17.12.12

Flittering: Wanted

 And the countdown continues. Three more teaching days of class, four days until I'm in Paris, and five until I'm back home celebrating with my friends and family! I can hardly stand the wait.
I'm (kind of) almost getting over my never-ending cold too. Although I did pass it along to at least two of my housemates... sorry guys. 
AND. This weekend didn't suck.
Things are looking up!
Oh, and I have new funny stories so.. everyone wins.
So last Friday, Sara gave her 'Marriage and Family' class their final exam before the vacation. The section they did was on personal boundaries, healthy relationships, and relationship violence. This class is taught to the seniors, so their ages range between 17-26ish. She had been having a very hard time with this section, because a lot of things we consider domestic violence in America is culturally acceptable here. She spent a good portion of the time focusing on empowering the girls to stand up when they don't feel safe, and trying to help the boys to know that it isn't their right to take advantage of the girls. One thing she focused on was the difference between flirting and sexual  harassment. On her test, she asked her students to "please describe the difference between flirting and sexual harassment." I don't know why I find this so incredibly funny, but the response of one of her students was:

flittering: wanted

I giggle every time I read that answer! Perhaps I am easily amused. 
However.
There was another test question that is even funnier.
And not just because I am easily amused.
One of the things Sara also discussed was a 'formula' for bringing up an issue with someone. It goes like this:

When you ____________________________, it makes me feel _______________________________. I want you to ______________________________, or I will _________________________________.

The idea was that they could fill in the blanks with an issue and solution to a problem they experience in a relationship. For example: When you yell at me, it makes me feel scared. I want you to stop yelling at me, or I will leave you. 
Now.
Some students apparently didn't study.
Or didn't understand the directions.
Or understood, but didn't like them.
Because this is the golden answer one student gave to fill in the formula:


In case you can't read the picture (bad photo quality, I apologize), this student answered:

"When you kiss me, it makes me feel happy. I want you to always do that, or I will beat you."

I could not. stop. laughing. when I read that. ohmygoodness. HA!
I just want to go give him a hand shake.
Props, guy.
You know, I can sympathize. I feel like that a lot too. haha!

I also gave the final test in my ESL Reading class today. There was a lot of vocabulary for this section from the past month, and as part of the test I asked the students to draw a picture of a particular word.
One of my students drew possibly the most precious thing I've ever seen.
I asked for a picture of the world. This is what I got:

He drew all these little people, identifying them as different from around the world. However, some of my favorite labels are "beautiful" and "unbeautiful," as well as "clean" and "unclean" people. Haha! Too cute!

All of the Americans here on campus have been kept on lockdown the past month because of all the protesting happening in Heliopolis. We are totally safe here, and are just being overly cautious, but it means that we have all been hit with a pretty strong case of cabin fever.
So.
We decided to throw a Cabin Fever Party!
It was mainly Mary's idea, and to her we all owe a debt of gratitude.
She took over planning and organizing an event for all of us to partake in on Saturday night, in an effort to overcome our extreme sense of restlessness.
She went above and beyond, too. She planned a team photo-scavenger hunt for all of us, and while we were out running around campus she made homemade Mexican food.
The scavenger hunt was super fun.
I am thoroughly impressed with her creativity in coming up with scavenger hunt items to either photograph/video. 
The teams (as chosen by Mary) were myself, Phil, and Chris (team Italia!) versus Sara, Austin, and Jeff. 
Man, it was a grueling race. 
Each photo was weighted differently depending on how difficult it would be to take. We also got 10 points extra for every photo that had either A) a baby or B) a mustache in it. 
Some of the more interesting scavenger hunt items are as follows:


"How did we all fit in that?" Photo. We all crammed under the Christmas tree table in front campus. Also, we found this baby doll, which we brought into every photo for the bonus points.

"Hanging Upside Down" photo. Again, note the baby. We were racking in the points with that ingenuity.

"Student Digging For Gold" photo. You may recall this as Akram from last weeks' 'Silent Night' video. He was so generous to do this for us :)

"Wrap Someone Up Like a Mummy" photo. Chris got to take the honors on this one.

"Act Out a Scene From a Disney Movie" photo. This is Sara and Jeff's moving rendition of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. For our team, I laid on a table and acted like snow white. It was convincing. 

"Well That's an Interesting Perspective..." photo. Austin, please don't kill me for this photo. It's just too good to pass up ;)

I'm happy to say that my team won! And our prize? Homemade churros. 
Totally worth running around in the dark, acting like an idiot.
THANKS MARY!'

Sunday night, we had the Christmas Program for the school. We had been planning this event for several weeks, and it is something I have been looking forward to immensely. 
Mainly because of one thing:
We rented baby camels.
That's right.
Well, I mean, we also borrowed some sheep, goats, cows, and donkeys from local farmers for our manger scene. But most important: BABY CAMELS.
I love camels, oh so so much.
There is a farm worker here at the school who had a baby camel he was willing to loan for the evening. We had everything set in stone for the night, and seemed to be going well.
And then we got some bad news.
"Well, we won't have a baby camel for the play anymore... his owner ate it."
WHAT.
He ate the baby camel?!
I mean, yes I understand camel is a decently normal food source in the area. But this baby camel was destined to be in our play! We were going to be friends!
I was so disappointed.
But also could not stop laughing.
Only here, could we rent a baby camel for the Christmas play, and then have it fall through because it got eaten. haha!
So, at the last minute, we got a substitute.
A full grown camel from another farmer.
They got him all dressed up and everything!
And then they did a horrible thing:
They told me I could ride the camel.
I was so excited! It was all I thought about all day long!
Finally, once night time came and the camel showed at the school, I went to go for a night time camel stroll.
Turns out they left out a bit of important information.
This camel is a work camel. It does not get ridden.
So they had it saddled and dressed up with props for the play, but its temper did not agree with its appearance.
It was not as nearly sweet and gentle as it looked.
So, after kicking one man in the knee, and almost knocking over its cart, they tied its legs down long enough to let me sit on it to take a picture.

Look at how angry he looks!

The Christmas play was a combination of scenes from the Christmas story of Jesus, with performances from different student groups. We had students volunteer for different parts in the play, and they all did such a great job! Unfortunately, we had a lot of last-minute craziness that made the final product a scramble, but we all enjoyed the performance regardless. 
It's nice to be finished though. It certainly wasn't the least stress-inducing thing in our lives. 

Waheed, a tenth grade student played Joseph, Jesus' father in the play. 


The beautiful Miss Christine, a junior, played Mary in the play.


Our three wise men! From left, we have Shibley, Dominic and Samuel. They were so much fun! Also, I got to costume them, which I always enjoy. 




Samuel, one of the wise-men and myself preparing before the play. 



Our three shepherds and their borrowed herd. From left, we have Thomas, Ayman, and Remon. 



The whole crew! They all looked so good, and managed to work around all the problems we had very well. 

After the play, all the students and visitors got time to meet together and chat. It was so nice! This is Joey, one of the tenth grade students. He is the local prankster, and is always pulling jokes on me.
This is Sandy, my gorgeous reader. She is such a hard worker, and the smartest girl in the school. She sang a song for the play, and did such a good job! So proud of her. 
So, the weekend turned out to be a success. It was long and difficult for sure, but now I am better prepared for the week ahead of me!
 I leave Friday morning at 7:45AM for Paris, and then arrive in Seattle Saturday afternoon. I can't wait! 
Four more days!
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