June 30, 2010
June 29, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 14, 2010
June 11, 2010
No more teaching outfits
No more students
No more arriving early
No more markers
No more lesson plans
No more attendance sheets
No more teacher’s books
No more whiteboards
No more “sh…”
No more student conflict
No more behavior problems
No more spelling things like an American
No more having to say, “I’m a Canadan, actually."
No more first day introductions
No more, “Here are the rules.”
June 8, 2010
åndi falsafa f lHayat: ida åishti Tawilan, kulshi li tåalimti ghadi ykun mustaåmal.
I have a philosophy for life: If you live long enough, everything you learn will come in handy.
*Did you notice that "philosophy" is "falsafa"? How sweet is that? I've been studying Arabic for eight months, and that is my first holy-crap-look-at-that English-Arabic cognate.
“I kissed him on the cheek and suddenly understood the distance that separates words from communion. You need very many words and even more pauses, and thousands of tiny motions, so slight that they are barely noticeable even to the trained eye; you need an even larger palette of tones, merely to signal misunderstanding; you have to pass through all of this before you reach a state where you know that your meaning and your words are one, no more and no less, and that they are instantaneously grasped by the person for whom they are meant. Before you achieve this, you need recourse to many lies.”
From Leaves of Narcissus, by Somaya Ramadan (Egyptian), from The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction.
June 5, 2010
The process of cultural adjustment, which is also known as the U-shaped curve of cultural adjustment, encompasses five distinct stages:
- Stage 1: The feeling of excitement and eagerness. This stage occurs before leaving to go to the new culture.
- Stage 2: The feeling that everything in the new culture is great. This stage occurs upon arrival to the new culture.
- Stage 3: The feeling of everything in the new culture is terrible.
- Stage 4: The feeling of adjustment. The stage where the visitor begins to feel comfortable and takes steps to become more familiar with the culture.
- Stage 5: The feeling that everything is fine. The stage where the visitor has adapted to the culture and in some ways is embracing it as their own.
June 1, 2010
“The woman noticed that her daughter had slowed down and her movements were sluggish as if she had to drag her body along.”
[Upon finding her daughter pregnant, the woman leads her out into the desert to a small village, where…]
“A man passed by them and saw the woman crying. He stopped and asked what the matter was. He was big, his bones were well defined, and his neck thick. She told him her story.
The man looked toward the girl who lowered her face. He contemplated the situation while the woman continued complaining that her husband had died without leaving her a boy.
The man said to himself, ‘Be kind for once. Here is a weak woman with no man to help her.’
He was a professional killer, robber and thief, but times change. He said to himself, ‘Old age has begun to creep up on me and I have nothing left. Any action I take, I pay the price even more now.’
He patted the woman’s shoulder and comforted her. He carried her belongings and led the procession to his home. At home he served them food, which they ate, and then prepared a bed for them, telling the woman to sleep peacefully and let him take charge of her worries.
As night descended on the village, the man approached the girl and broke her neck. He put the body into a sack, carried it to the river and dumped it in. He then lighthertedly returned home.
In the morning he prepared breakfast for the woman and placed her and her belongings on a donkey. As he walked beside the donkey back to the village the woman raised her face to heaven and muttered prayers thanking God for the man.”
--“Benevolence,” by Sabri Moussa, from The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction.