Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sam from Ohio

Today was my first day of work here in Cairo, and it was for the most part hilarious. The mini bus (no not a yellow school bus) picked us up promptly outside our door and drove us to the school which is more or less out in the dessert/near the airport. The bus ride was comforting for two reasons. First, it was air conditioned which was a pleasant surprise. The public buses are notoriously not. Second, we met a girl who will be teaching with us named Sam from Ohio. Out here it is comforting to meet people from Ohio. The school building itself is actually sort of nice. The hallways are not air conditioned, the classrooms are. We met key staff members, took a tour, and then in true Egyptian poly-chronic fashion, waited for a meeting no one ever intended on holding. We were also about to be given our assignments as to which grades and subjects we would be teaching, but just as the announcement was to be made, our fearless leader left the room and never came back. We did get a chance to chat with some of the other new teachers, one of them a mother of two whose husband decided to move to Egypt, and lets just say she was less than thrilled. The theme so far though is that the school tries to do good things for their students and their teachers but the main problem will be student discipline issues. For all their faults, American students are extremely well disciplined and hold a lot of respect for teachers and education. This is not necessarily true here. Still a couple more weeks of orientation, but then when Ramadan ends class is in session!

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