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Showing posts from November, 2010

Type research diary part II

My first contact with the actual Arabic classes comes in form of a young lady, who having had her class cancelled, is very early for her next course. She reveals to me that the class doea not take a break, allowing the students to immerse themselves in the language and culture for an hour and a half, four times a week. In combination with her next informatiom bit, makes me wonder once again at the teaching methods employed here. She confirms to me the fact that the excersise of turning the theory of caffeine into a practical cup of coffee only begins at nine within these hallowed halls.

Having done so, she produces a multitude of notebooks, notepads and vocabluary notes, spreading them in a wide half- circle in front of her. Soon, her look begins to flit between grammar, vocabluary and half- formed sentences, forming homework out of seemingly random associations. I begin to get an idea that this series may be more interesting than anticpated.

At this point, One may ask why these clas…

Type Research Diary, part I

I've been spending a lot of time in language classes recently.

Asking myself whether eight or eight thirty in the morning is the best time to inflict the linguistic convolution that is Arabic on the willing, yet sleepy brain, I am late. I also have ample opportunity to refresh my memory of the Freie Universities corridors. They remain badly lit and carpeted with red. Which, in the green light, looks like it might just about come alive and swallow an unsuspecting student at any given moment.

I am currently squating on one of those carniverous carpets, preparing questions that will be asked of students learning Arabic at a slighlty later date. These questions pertain to culture, cultural expectations, cultural paralells and differences. These very cultural questions are being prepared in hope of obtaining answers that will illuminate the Franks view on a people that have been an integral part of European history for more than a housand years: the Arabs.

It has, unfortunately, beco…


Welcome to a new semester of fun and games! Today, we have a football infographic, commissioned by the course on and in infographics. This is going to be quite an arcane semester, in which I plan to explore a couple of subjects that have been interesting to me for a while now. 
Note that football is not one of those things.

The dissolving island

"He sat on his island, alone and overlooking the ruins of a past. Slowly, his being dissolved, crumbling into something new. This was an end. It was also a beginning."
I may return to this one later and refine it a bit, but for now, this mawkish and sentimental sketch must stand for what it is.