Monday, July 21, 2008

Gloom and Despair

I have become somewhat frustrated with this class I'm taking. I feel like the other people in the class with me are one of two things:

1. have such a higher level of education that they are talking about things that I can't even comprehend what's happening, meaning that we are actually talking about the books and I'm not aware of it

2. already know so much about literary style and Arabs that they are just asking questions about finer points of Arab thought and it is pointless for me to ask questions about the books because they already have it.

There is a third option, which I don't think is even remotely possible, that everyone else is as frustrated with it as I am. They all seem to take copious notes and look incredibly earnest at all times, and usually I am designing a new bag, thinking about what's for lunch, or drawing hand turkeys all over my notes.

We have a new addition to our class, a Moroccan professor who teaches at the same highly prestigious and unbelievably expensive school that my AP instructor does. I know this shows my apparent idiocy, but it never occurred to me that a Moroccan would be white. I know it's stupid, but it just never occurred to me. He is white (with light skin and hair), Muslim, and Moroccan. Of course, he speaks at least three languages fluently (French, English, and Arabic) and I am assuming he speake Farsi or something, because his doctoral thesis was on something having to do with India. He has a cool, not quite British, not quite French accent and is fun to listen to, except when he and the original professor make asides to each other in Arabic, at which point I subside into stupidity because I have no idea what they are saying.

The book we are discussing (Cities of Salt) is ok, but we didn't get that into it because we kept getting sidetracked by talk about women (who are nonexistent in the book) and the politically correct term for Berbers (Amazigh...also not present in the book, which is about the Persian Gulf). At this point, I am just hoping that some kind of lesson plan will inspire me, because at this point, I am supposed to have one by Friday and I am totally stuck and uninspired. I am just waiting it out, knowing that it will all be over on Friday. Yea!

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