Friday, December 26, 2008

So long 2008

No, this is not about resolutions, wishes or anything of this sort. It’s a mere documentation devoid of any intention to calculate. And I’ll try to remember at least one significant event.
This year started very slow, with a very small celebration that I learned to be the best with my sisters who I knew they are and will always be the only constant love in this world. Yes! At the age of 27 I firstly realized that I love my sisters more than I ever imagined.

• In January, I started my new blog and it became well known fast, I went to my first TV interview and it helped me to open up more and really face the fact that I really actually like me and in peace with who I am , I started to go regularly to the gym when I realized I’m getting no younger and my body tends to tell this to everyone :D. And it was the first time for me to go to the book fair all by my self and buy non medical books with my own money and I bought Marwa Rakha’s book which I fell in love with instantly.
• Feb., I paid for being “me” when my TV interview made my blog more known and more people knew about me deeply don’t care about how they judge me, the opposite! I met Marwa Rakha face to face for the first and I spent the whole day with her and I felt I wanted to take her home with me.
• March, it was the first time for me to be harassed by a university professor and I understood a lot about being used and abused and I faced fear of being scandalized, fear of him affecting my career and I knew I had the guts to kick everything and have the power of saying no even if it will jeopardize my career.
• April, I got an awful job and I tried my best to keep it cause it was remotely related to medicine and then I took the decision to let go my career unless I get a real chance cause I refuse to be an image of a dream rather than a reality of a wise alternative and I started looking for another full time job that’s not medical. I met someone who became a close friend afterwords
• May,
• June, my best friend since I was 11 got married, after hiding being in a relation and before hiding being pregnant putting me through watching her all pregnant for four months, cause she was scared of my “evil spinster eye"! And I neither faced nor blamed her. And my sister left the country for a job, something that I hate till now!
• July, I started my new job as an English instructor for adults where I discovered I can be a good teacher and from which I had a lot of my amazing students as friends afterwords. I started a relationship trying hard to think more than to feel which always seems to be something impossible for me to do. And I realized that I can keep on living while I sleep less than two hours a day for two straight months.
• August, I knew about myself a new thing. My students made me 2 surprise birthday parties and brought me gifts, two days that I will never forget. I was told “I look up to you” from one of my students and I almost cried. I took a good strong decision for only one day and then I bailed and freaked out and let myself be affected by sweat fake talk. And I became 27 which I celebrated with my first birthday party at home for which I invited all my work mates and only 3 came!
• September, OK! This wasn’t pretty at all. I stayed home to study for my masters and had to live an awful and painful month that I wish from the bottom of my heart not to live again. I got very sick at the end, together with studying and dealing with an ugly break up. I welcomed being humiliated, underestimated and degraded . And I lost a lot of weight.
• October, I prayed to God to give me strength which I was generously given, I discovered a new reason why I love medicine and I finally found the way to study medicine for an Egyptian university. I started my exams and kept going with my break up and I got the best help from the people I have in my life. Not related ones before my friends. And I got even faster than I already was in writing English, heheheeeee 
• November, I finished my exams and I got the last sms and I made friends with a someone somehow older than me for the first time. And I regained the weight I lost. And I decided to look for ways to stay away from stress since it turned out to be eating my body alive!
• December, I let go a well paying job for a medical opportunity cause I’m so much weaker than letting go medicine though this choice will bring inevitable pain and insecurity. I decided to look for some help concerning my fear of cats. And I am actually planning for moving while I'm writing this.

This year I became more sure unconditioned love is a big fat lie and those who you are only those who show it. There’s no such a thing called “people who will love you no matter what”. And that you work on a relationship, any relationship, and you work really hard. Otherwise you're just a small empty boat in the sea with no sailor and no wind to even push!

This year I disappointed a friend by taking the wrong choice. And I felt really bad.

This year I knew that living with much less money than you're used to when it's a price you pay for what you choose is the most fun of all!!

This year I was told a lot of personal secrets by a lot of people, close people and far ones. And it never made me feel special, I felt so responsible that I was scared for some time.

