About Me

My photo
I teach abroad and continue to pursue the life I was given as if it was my last. Many people think it is. In my spare time, I enjoy lapping up ice cream, reading spy novels, and euthanizing manta rays.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November...Crap, it's November

A lot has happened in the past six weeks since I posted my last blog. Gaddafi and Steve Jobs have passed. In very different ways with very different legacies. Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy and John Travolta is nowhere to be seen. The Cardinals won a crazy World Series (Supposedly. I didn't catch any of it).

Here in east Africa, life has gone on at a snail's pace. I am in the midst of finishing up the fall semester. but I can't say "fall" because nobody knows that word. Nobody knows what fall means. There is no fall. Just twelve months of summer that aren't called summer. But they're summer. Trust me.

I am pretty much over the rainy season, although nobody north of Milan and Medford probably wants to hear it. Nevertheless, I am. Muddy pant legs, falls, and near-falls, mucky roads, traffic jams from here to the Nile, it's all affected by the damn rain. Students use it as an acceptable excuse for not only being tardy but completely missing class. The rain. Part of me wants to laugh in their faces with barbecue chip breath, while the other part understands. Somewhat.

I had a workshop on CV writing last week at the School of Management. Of the invited 125 literature students, four were in attendance. And they say Africans are starving for education. Not exactly worth ten hours of prep, thirty dollars in photocopies, or goblets of stress units expended on its behalf. The four students were really appreciative, though.

This week, a visiting novelist from Zambia is here to do her own workshop. I was asked to help out in the organization, which meant - of course - I did all the work myself: reserving a room, borrowing instruments and electronics, sending out flyers, paying for the lunches out of my own pocket, all of which has nothing to do with why I am here.

Even though the workshop is located in the best and newest building on campus, there are no electric sockets in the classrooms. Must have slipped their minds. Thus, an extension cord was necessary to reach the projector for her power point presentation. And of course it was stolen the day before the workshop. When I asked the custodian for a spare, he acquiesced, told me he'd call me back, then promptly turned off his phone for the four hours preceding the workshop. I ended up borrowing three extension cords that - coupled with my own from home - finally reached far enough to reach the electrical sockets. Just in time for the power to go out throughout campus. Good times.

I am currently sitting at the Mokka Terrace cafe grading the final five essays I have in my possession until the final exam in two weeks. I love this place, not only for its reliability of wi-fi access but also due to its wonderful people watching; in the 100 meters in front of me I have soporific security guards gripping Kaleshnikovs, aging German businessmen, trawling quasi-prostitutes, officious waiters in bright orange aprons, and multi-racial couples arguing over their bills. Splendid way to spend a morning.

But I have to finish these essays.

Hope Halloween was wonderful and everyone is warm and well in your worlds!


No comments:

Post a Comment