Wednesday, September 3, 2008

AUK campus...

The American University of Kuwait campus is quite beautiful. It is a little oasis in the desert and concrete jungle that is Kuwait City. Formerly a public high school, the campus was completely renovated in order to bring the university up to standards for its September 2004 opening. The design of the campus is open and airy, with a large green square enclosed by covered walkways. There are only a few buildings that are more than single-story. A Kuwaiti-style tent, known as The Hangout, offers students plasma televisions, pool tables, and PlayStation consoles as a place to interact and relax. Also available is valet parking, an American-style diner, a Starbucks and two other caf├ęs.

I met with Dr. Craig Loomis, the new head of the Humanities & Arts Division. He seems like a great guy and I finally found out what classes I will teach- a Drawing 1 class and two sections of a class that I can transform into something like my former Art Survey course- almost the same that I would have been teaching at UWM. Right after our meeting I ran off to the bank. I had an appointment today to open my account. Besides the treacherous journey there (only two blocks away but 110 degree weather, no sidewalks and no traffic signals) it was a big waste of time. Despite the fact that I had an appointment and had signed up for my account almost a week ago, they could not do anything for me. It took almost a half hour to see anyone, then they found that my account had been canceled, then the computers went down because it was Ramadan. The bank teller asked me to wait in hopes that the computers might come back online, but after another half hour they told me to just go home and come back tomorrow… by the time I walked back to the hotel it was like I had been swimming in a pool… I just took a shower and a nap… got up later to have dinner with a colleague… my stomach felt a little better so I tried some falafel… it was probably the best that I’ve ever eaten, but unfortunately, it did not stay long in my stomach… I’m back on plain rice…

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