Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6/12/12: My How Things Change In The Thick Of It All

As I'm only a short month away from the year mark of my move to the other side of the world it is remarkable to look back and see how different my life is from what I thought it would be. When I first arrived to Israel, having no intention of staying permanently, I figured I would get a degree in the Middle East, work in this area doing God knows what for a year or so, and then go back to the states after figuring out what to get my doctorate in.

Then I made a decision that dramatically changed the path that I thought my life was on; I decided to make Israel my permanent home thus changing some of the more major plans in my life. First of all my quest to become Dr. Pepper is still in full motion, however, with a few minor adjustments such as, o you know, studying for an advanced degree in a language that is not my native... Completely terrifying but also so exciting at the same time. Along this line of thought I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be a Doctor of until quite recently. Sure I wrestled with many ideas such as clinical psychology, psychiatry (although I really didn't want to do medical school), neuroscience, and so on, but it wasn't until I started researching the various medical degrees in Israel that I narrowed down exactly what I want my focus to be. I tried to find something that would combine my love of psychology with heavy emphasis on patient interaction and stumbled upon a field I hadn't given much thought to in the past; Occupational Therapy. If clinical psychology and physical therapy bred and had a baby it would be the profession of Occupational Therapy, and the best news is that psychiatric occupational therapists are in extremely high demand in Israel! I still get to focus on psychological impairments while working hands on with a wide variety of patients. Pretty perfect if you ask me!

When I had finished all my research on what I would need to do to become a professional in this field I started contacting the necessary people to get the ball rolling which led me to a few very major roadblocks. The first and foremost was the fact that Israel would not assist me with my education, including the pre academic program to prepare me for study in Hebrew, if I already had a Master's degree. DILEMMA seeing as I am currently studying for an MA.

As much as I love the Middle East, and was so excited about studying it, once I had decided that I was not going back to the states (where it would be so easy for me to get an advanced degree in any field regardless of my BA or MA), and that my professional life would be in Israel where I need certain academic degrees to even practice a medical field, I found that my current MA was becoming more of a curse than the blessing it was in the beginning when it had brought me to Israel. Anyways, after much struggle I am in the process of trying to postpone getting the masters (I don't want to just drop out and waste all the money I invested) so that I can get the assistance I need to complete the degree that will lead right into a career. As much as I love studying the history of the region I now call my home, I'm ready to be done with the past and focus on the exciting future I have ahead of me. In all honesty this degrees purpose was to bring me to Israel and allow me to continue my study of Arabic, and it did just that and more. Now I hope that I can part ways with it so that in July I can begin a 10 month journey that will bring me to academic fluency in Hebrew and allow me to begin my next chapter of becoming Doctor Pepper, doctor of occupational therapy!

In more social news about a week ago I attended a fundraiser for my best friend Susanna's non profit organization, Save A Child's Heart, which is truly an astounding non profit that takes children from third world countries who need a specific heart surgery, brings them to Israel, and performs the surgery free of charge. It was so great that I could contribute to this amazing business and I can't wait to be more involved with them as more things come up.
Banchi and me at the benefit 

Orlit and me at the fundraiser 

It was a MAMES reunion for a good cause 

Aside from that the only other thing of note that happened this week was my being used as a test subject for Stephane who is studying for his 2nd year Optometry exams. Along with hour long eye tests I feel like I'm learning a great deal about the profession by allowing him to test my eyes (and in turn he teaches me what he is doing and lets me try it on him as well). I guess if Occupational Therapy doesn't pan out Optometry would be a good second choice (kidding), plus in return for my help I proposed that I receive free eye care in the future (which he agreed to). However, it is so very interesting to see all that he is doing and it only gets me more excited for my own studies coming up!

Dr. Fitoussi... So serious! 
Come Thursday I should know exactly what is happening with the postponement of this degree and the continuation of my professional degree! I am both nervous and excited but can't wait to jump in and take the next steps in my life as an Israeli new immigrant!

Stay tuned and Lilah Tov ya chaverim,
Jordana Simone 

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