Thursday, January 10, 2002

Personal Matzav Update

I am now officially a grad-school dropout. I talked with my bosses yesterday and we all decided that it would be best if I left Ben Gurion without finishing my degree. The main reason was that I could not cope with my studies because of my difficulties with the language. Also, Environmental Engineering is very chemistry-oriented, whereas I am a Mechanical Engineer. I therefore had to deal with both changing disciplines and dealing with a new language. I came to the decision after my boss/mentor started drilling me on some basic principles in environmental chemistry and I came to realize that I simply was not learning the material and I do not have a knack for it. I decided that it would be better to cut my losses and move on than to continue throwing more of my time into something which I am not understanding very well.

This was also complicated by several additional factors. I have not been receiving my full stipend and have been forced to live very meagerly over the last several months because the university is out of funds, and they can not find money for me for next semester. I also have my $40,000 student loans from my undergraduate degree still to pay off, and there is no way to do that in Israel, especially with the economy here the way it is. I also have to be back in America on March 23rd for my sister's Bat-Mitzvah, and I could only find a ticket to get there, but not to come back.

My plan at this time is to finish up the semester and get credit for the courses I am now taking, so that I can use them if I decide to finish the degree later.

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