A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

“Pictures I took of”… boredom


Countdown till the end of semester


So this semester proved to be extremely boring- no scrubbing hands to death to get rid of the coating of super-duper glue, no screaming at a stupid computer that keeps getting stuck in a middle of a project, and not a single drop of artsy-farsty goodness. Instead, it was just staring with complete and utter exasperation at a fan overhead as an English professor who does not speak English taught the students that using “so” before a word automatically deems it good, and listening to some ass with a patch on his shoulder toss around very sexist comments.


Yet, as they say in Arabic, “il-7aq yoqal” (the truth has to be spoken), and Military Science didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would. They had some interesting classes in “Selselet Mo7adarat il 3oloom il 3askareyeh” (the starting sentence of my morning, every single day, for the past 6 weeks), and they even got a hottie pilot who was the centerpoint of overheard conversations in the girls’ part of stadium for weeks to come. Yet, notice in the picture above that the class is spent doing homework for other classes (look at the girls with the calculators), or in my case, catching up on my reading.


The real bummer of the summer and the star of the show was the “advanced” writing class, mainly spent talking about why you can never say “I were there” and how you cannot capitalize randomly. It’s amusing that these students are actually specializing in English and yet they do not know the simplest rules of the English language. Admittedly, I’m the kind of student who’s a pain in the ass, but this course was so stupid and so unchallenging that I decided that staring at a fan every day for an hour is more rewarding. But seriously, look at the below sentence that was marked wrong. Ok, I was wrong with the number, but I know my sentence is correct.


Needless to say, even with the excess of syntax lessons in a writing class, I still do not have the slightest idea what a future perfect continuous verb is and I still cannot differentiate between the passive and the active voice, just like I don’t know the multiplication table and how I can’t tell a maf3ool from a maf3ool behi.

So there we go, and with a week-and-a-bit left for the summer semester to show us its lovely backside as it walks out the door, I’m getting excited about the next year- my final year at the UofJ.


15 more credit-hours divided over two semesters, compared to the 19++ credit-hours I had to take in each term last year. Five classes ALL from our department, namely “Dance and Rhythm” (a dancing class, in JU, as a department requirement, are we awesome or what?), “Modern Art Theories”, “Post Modern Art”, “Islamic Aesthetics”, and “Computer Design 2”. One graduation project to go with exact professor I wanted for an advisor. Life should be good next year.


Man… this is proving to be a long post and I hate writing long posts cause I have a hard time reading other people’s long posts. Has this been hard to read?


Lego Set Lets You Build 1984 Mac TV Commercial


Can you tell which one is the size 40?


  1. still it’s a nice post roba.. i enjoyed reading it and glad u have 15 credits left.. gosh i still have a lot and yes, i’ll try the military science course.

  2. al

    nice post :) good luck for the.. uuuh exams ?! do u have exams for 3ulum 3askariyyeh ? anywhooo..
    what does one do in a dance and rythm class in JU ?

  3. Husams

    Roba, this is illegal, you are hiding words between pictures, so I just recognized it’s a long post when you said it’s, and stopped reading.

    Did you notice, thanks to the guy in the first picture you forgot about being bored. ;)

  4. Roba,

    If you want to combine your interest in design with your desire for innovatice teaching, check out some of the better e-learning sites

    Also, I recommend that you read The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman.

  5. “But seriously, look at the below sentence that was marked wrong. Ok, I was wrong with the number, but I know my sentence is correct.”

    Being a (British) native speaker of English and also having studied the language in my further education (ooh, get me! lol), I’ll say that your original sentence is definitely correct.

    ‘Sports’ is tricky though – why do we pluralise the word? – So I guess your professor is right in his/her correction of THAT, but ‘sport event’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it…

    “The real bummer of the summer and the star of the show was the “advanced” writing class, mainly spent talking about why you can never say “I were there” and how you cannot capitalize randomly.”

