Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Day in the Life: School

Here’s a brief timeline of my average weekday:
6:00 Wake up. I have come to despise the beeping sound of my phone’s alarm clock. It is by far the most heinous sound I have ever heard. I’m not sure how the lovely people at Nokia managed to get it to be so obnoxious, but it certainly accomplishes the goal of getting me out of bed to turn the thing off.
6:40 The school bus arrives to pick my host sister and I up.
7:20 We arrive at school. I go up to my classroom and spend time with the girls in my class.
7:30 Assembly or re-teach.  Assembly consists of exercises, a singing of the National Anthem, a reading of a section of the Qur’an, and a presentation in English or Arabic by one of the classes, where we learn about things as diverse as similes and mosquito anatomy. Re-teach is when one of the teachers comes in to give us extra help in their subject.
7:45 Math class. In math right now we’re learning logarithmic functions. I seem to consistently end up having math first thing in the morning throughout high school, which is somewhat unfortunate because it’s not my best subject.
8:35 Geography. Most of my class takes Chemistry at this time, but I and a few others from my class have Geography with the 10th graders.
9:20 English.
10:05 Break! During break we can go down to buy food or you can eat food you’ve brought from home. Our canteen sells croissants, sandwiches, and za3ter (which I cannot describe, and I’ve no pictures to share) during the first break. We dance a lot in the classroom during break.
10:35 Arabic. Because I, for obvious reasons, cannot take  twelfth grade Arabic, I go to the library to learn basic Arabic with the librarian. It’s actually quite helpful!
11:20 Physics. This class is hard, because it’s the second year in a two-year course, but I really enjoy the class because it’s so much application of theories, not memorization like so much of science.
12:05 Some other class. This changes daily, and is either Chemistry, Math, English or Physics. It varies every day, but my schedule is surprisingly solid in comparison to other grades. It’s common to have a zany schedule that is totally different every day.
12:50 Break raqum ithnain! This time the canteen sells Oreos. ‘Nuff said.
1:00 Media/PE/ Islamic/ Social Studies. If it’s Islamic/Social Studies, I go to the library for more Arabic.
1:45 nefs ashay (same thing).
2:30 School’s out! If it’s an Arabic or Middle Eastern History class day, I go with a driver. Otherwise, I’m on the bus.
3:00 Arrive home, and eat lunch. Usually  it is rice and saluna.
For the rest of the day, I usually study, watch TV, and perhaps take a trip to the duqan (small shop). 


  1. Hey Emma I love your blog! It's so interesting. Would you mind posting about what you personally find most challenging about being an exchange student? Do you ever get in disagreements with your host family? I'm just really curious (: Thanks!

  2. Yeah, I'll write you a post! Give me a few days to collect my thoughts and I'll get on it :)

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