Wednesday, December 3, 2014


In May I wrote about suddenly being disqualified from M.A. status as a college tutor. You should read this first because I cannot bear to go over it all again, I'm far too traumatized. Here's the update.

I eventually heard back from all the institutions I contacted and gathered together a pile of emails saying I'd been awarded the B.Ed. (Council for National Academic Awards) and the M.A. (London University) but no one has transcripts of courses or grades from 1885 (although I could request they dig under the housing estate that is now my old college to see if we could find something) or even 1998 which were both in the pre-digital era.

I asked London University to write an official letter describing the course of study I completed and stamp it in red - because red is official innit. They sent it to my parents in London (for a 10 pound fee) who then gave it to their neighbours to bring to Israel when they came on holiday, thus saving the 15 pounds extra it costs for LU to send an official letter abroad.

My friend from the same course sent me a copy of her Ministry of  Education certificate showing that our M.A. has been accredited by them for the past 16 years. I copied my pay slips from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the college where I now teach to prove that - I don't know what it proves but I took them anyway. I filled in a five page questionnaire for each degree. I took my bound dissertation. I took my degree ceremony photograph with me posing in a robe and mortar board. I even took a published book that has my name in the acknowledgements as an expert with an M.A.

Off I went to the MoE with originals and copies of everything. I knew this would be the first of two visits as I didn't want to get anything notarized by a lawyer until I was sure I had everything. They accepted the B.Ed - even they couldn't see a way to get 30 year old grades from a housing estate. But the M.A. documents didn't satisfy them. I spoke to the boss, I waved my friend's certificate about and cried, "we sat next to each other in every lecture!" They weren't buying it.

Eventually, and I think it was because of my friend's certificate which they could see me using against them if they didn't find a solution for me (thanks Chana :~) ), they said if I got another official letter from LU explaining that they don't have transcripts and grades from 1998, they would accept my application. OK, I could do that.

It was June. I came home and put my head in the sand. Then we had a war and the summer holidays and I dug deeper into the sand. Then the new academic year started and I didn't start at the new college so I pulled my head out of the sand and wrote to LU. It took them a whole month to answer me, another two weeks for my parents in London to get the letter and another two weeks after that for the post office to deliver it to me in Jerusalem.

Today, 6 months later, I rushed to the MoE (the Israeli Government collapsed yesterday and the Ministry of Tourism is on Strike with no end announced so who knows what will go next) with everything in triplicate, the photo, the book, and my bound dissertation.

I saw the same lady I saw in June (not the boss lady) and went over everything again. She looked at all my certificates, papers, and copies. She even took a copy of Chana's certificate and wrote a note on it explaining why it was included. Then she told me I had everything except....

She was right, I'd never been to a lawyer to get notarized. The boss lady had said all I needed was the extra letter from LU. Therefore I thought the notarization wasn't necessary. Silly me. "Don't worry, you can do it now," said the nice lady. "Down the road is a law courts building. Go there and grab a lawyer, get him to stamp and sign this page and come back. Sometimes they make you pay sometimes they don't. You don't need to wait in line again, just bring it in to me."

Grab a lawyer? Grab a lawyer? Honey if I knew how to grab a lawyer I'd have done it 30 years ago and I'd now be out lunching with the other lawyers' wives. (I didn't say this.) However, she seemed to have seen this work before so I toddled down to the law courts and tried to grab a lawyer. It doesn't work like that of course. You can't just grab a lawyer. The guard on the gate told me to go to room 107.

There was a man behind a desk in room 107. The sign on the door said 'Secretary to Someone' but I asked him if he was a lawyer just to be polite.
"Do you need something notarized?" he asked. He was obviously used to this. "Go to room 100, pay 480 shekels (about 80 pounds) and bring me the receipt."
Me: "480 SHEKELS?!!!!"
Him: "No, not 480 shekels, 48 shekels."
I went, I paid, I brought back the receipt, Mr Secretary took out a stamp, he asked me if all the documents are true, I said 'yes', he stamped, he scribbled over the stamp (I think that activates it or something), and I left.

When I returned to the nice lady I told her about room 107 and the 48 shekels. She wrote it down to help others in the future. (Dear Karma, please note that I paid it forward.) She told me I should hear from them in about a month. I'm hoping that means I get accredited in a month but I'm trying not to think about it too much.


  1. Grab a lawyer? Grab a lawyer? Honey if I knew how to grab a lawyer I'd have done it 30 years ago. LOL!

    1. I want to come back with something clever but I can't think of anything :)

  2. Oh, I really felt your pain through reading this.... and your humour!
    And I know that hole in the sand very well indeed.
    I'm keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for you.... you've more than done enough to earn your accreditation. xx

  3. Well done you on carrying on - good grief!!

    1. I dunno about the good but definitely grief, lol.