Sunday, September 16, 2012

This LIttle Piggy went to Market...and this Little Piggy went to class

So today was first day of classes.  Yeah?  It was fun, running around to find classes and such.  The bookstore was chaotic as everyone tried to find their right books.  The library was loud and noisy so rather than reading there, I decided to walk back to my dorm, read for an hour fix lunch then head out for another class.

First class of the morning was Arab Islamic Culture and Civilization.  I think this will be a really interesting class.  It is structured to be a History/Religion course.  We will be looking at the Qur'an and Hadith and how those books/teachings were the basis for the Islamic religion looking at philosophy, theology, law, and the preservation and expansions of art and science (and math too!).  Our grades will depend on two midterms, a final, participation/attendance, and also a presentation, which can be done in a group or individually.

After Lunch it was time for Number Theory.  I found it slightly amusing that all of the girls showed up for class about five minutes early and the guys came strolling in exactly on time.  The decision to run the class was made about 2300 in the evening on Saturday, so the Professor was notified just last night, that he was now teaching this class.  As a result he had only a sketch of syllabus, but plus side is we got out of class with twenty minutes.

Final class of the day, Arabic Language.  Originally I was to be put in Intermediate, but there are only three students currently enrolled in the advanced and the Arabic teachers are trying to sort out who's at what level.  In intermediate we have student having studied one year of Arabic and a few us studied two years, but we used different books or our university/college programs were set up differently so we didn't cover the same material.  It's a mixture of levels, but one benefit however small is that since there are actual guys in the class, I have to pay attention to masculine conjugations as well as feminine.

We, my roommate Mariam and my Australian friend Michelle, ended our day with a trip to local Carrefour.  It was exciting and fun as Michelle and I had not seen so many exotic fresh fruits and Mariam was showing us the different Arabic foods and/or brands.  We tried Zaater Mana'eesh as well as some crazy fruits.

The Mana'eesh is in the background and then there is the range of fruits.  The mango and pomegranate were really good, as well as the dates.  The guava and prickly pear has so many seeds in them, we probably should have worked at taking the seeds out before biting into them.  We didn't eat all the fruit, but tried bits and pieces.  Definitely a new experience to add onto the first day of classes.

In case you are wondering we also got "normal" western food at the grocery store like popcorn chicken, stuff for spaghetti, and ingredients for tacos.


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