Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jordanian Salons

The first thing you should know about Jordanian Salons is that you will be there for a long time. This is not because they spend more time on your hair, but because they are catering to approximately three different people at the same time. This is normal. The second thing to know is that it is normal to see people smoking while getting their hair and nails done. This is still weird to me, coming from the US where you can't smoke anywhere. Third, the person doing your hair will stop what he or she is doing if his or her cell phone rings. Then they will either excuse themselves or continue cutting your hair while talking on the phone. This is also quite the shock coming from a place where phone etiquette is very strict. I always fear being the one person who forgets to turn off their phone while it rings during a meeting, movie, etc. I don't even answer the phone when I'm out to dinner in the US because I consider it to be rude. Here, it seems to be considered rude if you don't answer the phone at any given time. Something else to get used to.

While getting my hair highlighted and cut today, I experienced all of the above, and more. Have you ever had the foil taken out of your hair at different times? I sat down thinking that I was going to have all the foil taken out at once; but when only part of one side was taken out and I sat there for several minutes waiting for the woman to come back, I began to worry. What if one side of my head was lighter than the other side? I know I've had some weird hair colors and zany ideas, but this was over the top. Even for me!

She finally came back and took out the foil on the other side and....disappeared again. What is going on people? I don't want to have freak hair!! She comes back about 5 minutes later and does the rest. I enuire about this odd timing and find out that they are taking out the foil in a timed manner to make sure it has all set the same amount of time. Ohhhh.....I get it!!! They are being efficient, not trying to make me look like a laughing stock. As it turns out, my highlights are pretty darn cool. Hair is a bit too short but that's my fault. When it gets really shaggy, I tend to over exaggerate how much I want cut off. If anyone even says I look like a boy.......

A Thanksgiving Dinner to Remember....or Not

So Sunday was supposed to be the 'big day'. This is when my roommate and I had planned our Thanksgiving dinner and it was also the first time many of our friends were going to see our new apartment. I wasn't too worried when Saturday night came and I felt a cold coming on. After all, if it was just a cold, I could plow through the next day without a problem. Take a little Lemsip and be on my merry way. wasn't a cold. It was the flu.

I woke up at 8 to run some errands in preparation for the day and by the time I made it to the kitchen, I was exhausted. Something was wrong. I felt horrible; my whole body hurt, I felt hot and generally not well. And my energy level was a -1 on a scale of 1-10. So I called off school for the next day, took some allergy medication to help me go back to sleep and was out like a light by 9 and I slept until three. Then stayed in bed for another hour and a half because I didn't have the energy to do anything else. I did however, get out of bed when I knew my friend Ahmad was coming bearing a strawberry milkshake and a thermometer! I don't know why, but I always crave strawberry milkshakes when I'm sick. After making some Lemsip in the kitchen, I quickly realized I didn't have enough energy left to stand so I went and crashed on the couch. And then......Ahmad came with my strawberry milkshake!!! I took my temperature, finished off the milkshake and went back to my bed. People would start arriving soon and I hadn't showered, I was in my pajamas and I felt like absolute crap.

When Mya and Marley came, they offered to get me some medicine from the pharmacy which greatly helped. Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving dinner wasn't rescheduled so I didn't get to enjoy it one bit. I did however, hear everyone having fun while I was in bed watching tv shows on my laptop. Good times? Not so much. Awkward? Yes. But thanks to Ahmad, Mya and Marley, I had stuff to make me feel better. Ahmad even took me to pay my phone bill the next day, which I needed to do because my phone had been turned off. Thank goodness for friends who are willing to go out of their way when you need them the most. Maybe tomorrow (the real Thanksgiving) will prove to be a more successful and fun one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Teaching Expressions

I found out today that teaching expressions is great fun. I realized this the minute I said "Elena's cheeks are soft as a baby's butt". They all started cracking up before I had the chance to ask them what it meant. In my last class of the day, I think I had students tell me at least ten times, "teacher, you are soft as a baby's butt!" Well, a compliment is a compliment right? I was also told that I'm a piece of cake. I think they might have missed the point on that one. Or maybe then meant that they are as excited when I walk into the classroom as they would be if they were about to eat a piece of cake. But I doubt it.

