THE GAME OF LIFE shares its birth year with Bubble Wrap, the first Xerox office copier, the aluminum can, and the advent of the birth control pill in the United States.
Don't you hate when no one will process with you?
I have so many ideas in my head that I can't sleep. Yes, it's after 2:00 in the morning. Surprisingly all of Egypt is in bed (and it's Thursday so they're all making love) and I'm knocking my head against the wall.
Last night I couldn't get to sleep either. I was thinking about Malaysia. After a month of hearing NOTHING about a dream job, I got the email that I was going to be interviewed. WOW! It was like angels with harps appeared out of nowhere to serenade this sudden turn of events.
Yet, I had to keep going with my plan which was visiting one of the upper echelon schools of Egypt. I was going to be tricky. I wasn't calling to ask for an interview as an out-of-work teacher. Noooooo! I was going as the mother of a child...oh...and by the way I'm a teacher.
We toured the school. It was a total shock. For starters, our guides were extremely well-mannered and well-spoken young youth leaders at the school. Seriously? How many schools (in Egypt no less) would trust prospective parents to a 7th grade girl and a 9th grade boy?
It was clean. It was quiet. No one was shouting at kids. It was beautifully decorated. The classrooms had Interactive Boards and air conditioning. There was a small prayer room for the girls and the boys were out on the field doing their prayers.
yes, of course there's a downside!
They were celebrating Halloween. There was going to be a dance mixer. It would be like this if I once again made my way into maintream education. On the other hand, I have only walked away from two schools ever and they were both Islamic! What is up with Islamic schools?
Let's talk price. Alhumdulillah I was totally oblivious to the spiel from the receptionist. I just smiled and nodded. Yes. Yes.
Totally reasonable. I walked over to the waiting area with my boy and whispered to my husband, "Six thousand is good."
"No," he countered, "It's six thousand DOLLARS."
Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Gotta get those glasses! I opened up the heavy triptych of a promotional booklet. Where was that brochure? The History Brochure. The Pathway to University Brochure. Ahhh yes! The Admission Brochure.
Yep. Upon opening it I could squint just enough to make out tiny little dollar signs.
Ya. No. Can't afford the place.
Then my brain started working in overdrive. If I were to get hired and got a half-price tuition and then got some money from his dad in America and then...
Of course, I reasoned...I didn't need to think too hard about it because I had that interview about Malaysia at 2:00 (and that would be pm not am).
We continued the tour. I saw the cafeteria which offers a daily hot meal for 14.00 which I can only assume now was pounds but maybe I better double check to make sure. It would be double what I'd normally feel comfortable spending. I know the cost of chicken pane and it ain't that much.
As we went on, I really would try to write off the whole idea but would find compelling reasons to keep some hope alive. The library was one of those wonderful moments. I have never seen such a beautiful school library in Egypt. It was light, bright, and well organized. I mean...the picture books were organized by level. BY LEVEL! Children are actually tested and they can come
I think I might cry
they can come TO THE LIBRARY
and they can
CHECK OUT A BOOK
and it's going to be
ON THEIR LEVEL
wait....I'm not finished
after they are done with the book
and I mean they get to TAKE IT HOME
they get to bring it back and get a computerized test on it for reading comprehension.
Isn't that beautiful???
Is there any other book lover out there who wants to spend $6,000 to have that experience for their child?
If you don't live in Egypt, maybe you don't understand the significant of that vision I had of Mr.Boo enjoying an actual lending library. See...there are no lending libraries in Egypt. Yes, I know that Alexandria is famous for its ancient library but basically that was IT for Egypt. Not even school libraries seem to lend their books out.
I would love to start a library for the village community where I live. I loved libraries as a girl...as a student...as a woman and as a mom. Oh whatever! Truth be told I adore libraries. I thought of becoming a librarian (but you have to stay quiet and I can't). I love bookstores too but you have to spend money there and I love FREE more than I love spending money.
What I didn't love is the regimented nature of the place. Sure, Stepford kids are fun for a while but you want them to spring a leak or pop a wire in order to revert to a child with some personality. Mr. Boo is personality plus and I'd hate to have a school erase that in his character.
One way they do that at the school is to test the hell out of them. TEST! TEST! All the time there's some formalized fill-in-the-blank going on. I hate tests. HATE TESTS. Why would I want my son to go through that more than is necessary? Why would I want to be an educator who teaches to tests? There's so much more to life than regurgitation.
Another thing I didn't like is the 10th grade conundrum. When these young impressionable minds hit the 9th grade then they have to get ready for the rest of their career life. The school starts specializing the students in the 10th grade so by the end of 9th grade you must sign up. You MUST choose literary track or scientific track. Bada BING! Bada BOOM! I don't like that the exploration is done. You are soooo unformed as a teenager. Why program the rest of your life when you are a big baby?
It was time to go. We got another taxi back. Almost a 100 LE to see the school. YIKES! No job yet I'm spending money like I have money. I had to make it back for that interview. Even though my hub wanted to talk about what we had just seen
...and I'll tell you that he was HIGHLY impressed...
I couldn't think of anything except how to get onto Skype as fast as I could. I was almost getting a headache by charting my course of actions. So, we made it home and I did my best only to find...
(there's a lot of ellipses in this post)
the recruiter for Malaysia had sent me an email turning me down. There was not going to be a Skype interview. I was out of the running. I had told him the truth: my American driver's license had expired. They needed someone starting rright away to drive all over hell and back supervising Malaysian teacher's methods in the classroom. It had to be with a valid license so I was no longer a candidate. It had been a dream job and it had POOFED away from me.
Almost cried! Didn't. The azan sounded just then and it pulled me out of the dumpster.
I still don't have a job. My son still doesn't have a school. It's November. It's taking waaaaaaaay longer than I ever thought. I've been let down about eight times in this process. Alhumdulillah. I'm still saying, "Alhumdulillah."
So, the moral of this story is...keep loving, keep creating moments, keep believing, and keep hoping that Allah's plan for you will be easier than the plan you keep trying to force into existence. Inshahallah I'll be able to see the truth for what it is soon enough. Ya Rab!