Day OneNovember 8, 2011
Learning Hebrew

Hebrew Underway!

I have no idea what I'm doing. But it's fun anyway.

Today was my second day of Hebrew studies. All I have so far is my Pimsleur audio lessons, so today I headed south in search of books. J. Levine Books & Judaica My first stop: J. Levine Books & Judaica,…

November 11, 2011 | Hebrew

Hangin’ at Aroma

I caffeinate amid Israelis.

In my neighborhood is a coffee shop called Aroma Espresso Bar, one of 100-something Aroma franchises globally. Aroma: Good for Coffee and Hebrew According to its website, the company was founded in 1994 and is “the largest and most successful…

November 14, 2011 | Hebrew

I Am Going to Be Smelling Like Chlorine

I have joined the JCC, for swimming and Hebrew.

Yesterday I froze my existing gym membership for three months and joined the Upper West Side’s JCC, or Jewish Community Center, for three months instead. The Jewish Community Center, aka the JCC I have two main reasons for doing…

November 16, 2011 | Hebrew

Italian Emerges!

In which I speak Italian under the influence of propofol.

Today a nice doctor sent a small camera down my throat and into my stomach to take pictures of my insides. Normally I would not share this piece of information in a public forum, but I am so excited by…

November 18, 2011 | Hebrew

Coffee Shop as Hebrew Language Lab

Aroma is turning out to be an unbelievable language-learning resource.

I think a couple of Aroma’s employees think I am kind of a loser, because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time there. Fully Equipped at Aroma: Coffee, Alphabet Book, and Unsuspecting Israeli Tutors But it is…

December 11, 2011 | Hebrew

Status Report: Hebrew

What is up with my Hebrew studies.

Since I last wrote, much has happened. Despite the silence on this blog, I have logged many Hebrew hours, studying every day. I have learned the Hebrew alphabet and am on the 45th of 90 half-hour Pimsleur lessons available for Hebrew. …

December 15, 2011 | Hebrew

Rosetta Stone Skepticism

I find a poor correlation between marketing dollars and learning efficacy.

Since I began this project in the summer of 2009, I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me whether I am using Rosetta Stone. Well done, Rosetta Stone! Everyone seems to have heard of you. Rosetta Stone at…

December 19, 2011 | Hebrew

Studying Hebrew, Heading to Italy

On the eve of an Italy vacation, I simply cannot make up my mind which language to study.*

Tomorrow I head off for eight days in Italy. Brandt and I are visiting his sister and her family in Genoa for the holiday. Trying to decide which language to study right now—Hebrew or Italian—has been causing me…

December 26, 2011 | Hebrew

Can Studying Be an Addiction?

As soon as I got on the plane for Italy, I started in on Italian again.

Compulsive behavior is a blessing and a curse. But at least in its more benign forms, I find it a blessing. On the Streets of Genoa When you really want to do something, you tend to go all out. In…

December 27, 2011 | Hebrew

Gift Idea for Next Holiday Season

Learn your significant other's native language so you can dazzle your in-laws!

I am still in Genoa on a family vacation. When studying, I have been relieved to discover that it has not been a problem to flip back and forth between Hebrew and Italian lessons. Genoa Is Beautiful. Imagine Doing Your…