I’m translating terms for tomorrow’s workshop. My sister told me to use Google translator. I never thought there will be a day that i’ll be using a translator to translate English words into my “own language”.
The SEC runs almost everything school related in Qatar. They’re supposed to be running series of tests on students to help bring up education systems in the country. It started around the same time I finished high school, so I didn’t really get a chance to meet the…
You cannot possibly believe that such an education is getting better. You see we’re both aware of the fact that rigor isn’t necessarily a component in their work, but there is inconsistency that you probably can never see, unless you’ve experienced it. We take our own exams in our school, and we’re basically accounted for them (except for the twelve graders who’ve suffered from external and internal assessments from the very beginning), until last year when they involved the once general and national assessments that were made for mere evaluation. It went fine somehow, because they never explain their grading methods or anything within the process: transparency at its worse. However, this year, you have a number of about 200 students, some are accomplished and some aren’t, and not one of them exceeded the 3.5 Grade Point Average. Of course that’s with the SEC (Supreme Education Council) exams included, without them, you’d have tens and tens of those within the 4.0 average even. I am supposedly, the second of my school year, and if that should give me more validation to speak, then why not. But the problem is not just with the spending, it’s with the quality of the work. WE ARE NOT LAB RATS.
Odds are, I wouldn’t get into any of my dream schools with what I have now, and within some degree, I am in complete satisfaction with the matter, but I hate the fact that this is what we’ve come to, a generation thrown to the dumpster, because then, it is possible to muster up a list of percentages, for what? I don’t know. And I don’t think they know either.
The propaganda here, is that you’re not only unready for such tests, but you’re not even told to be ready, or even prepared to be ready. Our ‘internal’ assessments create an almost completely different approach to the content of the curriculum, when compared to the ‘external’ assessments. It’s because the school is in great distance from the council. If you want development, for a country as small as this one, you need to be in shorter distances between your nose and the student’s desk.
No one’s solving any problems, they’re just putting new things on the table, and making it worse. You know, sometimes I even think they have no idea what their job is supposed to be.
I had the most logical need to shift schools last year, to an international school, where I’d be taking the International Baccalaureate, but I ended up choosing not to at the very end. I chose to have the Qatari experience, you know. I knew that I’d be getting lots out of that mouthwatering challenge of an education, but I didn’t think I was supposed to go there. I had many phases in which I became superbly satisfied, and I still am. It’s just that I admire the intensity of the difficulties I face here, even though I suffer, and cry even, but I know that there is something to fight against, and fight for. When I want to reach the end, I want to reflect on the complete package of the Qatari experience, and I am not zipping my mouth from there, I have so many strong desires to rebuild and speak against those goons put in positions.
So I have personal goals to achieve for this particular time interval, because I know I wouldn’t sleep at night with this grade at stake. For god’s sake, I got a 98% in almost three of my four report cards, and I get this low because of their pretentious assessments. Yes, that’s all they are, pretentious douchebags.
Nevertheless, I feel so much better after writing this.
Mayed, don’t say that. Don’t ever give up. These things are only supposed to make us stronger. And i won’t stand still and make them play that sick game. I promise you i won’t. Remember we are all born free and no one can take your freedom away nor take your right to have the education you work hard to obtain.
Yes, you should feel better. Plus i’m ordering you hot tshirts this very moment. <3
The SEC runs almost everything school related in Qatar. They’re supposed to be running series of tests on students to help bring up education systems in the country. It started around the same time I finished high school, so I didn’t really get a chance to meet the questionable breadth of its applications.
When 11 graders finish their final exams, they get 4-5 days to study for their “other” final exam, The Supreme Education Council Examination. Which doesn’t only include the current semester’s textbooks, but also the first semester. Two books. They used to have a similar system when my dad was a kid. Why is it being brought back?
The education in my country is disgusting. There’s only black or white, you’re either this or that, you’re either in an international school or an independent one. It’s either that you can afford to escape the randomness, stupidity and mediocrity of the system or you can’t.
It is unacceptable when the SEC isn’t being clear and transparent with the families of those students. When a teacher tells his students that these “other” tests are meant to be means of identifying Geniuses, it is outrages!
There needs to be a better way. They cannot simply ruin the lives of these students for the sake of unknown tests and studies. Students are humans, and they are not disposable.
