Since I am on my way back home and taking a brief break from studying and writing finals, I need to reflect on what I have accomplished, still have left to do and liked and didn’t like about the past 3-4 months.
On one hand it’s been a relief to have such a great group of classmates. It really feels like undergrad all over again, minus much of the unnecessary drama. The weather right now is superb and I am enjoying many of the little things: Talks with other students for hours about random things (although marriage is a reoccurring theme…lol…) thinking about what to do after the program, hearing peoples past experiences etc… equals amazing.
On the other hand, I have met a few, though not many, super judgmental folk and I feel like I need to keep it cool with them. Casting judgment on people seems to be a favorite past-time for folks who don’t have much to do besides study, go shopping at the local mall and going to classes. So I have to learn to let people’s snide remarks go. Also, I have to remember that most of the people I live with are younger than I am, and for better or worse they absorb the things I say and do… (I ain’t never signed up to be nobody’s role model….lol)
Educationally things have been ok. I am sort of ambivalent about my classes, my teachers for the most part were ok, but they did and said things that got on my nerves ( One bashed Sufis for like 15 minutes when no one asked or cared to know his feelings about them and another called Osama bin Laden a Sheikh!— but maybe something was lost in translation?). I don’t know how I will deal with this next semester. There were certainly aspects of Arabic that I wanted to fine-tune and/or fix while here and I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked. Sadly, I know that put in a lot of effort to get assignments done and teacher lethargy resulted in very little feedback or none at all, none whatsoever 😦
There is a class that I literally have only had two pieces of worked returned to me, for the entire semester, one of which was the mid-term. In another course, the instructor waited till the last day of class and put everything in a nice folder with her comments how sweet?…. No! how am I supposed to progress when you don’t inform me of my progress sequentially? Her comments would have been useful two months ago when I was writing assignments, I could have integrated them into my psyche and had them as spelling, and grammatical mistakes to be careful about. Now, they are just paper me. I literally do not have time to read and internalize them the way I would like to. Oh well.
Maybe I just don’t understand their instructional logic… Maybe they don’t really have any.
At any rate, I’m not happy with the program. I don’t hate it, it’s a heck of a lot better than some other Arabic learning (or lack thereof) experiences, but it’s not the most conducive to the kind of development that I NEED. So much so, that I am really thinking that if I can find something else to do, I might just come back next semester to get the rest of my things and move on…
But God knows best, it’s weird because there are plenty of things that I like, but time is precious— and I want to use whatever time I have left on earth and in my twenties for the most fruitful prospects possible. At any rate, seeing as how the unemployment rate is ridiculously high and jobs are scarcer than green leaf lettuce at Mcdonalds, I might just be back here anyway
In that case, I will be a lot more judicious about the teachers and assignments that I actually focus on/complete…
As for social life, well it’s non-existent here, There are few people on the outside I guess I should try to meet up with more often, seeing as how We have finally been granted a midnight curfew on the weekends, but I don’t know.
The past few have been weird.