Foreign Territory

So get this: A Christian, and atheist, and a Muslim walk into an arena. Sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, right? Last night I met Caleb and my new friend Bader (from Kuwait) and we went to an All-American sporting event to cheer on our Rams. I am fairly certain Bader was a bit bored of the game by the end, but Caleb and I (and our friend Conor who later joined us) were thrilled to see what was probably the most exciting game of the Ram’s season.

Oh, and how is this for cultural differences: Bader made me take a picture of him with the cheerleaders in the background. A picture to taunt his mother with, no doubt. I’m glad I could help the culture transition (sarcasm intended).

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24 February 2010. Tags: , , , . colorado, Social Commentary. Leave a comment.

Marhaba!

Recently, I have been consider career options and what I want to do after I graduate. One of the areas I am interested in is TESOL/TESL/TEFL…. In more accessible terms, these acronyms stand for teaching English as a second or foreign language. In order to “try out” this particular option, I have begun a volunteering position at our Intensive English department at CSU as a conversation partner.

The very first day, I met several Saudi natives, a young man from Kuwait, and a visiting professor from China. I have already learned so much from all of them! I feel like they will be teaching me more than I can teach them. Professor Du (from China) talked about the differences in American and Chinese universities. Isa and Fahad talked about the cultural differences between America and Britain (they like us more 🙂 ), and Noaf taught me how to spell my name in Arabic:

إميلي

(It’s going to take a while before I can accurately write it from right to left…)

I even learned how to say hello in Mandarin and Arabic. Phonetically, it is knee-how with an upward ending on the ‘how’ in Mandarin, and mar-haba in Arabic (the ‘r’ is rolled). Who knows, maybe they will teach me to say “I want a cookie” next week…

6 February 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Social Commentary. Leave a comment.