Learning Syriac — first session

As I mentioned earlier, I am trying to learn Syriac.  A week ago I went down to London, and 5 of us had a day of intensive tuition.  It was interesting that several had bought the grammars, but had been quite unable to get into them.  We were taught how to form and transliterate the Serto letters — something that all the books do very badly indeed –, with the vowel-system of Jacob of Edessa, and given some homework.  In the afternoon the mysteries of Syriac nouns and adjectives were laid out.  My general impression is that the language is not complicated, and that the poor quality of the books is actually the main obstacle.  The homework so far has really succeeded in teaching me the serto alphabet — much more easily than my struggles to learn the simpler estrangelo alphabet by myself.