Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

MA field trip

Yesterday I spent the morning at Sharjah Police Headquarters with a few of my new police officer BFFs. That's because I'm taking a course called Curriculum Design. Basically, this course consists of me designing an English class from scratch (topic, syllabus, materials, everything) for a particular audience. I've chosen to design a course called Law Enforcement English for Women. I figured since I spent all that time familiarizing myself with the Sharjah Police Academy over the summer, I might as well extend it into designing a course that could be taught there. I decided to design it for women specifically since they are separated from the men in the Academy anyway and their program is a different length.

It's been a lot of fun (and work) designing this course. The highlight was my visit to Sharjah Police Headquarters. After being bounced around from department to department, I finally got the message through that I wanted to speak to a female police officer. They brought me to a female, but she was a receptionist, not a police officer. Also, it's possible that they were under the impression that I was trying to apply to be a police officer. AWKWARD.

Anyway, I finally got sent to the office of the right person and I got to ask her all my structured interview and task analysis questions. Maybe when I'm done designing the course (in January) I'll tell you more about it. For now, I'm mostly excited that I got to ask her a question that's been on my mind for years: do all policewomen just happen to wear the hijab, or is it compulsory? Turns out: it's compulsory. Isn't that fascinating? If you are a woman who wants to be a police officer and you do not currently wear the veil, you a) do not become a policewoman; b) take on the veil for the purposes of becoming a policewoman; or c) submit to wearing the veil only as part of the police uniform.

Here is my new BFF.

I posted this picture on fb and I got a few comments asking how effective a long, skirted uniform was in police work. Good question! First of all, this particular officer has a "desk job," so to speak, so it's not really an issue. But second of all, it kind of is an issue because even non-desk-job policewomen dress like this. I think you can get a lot done in a skirt if you set your mind to it. Pioneer women got a lot done while wearing dresses, didn't they? Plus, women in conservative Muslim societies have grown up wearing long skirts their whole lives, and they're probably used to them. What are your thoughts? (Jeremy doesn't think hijab-as-a-uniform is particularly singular. I think that means he's lived here too long.)

Eid Mubarak

Fun with grammar