The Home Stretch!
As I enter week 8 of my spring term on campus, I'm looking forward to many adventures in the next year; an Arabic LSA+ in Morocco during the summer, an exciting research project in Israel in the winter, and a stimulating internship in Kuwait next spring. The best part about Dartmouth is the accessibility to these programs and opportunities, as faculty are willing to actively support every student's particular array of interests. However, before entering this stage of my international experience, I have to finish up my spring term here on campus! In this post, I'll share a bit about what my schedule looks like when crunch time and finals are on the horizon.
Arabic 3 is the sort of class that remains consistent in workload throughout the term, which is a refreshing thing. While work in other classes may fluctuate around midterm and finals season, I generally know what to expect from the workload in my Arabic class; about 30 minutes - 1 hour of homework per night is standard for the term, which is definitely manageable. Furthermore, the department here is excellent, and I'm amazed at how I've been able to achieve basic conversational/written understanding in such a difficult language, coming from no knowledge of the language at all. As finals approach, the course will have a standard final that will be about 1.5 hours in length, and a video project where I will show the Arabic skills I've acquired over the course of the term in a creative way. I'm excited to begin this project and obtain a marker related to my Arabic progression during the spring.
Arab Political Thought is definitely getting busy; however, this is probably the most rewarding class I've taken at Dartmouth so far. While the readings are lengthy, they are fascinating and relevant to the course. Looking towards the end of the term, I have two large papers to work on; one will be a final paper which I'll have a week to complete about some topic in the course. The other paper is one that I'm working on right now, and it is about the liberal thinker Taha Hussein. He was a 20th century blind progressive from Egypt, and his ideas served to develop the ideas of other thinkers. He was a controversial figure accused of being a Westernizer, a serious claim in the post-colonial Arab world. Overall, I'm really enjoying writing the paper; I've been able to borrow multiple books from the massive Dartmouth library to assist my research.
In my first-year seminar on History of the Arabic Language, I am in the process of working on my final paper about the linguistic landscape of Jordan. In this paper, I am exploring the relationship between English and Arabic in Jordanian street signs, graffiti, business signs, etc. The studies I am reading are fascinating, and the content of the paper is very relevant to my future research in Israel, where I'll be studying street art!
Overall, I feel a good balance between having lots of work to do and having time to relax in the beautiful spring weather of the upper valley. I'm excited for the future, and ready to finish the spring term strong!