This year I allowed myself to do what’s against my own principles. And as fool, cheap and foolish this was,it brought me nothing but more pain.

This year I made the mistake of believing I should bribe someone to love me by being not totally me, and that didn't even work!

This year, I found myself so emotionless and harsh with an old friend who hurt me before and I
found myself not as forgiving as people prefer to describe themselves .

This year I became more aggressive when I just smell any suspicion that someone I know accuses me of being with an "Evil eye" and I had really long discussion about what is "Hassad" that was mentioned in Quraan and what those mindless superstitious people believe in.

This year I knew that no matter how often they say not to do it, I’ll always show my feelings, I’ll always speak up and I’ll do my best to stay that way.

This year I was really slapped with the actual truth that I may never really get married, before, it wasn't that clear to me. And I had a long honest conversation with myself about that.

This year I found out that my own dictionary defines "Feminism" and " Liberal" a totally different definition than what most of the people do.

This year I realized that me being a feminist is not about ideologies or directions, or beliefs, it’s my nature. It’s who I really am. And it’s what I got sick trying not to be.

This year I saw my mom standing for me and for what I believe in and who I am. Even though she deeply refuses it!

This year I lost all hopes of making things better with my father and I lost the will to do that as well.

This year I became more open and out front with the people I know about the fact that I have space issues and that I panic when I feel someone is invading my space. And that it’s not offending not to answer the phone when I just “don’t feel like it!”

This year I dealt with disagreement, miss understanding and on and on discussions in my blog which was en lighting.

This year, I seriously started to think of publishing a book!

hmmm, well, may be it's not as fancy and affecting as one may wish . But for what it worths, 2008 was a very good year.
Thanks 2008...and goodbye!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Couple of Questions

"When you teach a student and then examine then mark his examination papers and fill his evaluation sheets and keep it home and then this same student gets a certificate that he passed the exams with s certain score WHILE YOU STILL ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS BOTH THE EXAMINATION PAPERS, MARKED WITH YOUR OWN HANDWRITING AND THE EVALUATION SHEETS, what do you say, How can this happen?"
End of question.


Back in July 2008, I was assigned by Berlitz Egypt to teach in a project called "Edu Egypt" which stands for educating Egypt. A project held by the ministry of communication aiming to serve graduates of both faculty of commerce and computer science in both Ain Shams and Cairo Universities. Giving them soft skills and English Courses. Berlitz was responsible for the English courses and I was there to teach three English levels for three classes with 12-15 students for each class, in faculty of commerce, Ain Shams University.

I will not talk about the kind of "working environment" we as Berlitz employees faced through this project - this is a totally different, yet not by far less amusing story- Now the course is over.
Couple of weeks ago, my 40 something students received their certificates from Berlitz that they attended three levels at Berlitz Egypt and passed the three level with score ...

I have the examination papers for all my students for level 2 and 3
I have the evaluation sheets for the same students for level 2 and 3
I have their answer sheets with their handwriting, also level 2 and 3

One of my students called me cause he was puzzled by the score and I told him this was wrong and they lied. And then I told him we had to fight this cause it was wrong.
"So what" He said " Nothing will happen ya Dr., you think anyone can get his rights in this country? why should I get mine"

Is this what I should teach my students? Is this what "EDUCATING EGYPT" is all about? What should I tell this student? and How can I face my students afterwords when I go and teach them about "Identity", "Human Rights" and the rest all these fine words?
I was once told by one of my students that these were cliches of no real values and I told him it all depended on him and what he believes in!

Today I don't know .. What should I have told this student? And what should I tell the other one now?
I know it's a matter of time before the people at Berlitz get an idea about this "first but not last" article and I have no idea how they will react - but it's not that hard to imagine- but frankly, I don't care

Update Sunday 28/12/2008:
I got in touch with the Berlitz Egypt administration from which I was told that what I think to be violation is nothing but me not understanding some technical details.
For example, the results the students got are not based on the exams but on the students performance and this - according to them - is proved by documents, and that the examination sheets I have, actually have nothing to do with the results.
On the other hand, the fact that I have the exams is against all rules and it can be considered against the law!!!