Sunday, September 5, 2010

first day of school!

The day started out as well as it could have, I assume. For the first time in a week, the bathroom was busy when I went in to take a shower, and the bus to campus was almost full.
Traffic was especially bad, though, so we arrived at AUC in just enough time for me to power walk across campus to search again for my invisible classroom. I finally found it, in a location that doesn't exist on the map I had of the building, and I was only five minutes late. The professor didn't even look up from his lecture when I walked in, and that lack of interest he showed in his students lasted the rest of class and looks set to last all semester. His introductory lecture was detailed, fast, complicated, and punctuated with the question, 'What this mean?' always following a new fact. I'm pretty sure that I can't have been the only one in the class longing to raise my hand and tell him that we didn't know, he was supposed to teach us, instead of posing the same question over and over with no answer forthcoming.
I don't mean to say that I already dislike the class, or anything, but I do have to say I'm relieved that the rest of my classes were much more interesting.
First, there was dramatic literature, a class which consists of myself and ten Egyptian students who already know each other. I'm going to try my best to make new friends instead of getting myself exiled as the loner in the class, although it seems a little hard to break into their group. Also, ten out of the twelve plays we'll be reading in class seem really interesting. The other two are Antigone (which I've already read twice), and the Oresteia, which I've only read once, but that was more than enough! Those will both be over with after the first two weeks of class, though, so I can handle it.
The one downside to reading all these plays for class is that I have three options of how to procure the books: 1) check them out from the library as needed (really impractical), 2) buy twelve books for one class (yeah right), or 3) dish out money to the copy center to have all twelve plays in their entirety copied and printed for me. This third option is apparently how most AUC students go about doing their assigned reading, and it's the one I'm going to take. It does make me feel a little guilty, though, since all together the plays make up a stack of paper about 6 inches thick, and probably two or three entire trees.
My last two classes, Ancient Egyptian Literature and Modern Standard Arabic, were interesting, but not interesting enough to blog about, aside from the struggles I'm already having with MSA.
It looks like I've gone and gotten myself accustomed to Egyptian Arabic, and it's messing with my brain when I try to learn MSA. Instead of the correct maa ismaki? to ask someone's name, my mouth automatically comes out with ismik ei? which sounds much coarser. It's going to take a lot of work to keep them separate enough that I can use MSA in the classroom and keep my amiyya (colloquial Arabic) for the rest of the time.
The most exciting part of my day happened when I was at the library trying to figure out how to get a part-time job there. After sorting through all the conflicting advice I got, I ended up sneaking into a staff only administration area to talk to a woman who employs the students. It turned out that she was in a meeting so instead I talked to an incredibly kind woman who said that I was nice and then gave me the contact information for a man who runs a program in the library's archives that researches the history of women's rights. I got in contact with him and will be meeting with him tomorrow about maybe getting a job there! Wish me luck, this is exactly the kind of library job I would die for!
Tonight at the Zamalek dorms was a welcome party for all the new students including a talent show, free dinner, and a dance party (where only about five people danced). It was pretty fun anyway, though, and I wish I had been able to take some pictures to share.
I haven't posted any music in a while, so I thought I would tonight. Here are two songs that I've been listening to over and over again while I'm on campus, because they remind me of home and my nerdy friends there and at school. Both can be found at DFTBA Records.

The first is by Tom Milsom:

The second is by Alex Day:

And just for fun, the third is performed by a band they're both in called Sons of Admirals:

And a last note - pictures are now up in my blog about Old Cairo if you want to go see!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the library job! Is it just volunteer work? Because you know *technically* you can't have a job, but these things are usually easy to overlook. =P