We are half way there; 5 more days and we’ll be done. I am just glad it’s finally the weekend so I can relax a little. Babysitting Shosho from 5PM till 11PM wasn’t on my agenda, but it’s ok; I’ll try to avoid it next time. :wink:
The workshop was mostly fun today. I introduced them to mind-mapping and collaging. For the first time they actually asked for more time! Then I gave them tracing paper and took them down to the library to find some fashion magazines to try out the 9-Heads. I FAILED BIG TIME! WOW. It was like i knew nothing; I didn’t manage to show them a good way to do it. For me it’s always been practice. How am i supposed to show them how to do it in 30 minutes?..
For 5 days, I come home thinking neither university nor rota have made me feel this stressed. How do you guys do it?
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed … A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”—
The forth session wasn’t bad. I’ve learned something new, and the bored group spoke at last. They said they’re interested in Figure drawing, which I intend to introduce next week.
Some students told me that they enjoyed the Texture exercise the most because they got to wonder around and interact with objects they didn’t want to go back to the studio. I thought that was nice, and I agreed with them.
Tomorrow’s the last day of the week. I’m planning to introduce them to mind-mapping for concepts. Then we’ll do some collages based on those concepts.
It’s been one long day. I am too exhausted to finish my drawing before bed. I can’t wait to have Chai Latte in the morning, YUM!
I did not manage to do the Texture exercises that were planned for today. It was too overwhelming to have 18 students attending, and more than half of which did not attend the first two sessions, which resulted into me repeating the exercises from yesterday’s session. Almost 7 students ended up being bored for they have completely finished the exercise in 30 minutes. That was bad, totally unexpected. I did not know how to deal with it differently. My attempt at explaining colors for the second time was even worse than the first time, which was funny. Haha!
I have gotten feedback from a few good students on what they would like to explore more if possible and I plan on giving it a go this Thursday or next week.
I don’t think i’ll be asking to run any other workshops for a looong time after this one. Yes, it’s my first but I’m already burnt. Too much thinking, too much responsibility.
Mayed tells me it’s alright, i’ll always come up with something to make it work. Law says i’ll get used it, it’ll get easier. Nobody tells me it’s gonna get BETTER.
I am being a baby, but the truth is: I’m enjoying it. It’s a new experience, and i am learning a lot from my mistakes.
The second day of the workshop went very well. Yesterday, I stayed up till 1am preparing the materials needed for the session, mostly templates, for each phase of the project. I was extremely worried I’d fail, I even thought I’d stop going, and simply quit from the start. It was a strange feeling. Eventually, I tried not to think about what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.
At first, only 6-7 students arrived. I didn’t expect more so I proceeded with the first exercise. Around 15 minutes later, 10 more students showed up. I was perplexed for a few moments to be honest; frightening but also exciting. We ran out of time so we decided we’d finish the last part first thing tomorrow.
Today’s main focus area was:
Forget about what you know and draw only what you see. Haha, I actually told them ” un-educating the educated mind..” Most of them did not get it, of course!
Breaking down an object into a simpler form. Which reminds me I need to go over the materials and check if it’s possible to get them better, more useful ones.
Today was the first day of the VCUQ summer workshop. I am one of the instructors giving the Skill Building session with 2 student assistants. We were expecting 20 students, only 8 showed up.
The first day is meant to be light, fun and more of an ice-breaker so I prepared a few exercises according to that. The only problem was that I also set up a minute for each student to introduce themselves saying their names and mentioning why they’re in this program. When 8 students show up and each taking 3 seconds as an introduction, I started to worry I’m going to end up with 1 hour of no exercises left to do. I did not have a Plan B!
The 2 assistants were brilliant. They helped me out, and managed to save the day.
Making sure nobody’s bored
Communicating the terms in Arabic
"Un-educating" the educated mind
My plan for tomorrow is not to expect more than 3 participants. Haha.
Every time someone complains about how hot it is a breeze of nostalgia passes through me and i smile. Summer heat, or the Doha heat as most people refer to it, always coincides with memories from my childhood. How i spent my time on my bicycle (The one I got in 5th grade) every afternoon with my brothers, friends or sometimes even alone. I remember our house, my little hiding spots, our games, conversations, fights and fears.
It reminds me of dreams i once had that are no longer there because they’re even farther than they once were. Perhaps they’re not visible at all anymore..
Knowing what i once was and had is what makes me smile right now. I do smile for being what i am and having what i have, only then was more innocent and i knew so little.