Small Items of Note

School, thankfully, is the same everywhere.

I have three good professors, a great professor, and only one truly terrible professor who manages to go through exactly two powerpoint slides per hour of class.

My favorite class is Societies and Cultures of the Ancient Near East, which surprises me greatly because generally I much prefer studying post Renaissance history and my appetite for Ancient Egyptian history was pretty much quelled after being forced to mummify a chicken and endure an entire year of Egyptian themed educational activities during fourth grade seminar.

The only reason I'm taking the class is to fulfill the ancient history requirement for my history major, and I expected to endure rather than enjoy it. Instead I am fascinated and would willingly sit through three hours a day of lectures.

My professor (also the assistant provost of the university) makes the currents in the Mediterranean Sea, the geographical importance of Turkish mountain ranges and the anatomy of a camel's hoof interesting.

We also are going on regular weekend field trips to explore the ancient history of the region. This Friday we spent the day sweating through the Egyptian Museum (its not air-conditioned, and its still beastly hot here) , visiting all of the displayed objects that were connected to our principal focus, the lands outside of Egypt.

The mummy room is very creepy, but I have now seen the mummies of Hatshepsut and Ramses II (plus many more). Our purpose in viewing the mummies was to see the skull wound that killed a pharoah that was caused by the shallow axes carried by ancient armies. It looked very painful.

Other small items of note:

- Our internet is still sporadic. For one glorious day it worked (at high speed) in our rooms. But this is Egypt, and nothing ever works well for long.

-The hot water in the hotel gets turned off every morning between 8:00 and 8:30. This is extremely painful for college students like myself who are used to sleeping in on weekends.

-The mosque next to our hotel broadcasts the friday services at high volume, which consists of chanted koranic texts followed by angry shouting followed by more chanting. Its not clear enough nor do I understand enough Arabic to be able to tell what the imam is saying.

-Tomorrow night I start my career as a conversational English teacher for an NGO called A Better World. I'm co-teaching with my friend Hannah. Unfortunately my internet is not capable of downloading the lesson plans I'm required to teach from...but hey, maalish!

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