I am here. It is official. Miriam, Sarah, and I have been living in our apartment for several days now, and I can safely say that this is the nicest apartment I have lived in and will live in for the next foreseeable future. Pretty much all of our furniture is from Ikea (miscellaneous blankets included) and the walls are all very, very white, which makes it look a little like a hospital, but we're working on bringing in some color and decorations to make it look a little more homey.
The best thing about it by far is the little balcony off of the main room, which looks out over a beautiful little landscaped area (too small to be a park, but lots of grass and a few trees). Also, the kitchen is really beautiful, though all of the appliances are complicated. We're working on it.
Classes started on the 1st, and life has been a bit of a whirlwind since then. It doesn't seem like sitting in a classroom for eight hours a day would be tiring, but it really, really is. My classes are going very well - I placed into Level 2 (out of seven) which is pretty much exactly where I thought I would be and where I wanted to be - I know enough that I'm not an absolute beginner, but the things I'm studying are all new and challenging.
Two things I'm particularly excited for are a class called Modern Jewish Thought, which is a survey of, well, modern Jewish thinkers, and the Self, Soul, and Text track, which is a look at different spiritual practices in Judaism. The first is giving me a chance to learn about a lot of big names in Jewish philosophy that I've never formally studies, and the latter is giving me a chance to try out a lot of things I haven't done before, like meditation. This class particularly is really interesting to me, and also very challenging in a lot of ways - it turns out I have quite a few opinions about things like meditation, some of which aren't very positive.
Settling in to life in Israel is definitely an experience - it's easy to see how I could get into the habit of going to class, coming straight home, and going to sleep, wash, rinse, and repeat. I'm trying very hard not to let that happen while also remembering that I've only been here for a week, and it's alright to be tired! Moving to a new country, starting school, and setting up an apartment are individually very exhausting things - doing all three at once is challenging. It's nice to have Shabbat to sleep in and relax a little, and not feel rushed or like I have to be anywhere or do anything specific.