Posts Tagged With: adventures in (mis)communication

The Affair of the Notebooks

Have you ever had a minor problem just snowball out of control? I have. During my first week of school it happened in an epic way…

I have 18 students on my roster this year. A big leap up from only 9 last year, but still manageable. The first week is always the toughest, and on day 3, there was a bit of a mix-up that turned into a full-scale problem.

The school I work for sells notebook packages for each student. I decided how many notebooks students would need over the course of a school year and ordered exactly that many for my students. Parents then pay for the notebooks to be delivered to the students in class, or pick them up when at school. All fine and dandy. Students all have the same kinds of notebooks and there is no envy. (Of course there are always parents that insist on purchasing cheaper notebooks elsewhere, but it’s not a major issue.) This year, I’ve ordered exactly 222 LE (about $31) worth of notebooks for each student.

Over the course of the week I’ve met several parents who are concerned about not having purchased notebooks yet, and I assure them that this is normal, and the real work of notebooks won’t begin until the next week. No big deal.

Midday on Tuesday my students are all gathered in the hallway trying to get themselves ready for Arabic class. As I’m herding cats, er… children, into line one of my students, Sh, looks up at me and asks, “Miss where are my notebooks?”

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Categories: Egypt, Teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Depending on the Kindness of Cairene Strangers

I have lived in temperate climates before, but it still feels very strange to listen to Christmas music while wearing shorts. On average it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s already December. It’s actually colder inside my apartment than outside because of the thick walls meant to keep out the summer heat. But despite the weather December it is, and I found myself going to a Christmas party with friends on a balmy Thursday night.

The Community Service Association in Maadi is a lovely place with a gym, coffee shop, and shop that sells local artists’ crafts and artwork. Their red-and-white themed Christmas Party was to be held outside with a buffet, door prize, and a raffle. My coworkers and I were dressed and ready to go at 6 PM, we just needed two taxis for the seven of us.

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Categories: Egypt, Life Abroad | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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