Saturday, March 16, 2013

And the Sheikh came to my school...

The last couple months have been an experiment in keeping our heads above water. We have spent some time at the park, the Green Mubazzarah, and mostly trying to keep up with life in general. The weather has been so beautiful.  Now that we've finally gotten our schedule together, I'm about to have school break. I just finished putting all my marks (grades, if you are from my side of the world) in the system (which is good since the systems locks you out after today) and next will be a couple weeks of invigilating (aka proctoring) exams and then finally marking the Ministry exam at the end of the month. Our holiday starts on the night of the 28th and I think we are all ready for the break.

As I'm in the middle of the midyear blahs, I want to recount some of the blessings I have had with my school this year.  I have been really lucky with my grade level coordinator who  always goes to bat for us when necessary. She is really an instrument of change for the reform. In addition, I have a fabulous co-worker who has helped me to navigate the unfamiliar land of grade 12 in the UAE, assisted me with marking and overall making my transition to this grade level so much easier. My principal has been very supportive during some recent meetings, and I really adore so many of my Arabic colleagues who have gladly offered assistance when necessary and are also trying to help me improve my Arabic. I can't wait to go to my first wedding tonight for one of the biology teachers at our school. To top it off, our school had its grand opening celebration on Thursday and the Sheikh (Prince of Al Ain) came to my school!

On Friday, we took the girls to Global Village. It's only open until the end of the month, and some of the countries had closed already, but we had a good time taking in all the sights. It is kind of like a giant global flea market with lots of different food choices and performances.  Because it is in its final weeks, you can bargain quite a bit from the first price given, but doing that always makes me uncomfortable. I want them to just give me the "last price" to begin with, which means I will never actually get the real last price. There were so many products it was overwhelming, but at the same time, we didn't feel a huge urge to purchase much because so many items are imported into the UAE that most of the items for sale can be found somewhere here. Our favorite pavilion was the Africa one, but we had to leave without seeing as much as we wanted of it, when Zofia became tired of her global tour... I think after our visit to the Village, we'd all like to see a bit more of the world.

And today is two years since I interviewed to start this adventure.