Saturday, May 10, 2014

May, somehow?

In the thirty-ish seconds that I took to brainstorm a title for this post, way too many of the ideas in my head had to do with "ends" and "finales" and "lasts." And indeed, here we somehow are on the eve of my last full week as a Teaching Fellow (credit to Yale for scheduling its graduation during the actual last full week of classes), and May has already reached double digits. I'll save the sappy talk about endings for a future post, maybe on Wednesday or something; for now, here are six pictures to sum up the last two weekends.


Lina, Jimmy, and I decided to live it up on the First of May with a trip to the Dead Sea! It was my first on this side of the border, and definitely my most luxurious, as we treated ourselves to a full day at the Mövenpick's Zara Spa.

Picture whirlpools galore, poolside bar service, and views like this one:

And we covered ourselves in mud and got in the real Dead Sea too, and left feeling thoroughly cleansed. After a month with not a single full five-day week, this still felt like a well-deserved break, and I think I'll be making my way back Seaward whenever I need to let off some steam.

Also went on a super-sweet rappelling hike that weekend, but I didn't have my phone so no pictures of our death-defying cliff descents. Strangely enough, the hike led us all the way through a canyon to the entrance of the very Mövenpick I'd enjoyed the day before. Next time, day hike to the spa, anyone?


I guess it was abnormal in that it was 5 days long and I hadn't had one of those in a month, but otherwise things went smoothly. The APs are in full swing and our students are allowed to skip class (?!) the day before they have an exam, plus a lot of seniors have sorta just given up, so my classes were a little emptier than usual. This was generally very pleasant and allowed for some AWESOME seminar-style classes where we just sat around in a circle and talked philosophy. That's something I want to keep up in the years to come.


Yesterday was the real busy day, for all the right reasons. We forewent weekend brunch and set off, famished, for the International Community School's annual Food Fair, which is exactly the hullabaloo of food stalls, bouncy houses, and costumed children that we all hope such things could be.

(Also, there's a 21+ section, which is even better than we usually hope such things will be).

Though we partook of fare ranging from Malaysia to Mali, from England to Pakistan, I managed to snap just one food picture which I hope will tell at least part of the story:

Belgium, I am forever grateful.

And here's a shot of the fair itself:

As post-day-drinking dehydration set in, we made our way back to campus, where I pretty immediately performed with the faculty band in an outdoor Music Fest. Always fun to get to show off our stuff to the students, and there's definitely a video on Facebook that I am purposefully not linking to on this blog because it feels like tooting my own horn. But it's out there.

When we wrapped up our final number, a rendition of "Feelin' Alright" that featured several students who hadn't known they were performing until immediately beforehand, I quite literally walked off the stage and straight onto the bus to East Amman for the next adventure:

Jordan Star.

See, one of the things about this country is that it's small enough, and developing enough, that you manage to get your way into an awful lot of cool events if you have connections at King's. Hence the performance for HMK and HMQ two weeks ago, and hence too our front-row seats at this knockoff of America's Got Talent. Here's the gang, five teachers and three students, in front of one of those fancy I'm-at-a-celebrity-event backdrops:

And although Jordan Star is apparently widely ridiculed in this country, it was a pretty good time and a pretty professional production. Here's a shot of the stage and one of the producers giving us some pre-show info:

One thing I learned is that when you watch one of these shows and see everyone clapping as an act begins, it's because there's a 3-2-1 countdown that tells you exactly when to start clapping. What a thrill to be behind the scenes! And in front of the camera, too; there were a ton of sweeping shots of the audience that heavily featured the front row. If video surfaces, I'll link to it here; somehow it doesn't feel as self-serving to include footage of me clapping like a moron on Jordanian TV.

Here's one of the acts, a duo of prepubescent (twin?) brothers who actually sang damn well. They made it through the vote-with-your-cellphone round but didn't get to advance to the next round. Better luck next time, boys. 

And now, here I sit, having taken over a dorm duty so that my Study Hall next week will be covered. Three Supervised Study Halls left. See? Can't help but think about the end.

So Yale beckons in the immediate future, and you may see another update before then but don't hold your breaths. Beyond that? I guess we'll get to see this big finish everyone keeps talking about. Stay tuned.

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