Thursday, 4 May 2006

Je suis trés fatigué…

In other words: I’m very tired. This week has been a blur of rehearsals, meetings, and the all-time consuming production of Dimensions. Our editor-in-chief resigned and guess who ended up taking on her work? Yours truly. It’s funny because I’m planning on running for the position next semester since as a gradating senior I don’t really have a lot of difficult courses to take, but the sheer amount of work it takes is truly staggering. Calling up editors to get the articles, dealing with the print shop, production and layout of the newspaper, organizing distribution, and dealing with members who don’t show up doesn’t even begin to cover how much work we have to do. It’s hard, but in a good way. At least I’m still thinking of running next semester .

Only 21 days to go until semester is over, but seriously they are the most hectic three weeks in the entire semester. I’ll just give you a brief snapshot of how much we have going on just next week. For one, starting next Sunday is the much-anticipated election week for next year’s Student Union President, and campus is soon to be littered with flyers and campaigners following you around asking you “Did you vote? Did you vote? Did you vote?” It can be a nuisance sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) but it’s still amazing how people get so fired up about campaigning and how hard they work at it.

Next week is also the opening of the play I’m in. It’s a play “based on true stories from women in our community,” and is kind of a mini-version of the Vagina Monologues (albeit a bit tamer). It’s hosted by the Bussy club, which literally means “Look,” (I know, the name stumps me too) and aims at improving the condition of women in Egypt. It also wants to raise awareness about issues which are serious, real and ignored in our society. What I like about this play is the fact that it’s adressing issues that happen in Egypt and people like to pretend don’t exisit. It’s the old “see no evil” thing. So hopefully people will show up and it’ll help create awareness on campus. Now if only I can get my lines learnt!

Registration is also starting next week, and FINALLY I get to register first, since at AUC we register according to our class—so graduating seniors go first, then seniors and so on. Our registration system is one of the big big problems all students face. It’s great that it’s online system now, but it’s horrible how every semester I wake up at 6 am to register and I still encounter the same problems:

1) So many people are trying to log on so the page won’t load.
2) The system keeps telling you “The session for your log in has expired” when you try to click on hyperlinks.
3) You finally get to the course you want and it’s either:
b. Scheduled at the same time as another course you MUST take
c. Cancelled. With a professor that everyone says is horrible

So we have to wait until drop and add period in the next semester, sitting next to our computers all day long with the requisite cup of coffee refreshing the screen every 10 seconds or so, just on the off chance that someone may decide to drop a course you need. So yeah, one of the not so pleasant aspects at AUC.

Next week we also have Employment fair—which is a big event hosted by the CAPS office and is attended by a lot of companies from all over Egypt. It’s a good opportunity to find out what jobs are out there and which fields have the most demand. There’s also a book fair (yay!) which I’m really looking forward to because I love books. Diwan (really amazing bookstore/café in Mohandessin) is actually one of my favorite places to go—I’ve had so many loyalty cards I’ve lost count. And the AUC bookstore cashiers know me by name So I’ll admit I’ve always been a bookworm (trés uncool I know) and I usually spend a lot of my money on books. But they’re actually pretty expensive compared to prices abroad, so I buy a lot of books from Amazon, only I still end up paying shipping costs so it’s still expensive, but not as much as here. In fact, I just received a shipment yesterday and spent a couple of hours reading “Jihad vs. McWorld” rather than studying. *sheepish smile*

That reminds me; I’m thinking of applying for a course called “American and Arab Identities in tension” which takes place in Cyprus during the summer. But I need to find out more about it asap because it could conflict with my internship timings. It’s actually a political science course which I don’t need for my major, but it’s a great opportunity and I know people who went last year and really enjoyed it. In any case, it’ll get counted as an elective so no worries…

And all that of course is just on top of project meetings, papers, presentations, a visit to a service factory for a course, an exam I’m taking in order to apply for an internship at Procter and Gamble during the summer and all the usual classes and lectures. Plus all the routine errands like buying ink for my printer and going to take pictures of the gym we’re doing a project on in a marketing course. They may sound mundane, but they actually need a lot of time because Egypt is so crowded it takes ages to get anywhere.

Today is the Closing Ceremony for the Help Club—and it’s one of the biggest events on campus all year. It’s one of the main ways we collect donations for our activities; last year we collected almost quarter of a million Egyptian pounds. So it’s pretty exciting and always a lot of fun. So I better go see what needs to be done and if anyone needs any help.

Until next time!
All the best, and Salam Alaykym (Peace by Upon you),

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