    This reminds me of studying A-Level English Lang/Lit (again, in England itself), with the first few classes of every semester being dedicated to teaching students how to use capital letters, full-stops and apostrophes ;)

    The alarming thing was that the majority of the thirty-strong class actually needed such ‘refreshment’, despite being 16-19 years of age, and allegedly ‘intelligent’ ;)

    Good luck with the rest of your studies, and keep up the good work on the blog ;)

  6. Moey, thanks. Good luck to you!

    Al, thanks, yeah, they’re all mutliple choice but I swear they’re hard. I have no idea what they teach in the dancing class, I’ll let you know when I do!

    Husams, haha, actually, I was blabbing about how much I disliket he professor so it does’nt really count ;)

    Peter S, thanks for the link, I will check it out. And I’ve actually read “THe Design of Everyday Things” several times, what a good book.

    Jenna, hehe, thanks, good to know I’m right. Does GCSE have grammar in it? I never studied English in the GCSE system, but I took the literature course. Thanks for your kind wishes :)

  7. yeah i need it

  8. “Jenna, hehe, thanks, good to know I’m right. Does GCSE have grammar in it? I never studied English in the GCSE system, but I took the literature course. Thanks for your kind wishes :)”

    As far as I can remember, no, the English GCSE is pretty lax on grammar teachings. I seem to recall the majority of my classes revolving around “interpretation of and articulation”, with little regard for spelling/grammar, as long as the message you were trying to portray was ‘coming off’ in your essays. i.e. you could probably gain a better grade for writing an “imaginative”, verbose piece, even if your spelling and grammar was relatively poor than you could for writing a techincally perfect but altogether unarticulate essay. The English Language GCSE examination paper that year (2001) involved reading a pamphlet on animal cruelty and writing a page or two about its “emotive” language, visual layout, target audience, etc.

    I personally loved English class, but even amongst my own friends – all of whom were in the top 40% of our intellectually segregated school – completely failing in the study of one’s native language wasn’t entirely uncommon!

    Interestingly, my own Jordanian partner – who at this point had never even left the Middle East – gained a good pass grade in GCSE English, whereas my own brother hopelessly failed. The very same Jordanian also failed in GCSE Arabic. “Ironical”, hehe.

  9. That “corrected” sentence is a jem! Not only did he “correct” a correct sentence, he changed one verb to past tense and another to present tense– He can’t even keep it straight. Makes me want to go over to the UofJ and teach English myself… but then again, only if most of the students write English as well as you. If I had to spend a few years correcting bad English, I’d probably be just as bad as him.

  10. a visitor

    See all those girls, I am stupid not to have gone to JU…u think they accept students for a second bachelor’s?

  11. Jenna, yes, indeed. I will surely fail the Arabic IGCSE examination were I to take it, because at school, we were taught English as a native language rather than Arabic, and Arabic spoken at home is very different from classical Arabic taught in school. To this day, I avoid writing in Arabic because I am too ashamed of my limited mastery of classical Arabic (contrary to writing in English which I am extremely fond of). It is quite ironic. Some blame it on globalization, but I blame it on the limited knowledge being produced in the Arabic language which thus forces parents to opt teaching their children English in order to acquire a good education.

    Rebecca, lol, yeah, I knew I was right :P But ahh.. I agree with you, it must be extremely hard to teach so many people who have bad English!

    A Visitor, haha, ra7 3aleik kteer :P

  12. Marianne

    Military science?
    What is that?

  13. ouh! plz dont remind me of my one and only summer semester that i had!

    extreamly boring …. and for the amaze of it, military science wasnt the most boring course i had then as well….. they really bring interesting people and start up interesting conversations , though alot of students were caught sleeping in the theater!

    Marianne, this is a mandatory course in the jordanian universities for all the students, it discusses the nation’s history, as well as the parts and forces of the jordanian military forces, including the civil defence services, the police department, and the customs department.

    & by the way, am i the only one that finds out the english students (and some of the teachers) are the most stupid people in english!

    man … u were so board so that u wrote even more boring stuff!

  14. Hi! haven’t checked yor blog in a while, just saw that you mentioned me, thanks! I’m honestly very happy that I was able to hand pick the best students in class to supervise… it’s going to be awesome, can’t wait to see what you guys will end up creating!

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