Wednesday, October 13, 2010

caravan research, and a possible tmi

All my mornings are filled with work in the library now. I never would have guess that would be a side effect of working every morning. Makes life (and blogs) kinda boring.
Anyway, I took the seven o'clock bus again, so I had time to get my coffee and some delicious ginger cookie things for breakfast. I'm out of granola bars again, which makes me sad. I think I'll pick some up at the 24 hour Quick Mart tomorrow so I'll have them for the Sinai trip.
Speaking of the Sinai trip, I'll be leaving tomorrow, which means no blog entries for Thursday and Friday. I'll write them in my notebook, and post them on Saturday and Sunday, hopefully with lots and lots of cool pictures. Keep your fingers crossed for no sandstorms tomorrow!
At work this morning, instead of doing my normal catalogue editing, I got to do a little research/detective work. An article was published recently congratulating a certain student at AUC for being the first visually impaired student to graduate from the TEFL program (teaching english as a foreign language) with an M.A. After the article came out, a response email was written by a former AUC professor who recalled teaching a visually impaired student in the late 1970s, which makes him the first visually impaired student to graduate from TEFL. Unfortunately, she didn't recall the student's name, so I had to do some digging in order to reaffirm her claim.
I read through three years worth of issues of AUC's student newspaper The Caravan, whose tagline really should be 'worse than The Bottom Line' (for all you Gauchos out there). Eventually, I found a wanted ad requesting a reader in English to assist a blind student and I wrote down the name and contact information from the ad. Then, I found a list of graduates from the year the email mentioned, with the same name from the wanted ad listed under TEFL. Mission accomplished. I wanted to do a quick google search to see if I could confirm what I'd found out, but apparently that's not what archive researchers do, and it was time to go to class anyway.
what the main drag of auc looks like every day
During lunch, I visited student health. [The paragraph that follows kinda seems a little TMI to me, but I want to write it, so you'll just have to consider yourselves warned.] Yesterday, I found a bunch of bug bites on my arm and shoulder, without any memory of getting them. One of my friends here mentioned that she had had bed bugs here, so naturally that's what my mind jumped to. Scary, scary, ew, ew, ew. The doctor at student health said they were probably just mosquito bites, but since I haven't been out at mosquito times, I don't think that's the case. She gave me an antihistamine cream to make them stop itching, though, which was nice of her. That's the other reason I don't think they're mosquito bites - they itch too much. Usually, I can ignore mosquito bites until they go away, but these are just driving me insane. Plus, they're all in one area, which is not how mosquitos have attacked me in the past.
i counted eight bites. woe is me.
I emailed my RA about getting my mattress and sheets and pillows switched out ASAP, so hopefully that will get taken care of soon. This whole issue is just so freaky and weird. Bed bugs? For real?
In Arabic, we practiced dictation and learned that our dialogue with a partner is due tomorrow. Yay. So we could work on it, I went with my dialogue partner to her room in the new campus dorms, which I hadn't visited before. I hung out for a while, while she and her friends cooked dinner for a cook-off they were having with some guys in the dorms, which was pretty fun.
The new dorms are really nice, and clean, and organized, but just hanging out there for a few hours made me realize what a microcosm AUC really is. The students who live on campus seem completely isolated, without nearly as many things to do or see or visit or eat as the people in my dorms have. I feel so lucky to live in Zamalek, because expat community or not, it is still in the middle of Cairo, with city all around.

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