Friday, January 15, 2010

the washing machine, the roof, and somewhat at sea

Warm and sunny makes all the difference in my mood.

It's been an awkward return. I, once again, feel like I am the introvert at the party among the folks I see. It's so hard to talk. Need to call some of the people I know and meet for coffee or an evening meal. Today I did meet Lisa for brunch and we're going to see Invictus at red shift later this afternoon.

So this week:

Sunday I just felt socially inept. period. I was back at HEED and felt like I'm a remedial language learner (and socially, too, as well...six months in the country and I'm back at step one. meet new people since the ones I met in August are now gone...). Walked to the PTA meeting and met a few more new folks, but started to feel as though I'm here very temporarily and the end is clearly in sight. One of the people talked about vegetable gardens on the roof, but that's really only for people planning ahead over the next few seasons. I realized that the cooking lessons they were talking about were for their cooks (to learn things like lasagna). I'd like to find lessons in how to go to market and cook what's here.

Took a rickshaw to work, but he went in such a round-about manner that I could have gotten there faster walking. Finally, worked on syllabi, felt quite lump-like as everyone else was swept up into the chaos of advising -- loud, lots of people, lots of running about -- and then suddenly all of my colleagues were gone. I think they went to lunch and probably thought I had a ride at 4pm (since the next day they asked me, maybe as an afterthought?). anyway. I just took my stuff and started walking home.

Was that the day I went to the American club? It's all sort of blending together in my mind. I think it was. Met up with Alex and met his wife, Bridget, and their new baby. Met Rebecca and Andrew. When I poke my head in, I usually see people I know.

Monday I think I worked with Sabreena a bit -- she's going to be the TA for my class of 7 people in research methodology. Tuesday I went out to Savar (wrote about that already). Wednesday - think I should have stayed home sick, but wanted to get to the Bangla class since I missed it Tuesday.

At work it seems like I'm changing about 75% of the class materials, so while I'm teaching the same two classes, they have very different lesson plans. Of course, having some of the same people repeat the class encourages me to think about presenting the material in a different manner (they didn't get it the first time) and maybe I can choose more accessible materials. I did get my evals and they were fine. In the research class they were even excellent.

Thursday was the end of advising and the result was that one of my colleagues didn't have enough students in her class. So she was going to have to teach mine. This was quite a shock. She was no happier than I was. Apparently I prefer to teach more than to be relieved of a class (!), but I think it also seemed to come at a moment that I was feeling particularly far from home and kind of questioning whether all this upheaval is actually contributing something. In any case, her class made -- with 5 students -- by the deadline on Thursday afternoon and she and I were both pleased. The dept head texted me later that she was glad it worked out; she's happy that the students are getting me for a teacher as much as possible.

So that's this week. Except Thursday evening when both of us were home by 7pm and retired to our rooms with books and computers and seemed like the most anti-social or unsocial beings around. Wish I was modeling "friend-making" better for Matan. It's definitely not one of my strong points. I'm pretty good in the long term (so I don't feel sorry for myself), but in light of this characteristic, I kind of wonder if short term opportunities like this might not be better utilized by more outgoing folks.

And now, for something completely different: a washing machine! YEA! and our roof-top drying space. Along with views of Dhaka from the roof. Yes -- buildings in every direction. But, lots of green poking up between the buildings on every possible piece of land. So today is sunny and warm and one load of laundry is dry already, and another hung. Unlike one of the days this week when Matan's gym clothes took 3 days to dry (he has a spare set, usually that's enough)!


  1. Welcome back to the workaday world once again!

  2. Is invictus a movie?? And where was it shown?? "Red Shift"? I saw Bucket List, Chocolat and Benjamin Buttons- Thanks to Lily....have been sharing them around.
    What sort of Natural Disaster hit Bangladesh and in what year?? I worry about you and Matan when I see all the Haiti troubles.

  3. HAven't heard you mention the little ants lately. did you solve that annoyance? Miss you, Angela