An update from the conflict management student.

July 21, 2008

Oh, where have I been? I know it’s been a while…

Things with school have been relaxed the last few weeks since I finished up my last two papers before my final major work: the report on my internship, which I am currently engaged in.

Let me take a step back. My last two papers both covered interesting topics. One was an overdue paper for a mandatory class I took in the first year which was something about conflict in Jewish history. It covered the Dreyfus Affair and the many perspectives through which to view the Antisemitism involved.

The second paper was a bit more interesting and personal to write – that was a study of adult children enduring their parents’ late-life divorce. It was based on a survey I did and some research; one of the conclusions of the paper is that there is simply not enough academic research out there (though I did read a few good articles).

The internship I’m doing is in online dispute resolution. It’s taking place on a wiki Q&A site that is based on a social community of members who ask and answer questions and work towards this global goal of creating a major source for quality Q&A. It’s very much in a growing stage right now and conflict resolution was a definite must for this community.

It’s been engaging so far and I should have lots to write about. Looking forward to sharing my insights.

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Coming to the end of the big bad Bar Ilan conflict.

April 9, 2008

This kind of passed by yesterday without much notice (until other people brought it up) but it was my last class at Bar Ilan. It’s possible I didn’t notice because I haven’t been to a class in two weeks; now c’mon, I had reasons for all the missed classes. Mainly that I’m so done with school. Subconsciously I was done two weeks ago.

It’s sad. I’m so not done with school, I’m so done with the Bar Ilan experience. I think I did pretty well to be positive and make the most of it. I’ve learned a lot about the field of conflict management and mediation, though a lot of it was self-taught and done through independent channels (including this blog and people I have ‘met’ through it so far).

Before I get all celebratory, I still have a lot of work to finish before I’m truly done with school: papers, a final, an internship, mediation certification. I plan for it all to be finished and handed in by the end of this summer. Then I can celebrate.


Where I’m at.

February 21, 2008

Well, school commenced a couple weeks ago after loads of interruptions, but I finally have my schedule figured out. I’m taking one last semester with two electives:

  • Ethical Dilemmas in Mediation
  • Psychological Study of Family Mediation

Those are loose translations, anyway. I’m really looking forward. I think these are the first courses I’m taking that actually feel like electives (like I’m electing to take them because they actually sound interesting/useful).

In the past month, I went through a lot of hardship about choosing classes (finishing easily but copping out of a challenge) but I decided it’s my last semester and it’s time to push myself to the finish line. How often will I be academically challenged when I am done with school?

In the summer I should be taking the official Mediation Course (for certification), assuming the schedule works out. If it doesn’t, I’ll just take it later in the fall.

The last thing I need to organize is an internship. So far it’s been kind of hard (why don’t Israeli organizations want free workers?). I have a few things in the works now, so here’s hoping.

And that’s it, in short. After a long low, I’m feeling pretty pumped. Opportunity, I’m waiting!


Out of absentia.

January 27, 2008

I know that I have been quite absent lately – from my school life, from talking about my studies… But there has been a senior professors’ strike on since the beginning of the academic year. The strike has affected all of us – student, faculty, administration alike – and it has been as frustrating as it has been disturbing.

Well, the strike finally ended last week. I am still trying to pick up the pieces and figure out how I will work towards finishing my last credits and projects by this summer.


The human tradition of mediation.

December 24, 2007

We’ve been surrounded by mediators since we were young:

When we fought with our siblings, are parents were the judges. 

When the other kids at school didn’t play fair, our teachers were the arbitrators.

When our relationships fall apart, our friends are the advisers. 

Where there is society, there is conflict, and where there is conflict, there have always been mediators, in one way or another.

It’s an age-old practice that’s existed as long as human beings have been communicating and as long as there has been communication, there has been misunderstanding. 

Today I was invited by my department to sit in on a real mediation session. I learned a lot from watching it all spread out in front of me, live:

  • It’s better for mediators to sit across from all disputants as opposed to at the head of the table.
  • Explain the process to participants and they will take the process on themselves.
  • Partner with a mediator of the opposite sex for family cases.
  • It’s important to know when to take a break and when to let the momentum roll.
  • Take culture into account, but don’t assume; just be open to culture being present.
  • Never underestimate the power of women around a negotiation table.

What I learned, more than anything today, is that it would be an honor to serve society as a mediator and continue this human tradition.  


Back to school.

September 24, 2007

This morning I registered for what will be my third and last year of my Conflict Management studies at Bar Ilan University. I don’t have many courses left to take so I think I can expect to be done by the end of summer 2008.

Of course, that won’t be the end to my mediation studies here or in general. Oh, I think the fun is only just beginning…


Reason #421 why I’m not a law student.

July 30, 2007

As if I needed more than one reason, I’ll consider it reason #421 why I’m not a law student: the endless torrents of painful detail-oriented studying.

On Friday morning (8:30 am sharp) I will (hopefully) be sitting down to my very last final of all time. By that I mean written, timed test.

If I pass it, it’ll be a truly sweet moment to be done with written tests in my academic career. I’m a paper-gal, let’s face it.

The course is basically in Israeli Arbitration Law. Not too bad of a subject, if it wasn’t for all the… law.

Wish me luck!

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