I busted out laughing out loud for the first time in one of my classes yesterday and they apparently were so amused they started telling their teacher how much they liked me, etc. One of the girls got stuck in her sweatshirt....her arm was coming out of the hole where her head should have been and she was caught in a really funny position. I went to go help her when this situation was brought to my attention. "Teacher, Leen is stuck in her sweatshirt!" Well, I couldn't successfully free her from the sweatshirt and between the girls smile and the rest of class already amused, I laughed so hard I cried. And several students informed me that I was red like a tomato. So now I'm a piece of red cake (maybe red velvet) that is as soft as a baby's butt. Awesome.

A Middle Eastern Halloween

Oh blog, how I have missed you. Since teaching took over my life, I forgot all about you blog!

I'm back! And I'm finally getting the hang of this teaching thing, hoorah! It's amazing what I learned in two to teach, how to make a lesson plan, how to manage a classroom, how to grade, where to find teaching resources and other things. Of course, I still have a ton to learn, but at least I don't feel completely helpless, frustrated and completely overworked. I'm actually starting to enjoy teaching now, even on the days I come home exhausted. It has it's drawbacks, like waking up at 6 am. Who could EVER picture me waking up at 6 am? I will wake up early for two things; money and food. So waking up early to have a good breakfast and go to work isn't all that bad. Painful sometimes, yes, but I'm getting used to it.

I had the pleasure of seeing all my kids dress up in Halloween costumes. They were absolutely adorable. There were a lot of witches and princesses but also more creative costumes like a punk rocker, a boy (this girl wore 'boy clothes' with a keffiyeh on her head) a clown, a pumpkin (also too adorable) a 'gypsy' and more. I didn't have the energy and didn't want to spend the money on a Halloween costume this year so when I heard the suggestion of one of the teachers to dress up as a student, I went with it. My 'costume' consisted of brown pants, a white dress shirt, a green headband, lots of stickers on my shirt and a piece of paper I safety pinned to my shirt saying 'Ahliyyah School for Girls Grade Four, Class 4 A'. When I asked my students what they thought my costume was, more than one student said "You're a sticker!"'m you!!! I tried.

There were two Halloween parties that I went to, both of which were great fun. At both parties, something I had went missing....I went to get my favorite green sweatshirt and I realized it wasn't where I left it. So I figured I would take a look around the place and see if someone was wearing it. Sure enough, within a minute, I saw some guy I didn't know wearing my sweatshirt. "Umm....give me my sweatshirt back" I said. "Oh, sorry...I was cold" skinny mystery boy said. That's ok, just give it back. I wasn't actually upset, it was rather amusing. I saw the same guy walking around later wearing a blanket. I guess he really was cold. Why else would a guy wear a bright green sweatshirt with the words Love Pink on it?

The second party had a more depressing ending. My phone fell out of my pocket and I was freaking out because I had parent teacher conferences the next day and I use my cell phone as my alarm clock! I left the party without having found my phone but luckily I remembered I had a travel alarm clock so I took the batteries out of the tv remote and I was good to go. I made it to the parent teacher conference a little tired but it was a success. Unfortunately some jerk decided it would be a good idea to throw my phone in the toilet. Seriously?!!? I would be upset if someone stole it and was actually using it. Luckily, when i went to Zain, my phone company, the guy gave me a free phone which is just as nice as the one that went toilet diving. That made my day!

When I was at the phone company, these two guys came it offering the employee and I some coffee. I particularly needed caffeine that day so I tried it. Let's just say that fresh mint and coffee don't mix. I made myself finish it because I didn't want to be rude. I did not ask for more.