In the two years of working in Al Ain I forgot how busy a teacher’s life is. That is because I didn’t have a typical teacher’s life there. And to be fair, I don’t really have a “typical” teacher’s life here, but it is more similar to what I experienced working in the United States. So, since I have been busy with work and just life in general I have neglected this blog a bit. I am going to try and be better in the future, but here goes, in a whirlwind of photos and explanations about what has happened since my last post.
A little while back, I went to the beach on the Pacific Coast for a relaxing day. This is Punta Leona, if I remember correctly. It was a lovely spot for sitting on the beach, but the waves were quite large so not really great for a relaxing float. The next photo is a moth that was in my classroom for a few days. I look this picture as part of a five day black and white iPhone photography challenge.
My friend and co-worker Alex has a tradition of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for all the American staff at the school. Here we are dining “al fresco” at her house. I think this is the first time I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner outside!
At UWCCR we have “thematic weeks” where students organize talks and activities around a particular theme. Often these themes are based on people’s country of origin, such as the thematic week for the first week of December, Middle East/North Africa Week. The students asked me to join the week and I agreed to give a talk about my experience living in the UAE. I had a great turnout and students seemed to find the talk interesting. Here I am talking about how not everyone is the UAE is wealthy.
Students are amazing, sometimes I wonder if I am even smart enough to work at this school. Last week a group gave a presentation about WWII technology and one of my students explained and diagramed the physics behind the atom bomb. It is amazing for anyone to do that, but this student did the whole thing from his head. No notes, it was impressive.
Last weekend was a very, very busy weekend for me. It started on Friday night with our “end of the year” holiday party for work. The theme of the party was 80s, so here we are in our 80s outfits.
On Saturday morning I woke up early and headed to the swimming pool for the “Juegos Comunales Santa Ana” or the Santa Ana Community Games. This is an annual year end event that includes competitions in swimming, biking and other sports throughout the county of Santa Ana. I only participated in the swimming competition. It was brutal, since I hadn’t been in the pool for over two weeks. The order of events was 100 meters of each stroke and two (50m x 4) relays. I did all the races, including the 100 fly!! It was fun to race in a pool again, so I am hoping there are more events like this. I snapped this photo during one of the breaks in the meet. It was not a warm day for an outdoor meet. About 70-75F and a little rainy.
On Sunday morning, I woke up even earlier than Saturday to head out for the Christmas Run. Again with my running buddies from UWWCCR we had a fun morning of successfully completing a 10K and enjoying a nice breakfast afterward. Here I am running with one of the ladies from work and you can just barely see Santa there on the right cheering us on.
This past Thursday night I organized a group of coworkers to attend the ballet. In true Christmas tradition we saw The Nutcracker (El Cascanueces). It was a fun night out and the theater was lovely. I am looking forward to attending more and more cultural events like this. The picture below is inside the theater, with Alex and Jana from work, the stage and the doors of the theater (that remind you where you are at all times).
And now I am on winter vacation! Four weeks of exploring, working and cleaning ahead of me. Oh, and a visit from my parents at the end of the month! I will leave you for now with this cute picture of an iguana climbing a tree outside my classroom last week.