Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Well, it was going to be the second-to-last day of school today. I spent the morning thinking about how I only had one more day of my normal routine, and berating myself for being so focused on the end and the vacation but generally feeling resigned to the fact that I was basically going to count down the hours until Thursday's classes were over.

Somehow, though, fate intervened. I got the news towards the end of Arabic class and whispered it to Lina, the teacher, who made the announcement. The room filled with cheers. No school tomorrow.

This is pretty ridiculous. In the middle of this desert, on exactly the day everyone wanted it the most (I'm not quite ready to say "needed"), we all got our holiday wish. Papers are graded and returned, students are leaving campus, and we are DONE.

Left on the agenda: a dinner with my classmates from Arabic; an evening of Christmas carols for those left on campus, and nearly 24 hours of completely unstructured, completely unburdened time tomorrow. I will pack, and eat, and clean, and watch Downton Abbey, and revel in the winter that managed to sneak its way into this country at just the right time.

And then I'll fly to America. See you on Friday.

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