Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scenes from Last Weekend

It's been an incredibly busy week. It kind of snuck up on me. Midterm exams at the college were held last week, and I had no idea what a BIG DEAL exams at the college are. They are invigilated by two teachers per classroom, and you never invigilate your own class. A long list of rules is played out, in both English and Arabic. After the exam, all exams have to be triple marked by teams of teachers. Then you have to fill in tally sheets, where essentially each student's every answer is input into Excel. Grades are finally put into some not-very-friendly software called Gradebook, and then they are finally published. And of course, there are timelines and deadlines associated with each task. We're only allowed to pick up our exams during certain times, and then every single exam-related item needs to be dropped off as well, but only at certain times. Over the top? Understatement.

In addition, I was observed today by the Associate Dean of Language Studies. Each new instructor at the college is observed twice, once in each of their first two semesters. It's a formal observation, where you're graded on a number of items. I thought the week after midterms would be a good time to get observed, but I failed to take into consideration the post-exam stress of triple marking, yadda yadda...

Oh, and Kaiya was sick with a mystery fever for a couple of days, and I had crazy swollen glands that started last Wednesday and that I finally got antibiotics for on Sunday. (Yes, I took the penicillin, mom and dad...)

Hence the silence on the blog.

But tonight is sweet. We are healthy. My observation is done (and nailed, I must say), and the midterm drama is all but forgotten. (Just have to make sure I return all my materials between precisely 8 and 12 tomorrow!)

So before I crawl into bed, I want to share some photos with you. These were taken last weekend when we took a little impromptu road trip down to Al Wakra. Here's a map of Qatar just to show you. It's just south of Doha.

In Al Wakra, we simply drove along the water. It was clearly a fishing village. Here's some of what Jeff captured:

There were a ton of Indian men hanging out together, fishing.

Fishing dhows

Cool, traditional-style walls

We all know Jeff likes his doors

Wanna go to the beach? Just pull up your Landcruiser. Better yet, get three Landcruisers together to make a little enclosure for your family. I had read that the beach in Al Wakra is popular. But I'm not sure why. It was covered in litter.

This is my absolute favourite. I love the Qatari flag.
Off to bed.

Good night.


marie said...

Gradebook is evil!! Glad to hear you survived, that whole midterm process sounds beyond ridiculous....triple mark? I've never heard anything like that!!

Rose said...

Yay, yay, yay! So excited for travelling pictures!! It's just so hard for me to understand the concept of a fishing village in the desert...

Suzanne said...

I agree with Rose. That is very strange, but very cool. Yay for road trips!