17 September 2006

First Day of School

This morning V and I walked over to school. We made it to the steps of the building, and sat down to have some water. I was sitting there trying to recover from the walk in the heat, when my friend from the U in CA walked up. It was so good to see a familiar face! He brought his niece with him. He had coffee in hand, and looked sleepy. He just arrived in Jordan two days ago. He had to go in and see the Big Man, so I didn’t want to keep him. Actually, I never saw him again today, but I know he’s here.

The Level I classes were split, but not by those who know the letters and those who don’t (as would make sense) but quite by random. So, today I sat there while the teacher showed the class three letters. That’s ok. I should ease into school. Since I really hate school, this is a good way to begin. I can just get used to sitting in a classroom again, and get over how silly most of the students are. I do like the structure of the class. We have two hours of speaking with one instructor, and then two hours of writing and reading with another instructor. Both are very nice ladies. The first from Jordan and the second from Egypt. Many of the people in my class are American and are here for one semester with some sort of study abroad program. They are all 19, or there abouts, and they all act that way. It’s not their fault. I am officially 1) old, and 2) tired of being around 18-19 year-olds. They talk silly and are dressed really inappropriately for a Muslim country. The second teacher very diplomatically told them this, but they didn’t get it, I reckon. There are two Arabs here born and raised in the States who are really pissed off to be here. Both were sent quite against their will to live here this summer, and through January. Both, coincidently, were given a car and an apartment in a nice neighborhood, and both want to leave NOW. As we introduced ourselves, the fellow in front of me made it clear to the teacher that he doesn’t want to be here.
He turned to me and told me that he, “misses high school, and does not want to grow up.”
I said, “oh, you want to major in business when you begin University back in Arizona?”
“Yes! How did you know?!?”
I said, “R, I just saw your next 5 years flash before my eyes, and it ain’t pretty!” He turned away quite confused.
I came here to get away from these hoople heads. Again, this is not their fault, it is my problem. I’m just going to have to kill them and stash their bodies in the eastern desert. All in all, though, I enjoyed class. It’s funny, we were there for 4 hours of instruction. Everyone was exhausted. V said to me as we left that this was too much time, and asked if I was tired. I realized that I am definitely a graduate student. I don’t really feel anymore. I could sit in that room attentive for 10 hours, and then write a 15 page paper to hand in tomorrow. I forgot how much I’ve learned to stand in terms of having instruction crammed into my head.

Tomorrow V and I are going to sign up for a Jordanian language partner, and begin the long process of obtaining our Visas here. We learned today in class that we get a one week holiday at the end of Ramadan, and we’re talking about going to Egypt (if our visa paper work is in order by then). Our Egyptian teacher said we should go to Cairo during Ramadan because it’s really beautiful and festive there. She also said that the festive-part of Ramadan is a bad thing since people are supposed to concentrate on the suffering of the poor in particular, so to party down at night sort of defeats the purpose of abstaining all day. She talked at length about Islam, and the teachings. It strikes me as strange that a professor can talk so openly about religion in a classroom. I guess that’s not a big deal here. Tomorrow we can buy our books as well. I went to the University bookstore after V and I had our now-daily iced coffee from Star Doughnuts. Ummmmm. Oh ya, the bookstore. I got a notebook that has the cover text and design on the wrong side! Ha! It’s a 5 subject note book, but it says this in Arabic. The Arabic numeral for 5 is “0” so this strikes me as amusing that to me it says it’s a zero subject notebook.

After 4 days, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” finally downloaded to iTunes, so I’m now going to watch a movie.


Blogger weeping sore said...

Your first day of school sounds very foreign to me. Let's review. You are excited about Arabic language books. You hate goofy teenager behavior. You enjoyed 4 hours of class, including religious indoctrination. You are disgusted by Westerners who dress and act inappropriately in a Muslim country. You look forward to spending Ramadan in Cairo, but you cringe in horror at the thought of going to business school in Arizona. I’m thinking you don’t need to worry about culture shock – at least until you return to the US.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Miss Carousel said...

i'm telling you, quick and effortless face-cutting takes the edge off of a desire to kill. eases the tension, startles them into submission, and makes you look like a rockstar. one quick slash and you are set.

5:24 AM  

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