Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Let the semester begin!

While reading my sisters' posts about starting school my thoughts were: Ha, Ha! We don't start for another week!

Well, that week has come. Today was our first day of school and it seems that the semester will go smoothly. At least, for me it will. Andrew's course load is a little more intense! I am only taking one three credit class because, although I can take 6 credits and have a faculty parking permit I only qualify for the faculty parking permit if I only have 3 credits. I would try to explain that to you but it doesn't really make any sense to me either. I can work at BYU and take 6 credits and I get a faculty parking permit because I work here. But if I have 6 credits I'm considered a student so I only qualify for a student parking permit. So I'm only taking 3 credits. Someone needs to make some rules a little less ambiguous!

Andrew on the other hand is taking 16 credits and teaching Arabic 101. He was stressing out all weekend about how he was going to be able to teach this class, but I think he'll do just fine. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week he attended a National Arabic Teacher's Convention at our campus. He thought he was going to be training to teach 101. He ended up being at this convention with a lot of professors and PhD students. Boy, was he ever nervous when they asked him to teach a half hour lesson in front of a bunch of native Arabic-speaking, tenured professors.

He had to teach on Saturday, so on Friday Andrew and I stayed up pretty late preparing his lesson. It went wonderfully and he was even complimented on it by a number of the professors. "See," I told him, "You have nothing to worry about!"

He informed me I was wrong. For one thing, Kirk (our program director in Amman, and his new boss here) was supposed to have trained them to teach 101, but, in true Kwirky fashion, he didn't. For another thing, Kirk was supposed to have given them a syllabus, but he didn't. And lastly, a girl in Andrew's class emailed him to say that the JKB has been gutted and there are no classrooms in there and no way to get to the new annex.

Andrew and I went back to campus as fast as we could to find the classroom. There is only one entrance to the building and it is like, hard to find unless you know where it is. Being a Humanities major, and having finished all my classes before getting our new and beautiful JFSB, I knew of multiple entries to the JKB. Unfortunately all the entrances really were blocked off unless you went through the computer sciences building and then out some random door and walked pretty much all the way around. Anyway, we found the student entrance and Andrew drew a map for his students so all is well. And, in case you are interested, he did get his syllabus, hot off the press...10 minutes before class started! Phew!

He is really excited to be teaching though. He has Layla's (his step-cousin in-law...Layla and I just say we're friends because stating the relationship is a little confusing) little brother, Sami in his class, as well as an Elder from his mission. And we have a lot of cool things to show the class so he should have a lot of fun teaching.

I have been very busy at work myself. For those of you who don't know, our department split just a week before we left for Jordan, taking 1/3 of the faculty and about 1/2 of the grad students with it. That is still creating issues as we dive into this new semester. Aside from that, while I was in Jordan, the Department Chair left for a new job taking all the office staff (except for me, because I'm still there, and Diana because she moved to DC) with him.

This leaves, if you couldn't tell, only me. I'm the one that everyone turns to with their problems.
Not that the office staff weren't replaced, because they were. The new student secretaries started today. The new office manager and financial assistant started a month ago. The new Department Chair, who was on sabbatical for the last year, started four days ago. Needless to say, things are pretty crazy.

I did pull off my first banquet today. I think it went fairly well. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and no major mishaps occurred. I'm not sure that I really like planning banquets, but at least I know that I can do it!

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