I would have to say that today was my first “official” day of school. I say “official” because it is technically the second day of school and I have still only had one of my three classes. But I did have one so I believe that means I’ve started. The Language Center classes (I guess its now called the International Institute) which are my Arabic classes, were supposed to start yesterday. When I showed up they said they were doing placement tests (which I took during the summer) and I should come back tomorrow, well I came back, and now they are doing orientation, so I should come back tomorrow. So hopefully we will actually start tomorrow.The one good thing that came out of going was that I got my grade from the Summer, I got a 90 (out of 100) as my final grade, which I’m pretty happy about.
As for my second class, “Islamic Studies,” I went to the Islamic studies department, found my class and sat down. One thing that is noticeable immediately coming on to campus is the high number of women on campus, they are definitely the majority. But in the Islamic Department (ironically for a lot of western centered people) all I saw was women. I was a little surprised, not just because it was the Islamic Studies Department but because there were just so many women. I found my class and sat down (there were 2 other guys and around 12 girls), the teacher is an amazingly nice man who says he doesnt speak English but does perfectly. He is the opposite of what is expected in an Islamic studies teacher, he wore Khakis and a light purple dress shirt. He apologized to me for the first five minutes because he said that the english in the class will be very basic because the students weren’t that good and that he would have to speak a lot of Arabic. I said the more Arabic the better for me, that’s how I learn, especially in a bilingual atmosphere like that. Well unfortunately the students speak quite well, and he spoke English the whole time (almost). I am assuming it will have more Arabic as the class goes on because i’m not quite sure how much of it they all understood. Obviously all the students already know about Islam (they are all Muslims) but it is to teach them how to express their beliefs and talk about Islam in English.
I then rushed to a Rotary meeting to give my first official presentation. It went well, albeit quick because of the lack of time they had for presenters. It was their first meeting after Ramadan so there was a lot on the schedule. It was a good intro and in the future I look forward to giving a more in depth presentation. After that meeting I had to rush back to campus to have my final class of the day, Political Science. After wandering around the wrong building, I arrived at the International Studies Faculty ( a building I had been walking by for three months hoping I could take classes in). I met a bunch of students while waiting for the teacher, really nice guys, one of whom wants to get his masters in the states in a year or two (unfortunately he doesnt speak English which might not fly). Then two Mexicans and two Asians came in for the same class, the guys were funny and started complaining that none of them spoke English(which they really didn’t) and that we would make the average go way to high. After about a half an hour and no teacher, most of the Jordanians left. The ones who hadn’t told us that the teacher probably wasn’t coming and that we should all leave. They said the first week no one really shows up to class, which I had heard before but didn’t think that included the professors as well. We’ll see how it goes. It was great to meet some new people, get out of the scene I had been in and really feel like I was a student at the University, not just a “foreigner” at the Language Center.