Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quick Up Date

Athletics, Debating and Theatre... Doha Update
Since our last adventure in Turkey Joy and I have been enjoying life back in Doha.

Joy has been organising the End of Contract Dinner Show entitled "This is Cognition. Mr. John" and I 've been involved in the many projects the advisory role brings with it.

We did get to see the final night of the World Indoor Athletics Championships early in March. We managed to get there in time to see Valerie Vili receive her silver medal for the shot put and then to watch incredibly tall jumpers leap to record lengths and heights while other purpose trained athletes sprinted and hurdled the track at great speed.

Work seems to have consumed a great deal of time this month. I began pushing debating as a means of improving the students' language skills last semester and have succeeded in getting the Arabic Department to get involved with the Qatar Debate promotion of debating in Arabic.
The boys were selected to debate against a team of girls at the Doha Conference on Human Trafficking in front of the delegates and media. Much to the delight of the Department Head and our Principal the boys won the debate.

There is now rumours that the Personal Assistant Secretary to Sheika Mousa may be visiting our school to congratulate the boys and the teachers on their involvement. Needless to say we're all excited to see if the rumour becomes true.

This week we succeeded in running a three grade debate competition against Abu Bakr Aseedq Boys school. Grades 10, 11 and 12 debated That all students in Qatar should do an hours physical activity every day after school, That Women with school age children should not be allowed to work and That technology has made us lazy.

We were fortunate in that Qatar Debate provided us with adjudicators from their visiting trainers from the UK University Debating team so the boys were given the added fillup to their delivery.

The result: Ahmed Bin Hanbal won two debates and lost one which restored the balance after our first one level only debate loss.

On Wednesday I was at a workshop on Library resourcing at the W Hotel when the word went around that there was an enormous man in the foyer. At this everyone rushed to the entrance to see. Sure enough, there was a big man... the world's tallest man at over 7 feet. He was in town for a promotion associated with a local company but before he could leave the hotel he was mobbed by guests and school librarians alike.

Tonight Joy and I have been invited to the wedding of Faisal Al Shawi and his fiancee, Al-Anoud at the Sheraton. Faisal's father, Mohammed, is a teacher at Ahmed Bin Hanbal who has been very welcoming to Joy and me since we began the contract this academic year. The wedding will be a blog in itself.

This week we begin rehearsals for "This is Cognition, Mr. John" and Joy begins running her Water Colour painting classes for the Cognition teams so the final three months of this contract will be very full.

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