Sunday, October 30, 2011

Old Posts

For some reason I just decided to read through some of my posts from when I was in Jordan, and I just starting laughing extremely hard when I realized how broken my English was in those posts. I guess sometimes things rub off, even when English is my first language. It's not surprising though, that trying to write a blog post in English would be a challenge after a couple weeks without English.

Some examples of sentences that made me laugh because of how forced and awkward they sound:
"So here's a description of it tonight."
"For the most part we have cleaned and fixed them, but I will describe them to you as we found them."
"Oh, one more thing about the apartment itself that I like is that fact that you can go on the roof and chill"

Maybe it's not that obvious, but at least to me there are things that I can see, where I normally would never write sentences like that. It's not that they're wrong, it just sounds funny. As if I'm learning English as my second language and just finally getting the hang of it. This makes me happy.

On the other hand, having good English back in my brain makes me scared for my Arabic. I mean, I essentially immerse myself in Arabic whenever I can at home, with music and movies and television and such, but it's not the same. Yallah ya shabaab, let's go back to the Middle East! Oh wait... essays... I'll get back to that now...

Getting Somewhere

I've spent so long on these essays. I'm not sure I'll ever be really happy with them, but maybe that's because I feel like so much is resting on so few words. But hey, that's life. I'll just hope for an interview. I feel like I'm so much better at just explaining things in person than writing essays about it.

I've got my letter to my host family pretty solid, my essay about why I deserve a second trip pretty good, and I'm finally getting an essay about why I want to study specifically in the Middle East going well. I've still got an essay about three reasons I want to study abroad left though, and one about a lesson I learned outside of school. I've already written a possibility for that last one, but I'm not really all that pleased with it.

Dear Selection Committee,
You should just read my blog and see how much I want to go again, and how passionate I am about the Middle East and Arabic. Please?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Must... Finish... Essays...

I have everything outlined and such. I just need to sort out all these ideas into some solid prose now. The biggest challenge was figuring out what to put in each essay so I don't repeat myself; they're all rather similar questions. But I've got that all sorted out, so we're in the home stretch now. Hopefully this works out like last year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


You mean those essays are due November 3rd? That's really soon. I mean, really soon.

Maybe I should stop writing essays about Wadi Rum and Petra and Amman and Jabal Amman and Souk Jara and Muta3am Hashem and shai and the kanafe and everything else that I love about the Middle East and answer the state department's bland questions.

Why do you want to study abroad? Why do you like the Middle East? Why should we send you back even though you've already gone? What are three reasons you want to go?

These questions are essentially equivalent to asking, "What is love?" to me. I can't explain this in an essay!

Blah, blah, blah. I've got to figure out a way to make these essays show everything that I want to say, and have it still be 250 words or less. This here, this is hard stuff. School is nothing compared to jamming this kind of emotional attachment to a region of the world into 250 words or less. And yes, emotional attachment to a region of the world is a real thing. If you think that it's not, you're probably emotionally attached to staying right where you are.

Well, at least I know what I'll be doing tomorrow after work.