May 19, 2006

Saudi 21

May 14, 2006

I should send these out more often. Saudilogues generate replies and though I am having a good time here, I sure appreciate the e-mails.

The rumor on the bus this morning was the someone(or two) attacked the American Consulate in Jeddah and that one security guard was killed. My office mate said that the shooting had nothing to do with the American Consulate, it happened near her house and no one was killed. There you go.

Today I had the opportunity to give my students a real world designer experience, presenting their work to a local company which had asked for a design student to create a logo for them. I made this part of a class project. The students were quiet (for once) and did a great job of presenting their work. The clients were impressed and had a hard time sorting through the possibilities.

Part of teaching here that still is just wonderful (though frustrating) is the way the class suddenly shoots into Arabic. The students are critiquing or discussing something related to the topic and I haven’t a clue what they are talking about. Inglisi, I say, Inglisi. Someone translates and away we all go again.

I am learning Arabic, slowly, very slowly. It is a very interesting language.

The semester ends May 31 with finals the week after that. The end is in sight. I am grateful that so far next year we are only scheduled to teach 5 classes. 6 is a beast, just a beast. I am tired, but rather upbeat about it all since faculty 15 and 20 years younger are more tired than I am. Of course, I turn into a pumpkin by 9:30 an am in bed trying to get enough rest to go for the next day.

Yesterday was steamy hot – whew. Checked the temp – 108 F with high humidity. Wow, a scorcher, for sure.

May 18, 2006
My office mate celebrated a birthday, that was fun also, accentuated with chocolate cake. I gave up on my diet. It was a great cake.

Before I said that birthdays weren’t celebrated here, that isn’t true among the younger generation.

We are preparing for the annual Graphic Design students show. Hopefully it will go well. With so many students and limited space, one faculty member suggested students take the responsibility of submitting their own work, which is a change from the old way of faculty selecting the work for the show. Somehow I am the head of the submissions process – so thank you Alyce! The UMD system is now going to be used here.

Congratulations to Dr. Tom Hedin, who is retiring. Condolences to the students who will no longer have the benefit of his knowledge and teaching skill. I’m thrilled to have studied under him as I took one of the last classes that Mr. Chee taught.

I dreamed about being in the States last night. I must be anxious to come home for a while.

Oh-saw a horrendous accident on the way home from school this week. It happened right in front of the cab with the driver saying oh oh oh oh oh, as dust flew all over the road as two cars flew off sideways onto the side of the road. I hope no one was hurt.

I did hear last night that Al Jazeera is going to start an English speaking station. Then I can get the news from all directions! CNN world is different than CNNUS, BBC is yet another twist – then Orbit and MSNBC and our version of FOX – SKY NEWS…. SKY NEWS has dramatic background music for the potion of the broadcast that is dedicated to just printing the news on screen. It sounds like a major war is about to begin … geez.

My basic design students are working on designing patterns for their own abayas as a final project. I think this should be quite interesting. We need to experiment with different paints on a black background. The materials are quite different and the final product should be washable.

Life moves slowly forward.
One day at a time. It is easier to live here that way, sometimes. Just spent a half hour sitting by one of the swimmijng pools, just watching the water, the neat birds and the gorgeous flowers.

Salam (peace in Arabic)

at May 19, 2006 10:25 AM