I’ve been a little nervous til now as although I’ve been telling my friends about the new career decision, I was yet to be formally accepted onto the course. The process works as follows: one signs up and pays a registration fee and provides various bits of documentation. One is then invited to a va’adat kabalah (acceptance committee) which is essentially an interview panel.
Not all the providers of the course in Israel do this but the school I have chosen claims it wants this extra rigour to ensure that the course participants are appropriate and committed. I suppose it makes sense, but I always get a bit nervous before interviews.
I was told to prepare an 8-10 minute speech on a subject of my choice (with the caveat that it could not be too technical or related to guiding) and that I would be tested on various aspects of my knowledge of Israel: geographical areas, periods of history, system of government and current affairs. Oh, and it would all be in Hebrew.
What made the preparation particularly tricky was that depending on which website you read (or even if you read Wikipedia in Hebrew or English) there were discrepancies about dates, and also the geographical areas of the country (one site divided the country into three areas; another into about fifteen, for example). So, I prepared as best as I could, and hoped for the best.
I came in to meet the four people interviewing me and after a short introduction launched into my speech on the history of hip hop music (I don’t think it was a subject they had heard previously). I was half-way through and they cut me short; this could have been good or bad news; fortunately it turned out to be the former (they were satisfied that I was able to speak in front of a group and were not desperate to hear the intricate details of the East Coast/West Coast rivalry).
Then followed a series of questions about different parts of the country; I was asked to point out things on a map, describe periods of history and talk about some sites I had visited. I certainly didn’t get everything right, but by the end they told me that they were very impressed by my knowledge after just two years in the country (thank you FZY!) and that I was accepted!
The course starts in October. More to come!