My blogging slowed considerably in February, at the beginning of the month when my family visited and later in the month when work seemed to increase. What's been happening in Beirut?
Literacy work is definitely the common theme of the activities that fill my days. This semester, which just started, I'm teaching two sections of Advanced Academic English, one of the introductory writing and rhetoric courses AUB offers. In preparation for writing a report on literacy in their lives, students are reading and responding to various articles about technology, social networking, and daily life. Also, the Saturday tutoring program where Nicole and I work with Palestinian kids is back in full swing after a short hiatus. Also resuming is the "night school" literacy program I'm studying. The latter means I'm back to doing classroom observations Monday-Thursday late afternoons. And finally, I've started to tutor a friend's high-school-aged daughter, who wants to increase her English fluency.
Rain also fills the days. February is the height of rainy season in Beirut and 2011 is no exception. It has poured most everyday during the past week. The high winds have pretty much destroyed two of our umbrellas already. And a lot of the sidewalks in Hamra are polished stone, which makes for some treacherous (not to mention wet) walking. Yesterday, for example, Nicole and I took a Sunday walk to the movies in Verdun (pronounced "vair-DUH"), a pretty long hike, and at times we had to hang on to each other in order to stay upright. By the way, "Black Swan"? Disturbing and intense. I was happy to hear that Natalie Portman won the Oscar because she owned virtually every frame of "Black Swan." Recommended.
I promise to blog more in March, as we get back to a more regular schedule. Expect tales of tutoring, more on all we're learning about the Palestinian population in Lebanon, and some reports on my nephew Tony's Spring Break visit to the Middle East, happening in less than three weeks. Bring me some Quaker Oats and the new Dirtbombs CD in your suitcase Tony.