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Category: Lynn

Adjusting to school ?>

Adjusting to school

The kids started their 3rd week of school today.  There were a few minor things they had to adjust to: the “weekend” is Friday and Sunday, they wear uniforms, and they have to carry their lunch every day.  Surprisingly though, I was completely wrong about who would adjust better. To begin with, Maggie was by far the most excited about starting a new school.  She had been telling people for months how she was going to learn Arabic and make…

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So what are the schools like? ?>

So what are the schools like?

I can’t really answer the question what the schools are like because I have only been able to go to 1 school so far.  I really enjoyed the school, but I know that any one (of anything) is not a full picture.  I have been able to attend 2 classes: 1 English and 1 Writing.  Both were actually good. The English class was really interesting.  It was grade 11, I believe. She was reviewing past tenses: simple, continuous and perfect….

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Weekend excursions ?>

Weekend excursions

When I was in St. Petersburg my senior year of high school our hosts referred to the field trips we took as “excursions.”  This cracked me up.  I don’t know why I found it so hilarious, but I had never heard that term used before.  In MS, they are just plain ol’ field trips.  So because of that, I always think of anything slightly educational as “excursions” now. Last weekend (Sept 25) we took an excursion to a nearby province…or…

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Making progress ?>

Making progress

As I have mentioned before, my research deals with finding better ways of teaching writing for Arabic speaking students.  Possibly using oral history as a motivator to WANT to write and thus gain better proficiency.  To get a handle on the situation and how it is taught in the schools here, I am doing 3 main things: 1) taking an Arabic language course 2) observing English writing classrooms and 3) interviewing teachers and students. Class starts Tuesday: check. So the…

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Tooling around town ?>

Tooling around town

Still on school vacation.  I’ve never been more ready to go back to school!  In the meantime, we are entertaining ourself by tooling around town.   We went out on Tuesday and the city was quiet.  Everyone was home with their families still.  There were a few shops open (maybe the Christian ones?) so we were able to get our shopping done.  On our short list of things that we needed in the apartment (and couldn’t do without): stoppers for…

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First draft – Interview questions ?>

First draft – Interview questions

During my time here, we aren’t just hanging out and eating good food.  (Hard to believe, right?)  The purpose, funded by Fulbright DAT, is to research methods in teaching writing to native Arabic speakers, perhaps by using oral history as the tool and motivating factor.  Many of the native Arabic speakers that I have taught in the past have struggled the most with writing. As I speak to more people, anecdotally I have been told that many Arabic speakers have a…

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Schools and Holidays ?>

Schools and Holidays

The VERY first thing we did the morning after arriving was to register the kids at school.  We weren’t sure what city we would be located in until about 3-4 weeks before we left, so we didn’t start contacting schools until that time.  The first 2 or three schools just flat said no.  Registration for private schools begins in March.  The kids can’t go to public schools because we aren’t local citizens. Luckily we contacted someone who was able to…

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Cleaning and settling in ?>

Cleaning and settling in

Forty-eight hours in our home for the next 4 months, we have finally settled in.  As Dan said, we walked through the apartment and it looked fine, but when we got in and started looking at everything, it has only been superficially cleaned.  It was apparently a disaster before so I’m glad we didn’t see it that way!  The next morning, we headed first to register the kids at school (more later) and then dug in cleaning.  Stripped the beds, bleached every…

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Observations from the Field ?>

Observations from the Field

So, we have been here for a little less than a week.  We still haven’t gotten to our final location, but we will be by tomorrow night!  I have however noticed a few things in the interim.  My children are completely unconcerned about everyone else speaking a different language than us.  Maybe this is normal for children, but most adults I know get freaked out and are constantly asking what others are saying.  There seems to be a ingrained part…

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Traveling without cell service ?>

Traveling without cell service

Normal family travels (even or maybe especially to Target) include a lot of short calls saying, “Where are you?”  We got to Amsterdam and quickly realized that none of our phone solutions worked unless BOTH of us were connected to wifi and the connections kept dropping.  We had a couple of misadventures and even got directed to the “meeting point” once. Dan’s fix is to have a meeting point wherever we go.  My plan is to not split up until…

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