Well, another reason I've been a little slow on the updates: work. I've realized that in the past 3 weeks, I haven't said a peep about it -- even though it's the reason I'm here, right? Here's a week-by-week run-down on what I've been doing.
Week 1 & 2--Training from my main employer.
We listened to lectures about the business of life: housing, visas, health insurance, car rental, banking, etc. We were also privy to learn about Gulf customs & culture from local celebrity, Ali Alsaloom; see slide shows about the new hi-tech, eco-friendly Abu Dhabi suburb, Masdar city; and enjoy countless hours on riveting subjects such as educational history in the UAE(aka school reform in the past), school reform in the present (which is literally being changed each day!), and school initiatives to come (aka school reform in the more distant future, meaning 5 years instead of 5 days).
By now, I've probably passed Abu Dhabi Educational Acronyms 511 (which is really a conglomerate of educational mumbo-jumbo from all around the world) and should get some credits for it. Get ready for the update from week 3--it's a little more acronym heavy.
Additionally, I have been a bit frightened into conservatively towing the line for my employer and am rather paranoid about making cultural and academic mistakes. My sessions in the "break out groups" and straightforward words of warning from my employers have convinced me to keep my nose uber clean. From what I've been gathering, it's a bit of a high stakes teaching environment. [Hint: There are no acronyms for job security -- this is due to the fact that job security doesn't really exist. If it did, I'm sure they would come up with an acronym for it!]
I'm sure you know this acronym: TGIF! (Here, the weekend starts on Thursday--I guess I should say TGIT instead.)