More info on the CPR and my teaching duties. The official start date is Monday, the 28th, and I’ll be teaching, for the time being, 6 hours per week, the same 3 classes, since it was decided to have only one group of students, which now numbers 49. So, that seems like an easy schedule, but lesson planning, especially for such a large class, will take a lot of time. I’ll also be working on extracurricular activities, perhaps a drama or culture club. Mohammed and I had an introductory meeting with the students today–they are a very sharp, bright group of young men and women, between the ages of 20 and 28 (most about 24 or 25), many of whom are university graduates with degrees in linguistics. I’m very confident that they’ll keep me on my toes; chances are I will learn as much as they. I also got my office today. It’s definitely bare bones right now, so I’ll have to spruce it up.
It overlooks the basketball and tennis courts, so maybe I’ll buy a racket.
There is a very good chance that I’ll get an opportunity to go to Cairo in January for a week for a conference. Due to a goof up on my part, I missed out on going when the information was first given to me by the RELO (John Scacco). At the time, the only way to go with all expenses paid was to deliver a presentation at the conference. I failed to get a proposal in, so I thought I was out of luck. Now, I find out that the School for International Training (SIT) might fund a trip there for me because, in addition to the conference being held by the American University of Cairo (AUC), there will also be an English Language Fellowship (ELF) mid-year conference. Thus, Yours Truly (YT) might be scrambling among the Pyramids soon. First, though, I have to check this out further with John. More as this develops.
My cold has left, for the time being, so I’m out jogging again. Sheesh, my favorite spot is overrun with kids at the time I usually go huffing and puffing along. It’s a plaza of sorts, off the main roads, so during Ramadan it was pretty quiet. But, there are a few schools, middle and high school, nearby, so a lot of kids hang out there after classes now, rather than going home to break fast, walking, sitting and talking, playing music. It’s rather interesting and they don’t bother me, but I have this vision of stumbling over my own two feet and crashing to the ground in front of them.
I was rather startled while grocery shopping the other day at La Bel Vie. While browsing for something more high-tech in the way of roach traps (I think I’m getting them under control–hah!), the piped-in music started playing “O Come All Ye Faithful (Adestes Fideles).” Wow, here I am in a Muslim country and someone is playing Christmas music. Sure, there are more than a few expats in Meknes, but still . . . However, the next few songs that came over the speakers were modern pop, so it was just an album that happened to have the one religious song on it. It sounded like Mariah Carey or . . . I don’t really know, since I don’t listen to that type of music at all. Still, it was interesting. And it made me a little homesick, especially with Thanksgiving, my favorite American holiday, coming up this Thursday. Maybe I’ll cook a duck. (Haven’t seen any turkeys.) Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And for my Canadian friends, Tyra, Megan, Allison and Steve, John, David, et. al., sorry I’m a little late, since your Thanksgiving was on Oct. 10. More later.