Students Wrote

Inbal Amirav, Biology

Dear Dr. Ouriel Zohar,
I have a problem with my computer and for some reason I can’t write in Hebrew. I
hope this English replay will be O.K.
As a technology institute, the Technion, should also prepare it’s soon to be
engineers for the employment world they are abut to embark. Strong
communication skills are highly important in the employment environment as well
as our fast media growing world. The ability to organize and express ideas is
one of the basic skills you need as an employee, as well as an employer. As an
employee you work with and through other people, this means that your success
as an employee will depend on your ability to communicate with people and to
present your own thought and ideas to them so they will both understand what
you are driving at and be persuaded. Your effectiveness depends on your ability
to reach others through the spoken word. A drama course can give you the tools
and the confidence you need in order to achieve this goal in front of an
Any higher education institution shouldn’t be indifferent to the significant
influences of culture on society.
Inbal Amirav

Michael-David Fiszer, Computer Science

I would like to thank you for all that I have learned in your theater course this past semester.  As you know, I have spent most of my years in France, where schools take a more generalist approach.  Even in the most scientific orientations, an extremely significant importance is given to Humanities.  Before I made my aliyah I excelled in Literature and Philosophy.  Nevertheless, my greater love for Mathematics propelled me to the Technion, where my mathematical needs were more than satisfied.  On the other hand, I felt more and more that an outlet was missing to express my feelings and thoughts.  The situation only worsened every semester.  The other courses I took from the Humanities faculty were interesting, but did little to fill this absence: indeed, most of the courses one may choose from encourage a passive participation.  They are designed to distract the student during his difficult semester, rather than actually develop in him a skill or a quality that he did not have – or did not know that he had – before.  My interest for my own domains (Mathematics and Computer Science) decreased in proportion.

I found myself looking forward to those two hours every week that were so different.  I kept thinking of the pieces I had to prepare, what I would say, how this fitted with my own identity.  Most assignments at the Technion are clearly defined questions.  There is something to prove, to calculate or to program.  Finally, a course challenged us with questions that allowed for some freedom of thought.  In “real life”, even the engineering and scientific problems are not predefined.  It is not a matter of solving a predefined problem, but rather defining the correct question to study and understand.  The life we have as Technion students giving in a problem set after another is with no doubt a necessary part of our learning, but it should not so entirely destroy our interest and independence of thought.

I have a better idea after studying “theatre” of who I am, what makes me special, and how to interact with others.  There is no doubt that these hours were a form of collective therapy (catharsis!).  But more importantly, I understood what makes others – every individual – as special as I am (“You’re special, just like everyone!”).  I believe that there is an element, perhaps metaphysical, within the Other that completely transcends my own self, and that I cannot study or objectify as an engineering problem.  The expressions of all the participants all contained an unpredictable, unique side.  Understanding this fact of life brought us all surprisingly close together.  As an oleh hadash I suddenly felt much closer to native Israelis and their (peculiar) manners.  Moreover, I was the only religious participant, and I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to be in contact with non-religious Israelis in a non-professional and emotional context.

Your patient and careful guidance were an impossible combination of direction and liberty.  Thank you for providing me with a new opening, another aperture, from which to see life.

Sincerely,     Michael-David Fiszer