Well we made it – of course we did.
Honour’s first day of school didn’t go well at all…not at all! Thankfully every day after that picked up and by the end of the week she was a happy camper. Her extra credits have been decided and she’ll be taking Drama (of course she will), Psychology, Information and Communication Technology (computers) and Media Studies. Whew! What a roller coaster the week has been for her (and us on her behalf). Tonight she went out with friends to the mall. How very normal. How very wonderful.
Dave’s first week with students went well. He enjoys his students – mostly. As a high school teacher we weren’t sure what teaching elementary would be like for him but it turns out it’s just fine. There is a big gap he tells me between the grade 4 student and the grade 5 student. This will be his challenge. He’s not really that fond of teaching grade 4’s. Hopefully this will be the only year though.
I don’t think I’ve explained this before – he’s teaching what they call humanities here. We would call it social studies. History, geography, current events and issues. It’s never been taught in english in this school before so he’s pioneering (this is a theme in his life, if you’re new to the story). He’s developing curriculum and navigating the delicate issues that come with teaching these things in this culture. That’s all I’ll say about that. The school only goes up to grade 7 right now. The school itself is new and just starting its 4th year. They will be adding a grade each year. So the curriculum development will continue for Dave…but the grades will get higher, until there is a full high school. And Dave (if all goes as planned) will move up with the grades. Hopefully leaving the grade 4’s in the capable hands of …someone else! He is enjoying the challenge.
I started a job this week tutoring at Sylvan Learning Centre. I’ll be working a couple of nights a week and one Saturday a month. Just enough to give my week some structure. I’m not really excited about Dave and Honour being away all day and then me leaving in the evening, but it’s not every night and I will still keep my eye open for something else to come along. For now, it’s pretty interesting. I’m getting a glimpse into a number of cultures that I wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s interesting teaching them with an American curriculum, especially when most of what they’re learning is vocabulary. “What is that picture? Oh…mittens…what are mittens? What is that picture? It’s thunder and lightning. What’s thunder and lightning?” And on it goes. Fascinating.
I’m also enrolled at Athabasca University for a couple of courses that start on October 1st. Sociology and World Religions. What a great environment I’m in to study those subjects! Can’t wait.
So the end of our week has come and we rewarded ourselves with an excursion to the souq. We arrived this time in the daylight. It is one of the first times I really felt the heat! Luckily not for long – but wow, I wouldn’t want to get stuck out in that sun!!
I’ll leave you with some of Dave’s pictures taken this afternoon.
The Souq Waqif
*the Qatari women, who go to all the trouble to cover up, are not really excited about having their picture taken. Dave was sneaky today and got some pictures with his camera dangling at his side. Women cover up to varying degrees. In one the pictures you will see the very extreme of this – face completely covered and hands and feet as well.