Monday, September 12, 2011

Madrasa

YES Abroad is an academic program so, 5 days a week, I go to school (madrasa in Arabic)!

Each morning, I wake up at 5:45. The bus comes to get Manal and I at 6:45, though that varies on the day. Yesterday it was after 7:15 when it it showed up. Also, the bus never follows a specific route. Not once has it picked up or dropped off students in the same order. The bus is basically an oversize van with a sign on the side reading the name of the school and then another sign reading "School Bus" in Arabic and English. Anyways, I get on the bus and ride it for somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on what number we are. Each student has a name badge, written in Arabic. It has your first, middle, and last name written on it. In Oman, a child's middle name is always the first name. Because of that, and because all the school has seen is my middle initial, my name badge essentially says that my name is William. I assume that they saw the W of my middle name and presumed that William was indeed my middle, name, which it isn't (though it is my dad's first name, which they would have seen on my forms). On the route, we see many other school buses because all of the private schools (and I believe the government schools as well) use the buses. Whenever we pass by another one, the drivers honk.

Oh! As a side note, Quin and I have been moved up to 12th grade for a variety of reasons, but we've been there for 2 days and, overall, I think that this switch is for the better. Once I arrive at school, the younger kids usually have assembly (which includes clapping, turning around, and singing the national anthem) and the older ones sit around in the other courtyard. Because we're 12th graders, we have the wonderful privilege of being able to go sit upstairs in the air conditioned classroom.

Every day, we have a different schedule with different classes. Also, this is the first year that our school has offered elective classes (only to the Seniors, though) and because of that we have meetings trying to figure out how things will work. Inshallah by the beginning of next week we will have our final schedules and can really start classes.

We have four 45 minute classes each morning... usually math, English, science, etc, though this varies by day. Then we have a 20-minute break where we can go to the canteen and buy food or we can go to the courtyard and just sit. Food in the canteen is quite cheap... a bottle of water is 100 baiza, or about 30 cents and a croissant or small pizza is only 300 baiza, which is a little less than a dollar. We then sit in the inner courtyard where there is some shade from the hot Omani sun, and talk until the whistle blows for us to go back to class. After the first break, we have 2 more classes that vary by day. Then comes another 10 minute break, and after that the rest of 12th grade has an hour and a half of Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Social Studies. Because those subjects are always in Arabic, Quin and I go to the library, where we do homework and hang out. In class, people go crazy! Talking while the teacher is talking is acceptable here. In fact listening to the teacher will cause people to question why you're being to quiet! Everyone is very friendly, though! After school, I ride the bus home and finish my day doing homework, relaxing, and spending time with my host family!

Quin and I having fun in the library!

Over to the left is the Sultan Qaboos Sports complex. You can see it from the library!

Tiny little library! But they have Harry Potter so it's all good. 


Views from the library!

I will post more pictures of the school later!


2 comments:

  1. Woohoo for being bumped up a grade! Does that mean you'll graduate in Oman and then not have to do your senior year in the USA, instead applying to colleges as an International Student? That would be wayyyy cool.

    Gorgeous pics! ^_^

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  2. Nope, I have to do Senior year still. I just will do it twice.

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