Ana Mabsoota!

6 October, 2009

(the title is Arabic for “I am happy.”  This is in the feminine form. If you are a male, you would say “ana mabsoot.”)

Tonight a bunch of us from the program decided to go to the FIFA Youth World Cup tournament game between Hungary and the Czech Republic. My first football game ever! I definitely enjoyed it. Probably not as much as I would have had Egypt played, but us impartial spectators found ways to find joy out of cheering and jeering at both teams throughout the match. During the planning stages of tonight’s adventure, people were discussing which team we should support and to my knowledge we decided to ‘support’ the Czech team as Britte (pronounced Bri-ta) was wearing red and blue (Hungarian colors are red, white and green, resulting in a team of boys resembling Christmas elves). When we got to the stadium, however, we were seated in the Hungarian section of the crowd… so we more or less went along with the program and cheered when they cheered, yelled  a lot and shook our fists at the lack of hustle we saw from some of the players. Kenny live blogged throughout the game so I won’t pester you with too many details, but here are a few of my own observations from tonight:

  1. When the Hungarian fans were cheering, they would yell “Ria, Ria, Hungaria,” but sometimes it sounded like they were yelling “Kill, Kill Hungaria!”
  2. There were signs embedded with the adverts that said “My Game is Fair Play” and “Say No to Racism”. The infamous photograph of the Spanish Olympic soccer team was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the latter.
  3. There was a sizable portrait of Papa Mubarak looking over the field.
  4. Watching the game made me miss playing kickball in Brooklyn.
  5. If you were wondering, Hungary won the game during overtime. Hurrah!

For the past few days in school, we’ve been going over the various steps in creating a curriculum for an ESL class. The coursework is definitely silly at times but my classmates are great, the teachers are engaging and sometimes I feel like I’m more or less just hanging out than really learning anything. This being said, I’ve come to have a better grasp of how to organize a class, conjugate verbs till I bleed out of my ears and make up dialogues and activities for students to keep themselves busy, use their creativity and learn a thing or two. Tomorrow I have my first interaction with a student, a one on one assessment session with an adult English learner. I’ve been warned that all of the adult learners are fairly advanced and so I’m not quite sure what it will be like, but I’m sure it will definitely be memorable. I essentially have to hang out with the Egyptian ESL student for an hour and come up with a personal profile and a linguistic profile as if I were going to base my curriculum on this assessment. Should be fun!

More soon my lovelies!

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