Working Man

In a rather hilarious development, my class here at Al Quds was canceled yesterday due to lack of enrollment. Apparently, the enrollment minimum for summer classes here is 20. Since my class has only 14 enrolled (of whom only four students have regularly attended), it was canceled. (This comes after a strike shut down classes on the first day.)

I don’t know whether I was thrilled or dismayed to learn of the cancellation, but I ended up going from office to office with my friend and translator Hadi Abu Hilweh to see if an exception could be granted in my case. On the one hand, the prospect of a whole summer without academic responsibilities was an attractive one, to put it mildly. On the other hand, it seemed a little absurd to have traveled 10,000 miles to teach a class and not teach it. And then, I kind of needed to get paid, so that I could cover the costs of my airfare here. We finally ended up at Academic Affairs, and after some skillful negotiation (on Hadi’s part), got the class re-instated. Definitely a first in my career–begging to teach a class that’s been canceled.

Meanwhile, back at Felician, my Dean and Associate Dean sent me an email informing me that out of “desperation,” they’ve been forced to ask me to involuntarily consent to take on an overload course this fall, pushing my courseload (as per usual) from 4 to 5. Necessity is the mother of invention; desperation is the father of overload.

“Got no time for living, man/I’m working all the time…” A bit of a stretch, I realize, as the following statistics may suggest:

Iftars attended so far on this trip : 5

Varieties of pastry consumed: 7

Out of town trips taken: 5

Photos taken: 88

Books read: 4

Miles walked for touristic purposes (including miles walked while lost): 12

Miles walked while lost en route to an iftar in Ramallah this past Friday: 6

Days spent not teaching: 14

Days spent in transit to get here: 2

Classes taught: 2

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