One of the things I learnt about gap years, from being on one, is that they are absolutely misunderstood by the general public. Halfway through the program, people back home expect that I’m having the time of my life, and that I have everything figured out. That four months in a foreign country have allowed … Continue reading At Last, my “Gap Year Epiphany”
“American… hmmm, but where are you really from?” It’s a question I hear multiple times each day, and at this point, I’ve made it into a game, because as a brown girl, saying "American" is never a satisfactory response. “Guess,” I respond, “What do you think?”. Occasionally, people are spot on, greeting me with “Namaste” … Continue reading Identity, Nationality, and Community, Here in Morocco
Sometimes, when I sit in Arabic class, I feel like an imposter. I’m the literal definition of “fake it till you make it,” or so it seems. Those are the rough times. The days when my teacher expresses her surprise because there’s a basic grammar concept that I don’t know, or I mess up for … Continue reading My Relationship with Arabic: It’s Complicated…
I stare at the homework assignment. Only 50% of the questions make some sense. I attempt the ones that I understand, and circle the rest, because there’s not much I can do just by looking at the sheet of paper. The feeling is so familiar, yet so unfamiliar at the same time. I’m used to … Continue reading Struggling, Learning: A reflection on the past month of Arabic classes
[VIDEO BELOW] Before I begin, I must say that filming this video took some courage because, in case you haven't heard this from me at at least 100 times before, Arabic is hard! And as I've realized, learning three dialects/registers of Arabic is even harder. For a quick timeline of my Arabic studies, I focused … Continue reading Video: Attempting to Speak in Three “Arabics”
[VIDEO BELOW] A few weeks ago, when I filmed my last Shaami video for a while, I committed to a project of recording monthly Arabic videos to gauge my progress. And so this weekend, I took the plunge and filmed a video to practice speaking in Modern Standard Arabic, or "fus7a," as it's called in … Continue reading My first video in Modern Standard Arabic!
Arabic is one of the hardest languages in the world. It doesn’t hit me every time I sit down to study. Rather, it comes at random times. The times when I realize how great the discrepancy between 3ammiye and fus7a is. The times when I listen to a Moroccan song and notice that I can … Continue reading Arabic: the Thrill and the Struggle
It’s been just over a month since I graduated from high school. In other words, temporarily liberated from the education system, I’ve spent the past month free of the compulsion to learn. I’m no longer responsible for challenging myself, absorbing new content, and proving that I know things based on a set of standards. Yet, … Continue reading Self-Exploration, Self-Education
Before I start, I'll be honest, I haven't been consistent with this blog in the past few months. My last two posts were more announcements than actual blogposts, and I neglected writing for quite a while. Do I have an excuse? Depends on how you look at it. In April and May, I was making … Continue reading Arabic Video: New Steps in My Language Learning Journey
It’s second semester of senior year, and probably the most defining feature of this school year has been APPLICATIONS. Tons and tons of applications. From long personal essays, to short supplements, to interviews, and creative pieces, each application has taken reflection, deep thought, and constant attention to detail. However, when I was invited to apply … Continue reading Getting Creative with Scholarship Apps — Or should I say “Raps”?