from East to West through the Old City.  Our first stop was at the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.  Underneath this convent is the Struthion Pool.  Once open-aired, this pool served as an aqueduct to the Temple Mount. On the other side of the basement is…well…the basement.

Here, it was beautifully lit with ancient stones, wooden benches, and podiums.  I can only assume that services still take place here.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAUnfortunately…the ceiling was really low.  Daniel was having a bit of a hard time walking around…I, luckily, did not have the same difficulties…

This mural on the wall was said to have been on of the places that Jesus walked bearing a cross on his back, but studies have proven this myth to be falsehood (Myth: Busted!).

Almost directly outside the convent on the main street is the Ecce Homo (pronounced: eckey) arch.  It literally translates to “Here is the man.”  This was one of few freestanding arches in ancient Jerusalem (before people built buildings onto it…).  It was the entrance to the Roman Forum.

From here, we left the convent and walked down the Decumanus some more.  We came to the Cardo (the main street going from North to South through the Old City) and took a left heading south for a little bit till we came to the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate.  There is nothing terribly special about this church except for one tiny detail.It is said that those feet print on the ground are where Mary stood and watched Jesus walk by bearing his cross.  Or it was a bath house and that’s where you had to take off your wooden clogs.  No one can really agree to one particular story.  So uhhh…pick your favorite and go with it.  😉

From here, we went to the rooftops of the Jewish quarter.  This was actually a beautiful sight that’s apparently extremely famous and I had never been to.  I got a great view of the Dome of the Rock: SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the top of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: From here, the last stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulcher…which I have been into many times but I really never knew what I was looking at.  So forgive me if I repost some pictures…but now I actually know what they’re of!

Little bit of Bible backstory now!

Jesus died on a Friday.  Since he was Jewish, it’s customary to bury your dead on the same day that they died.  Since Shabbat was a mere few hours away, they had to scramble to find somewhere to entomb his body.  Joseph of Arimathea was rather accommodating and allowed the use of his tomb.  Because of this, Joseph then had nowhere to be buried, so they quickly had to build a second tomb which is off to the side…small wooden door.  Joseph was very generous.  xD

These here are lanterns that drip oil onto a stone in the ground which I always noticed people were praying around.I finally learned that this is where it’s said Jesus was anointed with oils after his death (because back then, you weren’t buried in a coffin but you were wrapped in a shroud.  You got smelly after a while, so they anointed the dead in oils to make ’em smell pretty).I also got to see the supposed location of the actual crucifixion.  This part of the church belongs to the Greek-Orthodox…so it’s extra opulent and shiny.(Sorry I couldn’t get a better shot of the actual crucifixion… There were too many lamps in the way.)

Anyway, the arch/bema in the middle has a hole in the ground (covered in glass so people don’t fall in.  That’d be awkward…)  If you look down through the hole, you can actually see the original bedrock of the Church.  As one of the many stories go, when Jesus died, his blood trickled down through the stone and reached the skull of Adam, thereby washing away the sins of man.  The hole in the ground is supposed to be proof that this is possible.

From here, we continued up the Decumanus all the way to Jaffa Gate.  However, because our tour guide has a sense of humor, he decided to stop along the way and show us Narnia. (No big deal or anything… >_>)

Nah, the way it actually went down is that the Romans occupied the city for a long time.  There is much left to verify this…including a column with a Roman inscription on it.  The inscription honors the Legate of the Emperor Septimius Severus and was erected in A.D. 200.

The tenth legion participated in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and remained in the city for about 200 years.  Now, however, in modern day Jerusalem, the Roman column serves the purpose of lamp post.

My tour guide introduced it as Narnia.  It’s Narnia.  Case closed.

And that was the end of the tour.  Moving on.

Tonight I got my paper back.  The one I had been stressed about.  The one that I thought had a valid argument and then discovered 24 hours before it was due that my thesis was based on incorrect data.  (Whoops!)  Either way…switched a few words around and got an Israeli A!  Or an 88.  Depends on how you want to look at it…  All that said, I still have no hope for the final.  I’m thinking I’m going to go in and just write a note to the professor saying, “Here’s the deal.  I don’t get this class…and I didn’t do the readings…and your exam is wack.  So thanks for being fun to listen to.  I learned oodles.  But this is what I’m turning in.  If you want, I could buy you chocolate…I know you like chocolate…”  and see what comes of it.  >_>  No?  Shouldn’t do that?  …We’ll see.

I also went out with two or my roommies tonight.  We peregrinated to a restaurant that I’ve been to many times but I still don’t know the name of.  Cheap Spaghetti Place in the Shuk is what I call it.  Yes yes…still spaghetti…but it was a night out.  And it was entirely necessary.Here’s the both of them (Martyna and Adelina)!  Flash did something funky though.  So ignore how pale they are.  Just know that they don’t glitter in the sunlight.  😉

Tomorrow I’m going on my last field trip with Archaeology of Jerusalem to David’s Citadel and the Mount of Olives.  Immediately following that, Melody and I are going to see Les Miserables.  Immediately following that I am working Les Miserables.  Then (and only then) do I get to come home and thaw.

Side note.  Current Facebook status: “One field trip, one class, four shows of Les Mis, two finals, an epic shopping day, packing, and 22 hours of travel till I’m eating a bean burrito (with mild sauce and onions) for a snack and then having filet mignon with my family! 10 days and counting…reaaaady GO!”

Let’s do this.


Author: alisonlcohn

Graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communications Advertising. Traveled a bit. Taught for two years. Administered aptitude tests for a while. Worked as a Training Associate for Guardian Mortgage and a Quiz Master for Geeks Who Drink. Obtained my Master's in Film, Television and Screen Media in London, England. Now working as a small-group travel coordinator. Nice to meet you!

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