Nose to the GrindstoneSunday, May 14, 2006
I took Saturday off from class as Saturday is our “conversation” day and since I had talked with Ghaleb for about eight hours the day before, I didn’t feel too bad about skipping class and getting back one of the days from my weekend.
Our Friday together must have left a good (bad?) impression on Ghaleb as he came to class today with a photocopy of Al-Thowra (a Yemeni newspaper) for me to read. The first article was a kick in the noots but the second wasn’t so bad. Long story short, I ended up with about thirty new vocabulary words to memorize tonight.
Previously Ghaleb had only had me translating individual sentences/paragraphs from his Media Arabic book which tends to build upon vocabulary introduced earlier in the book, making it infinitely easier than an article picked at random from the newspaper.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Ghaleb’s Super High Intensity Training continued today as he brought in a video recording from Al-Arabiya for me to watch. We started viewing the video but only after I got him to admit that the Arab newscasters speak faster than normal.
Much like the previous day I had the most difficulty with the first story which dealt with the investigation into Syria’s involvement (or non-involvement) with the death of a prominent Lebanese political figure. I forget his name but he was quite popular in Lebanon and I remember watching riots on the news after his death as the Lebanese were accusing Syria of having a hand in his death.
The second news story was much less difficult, probably due to what I remember from studying Arabic at DLI(?), as it dealt with the shooting down of an American helicopter.
The third and final news story was about the British Minister of Foreign Affairs praising Saudi Arabia for their recent success in the war on terror. This ended up being, to my relief, only slightly more difficult than the second story had been. Still, I once again ended up with about thirty more words to memorize this evening.
Ghaleb has decided that one day out of the week will be devoted to newspaper articles, one day for watching TV news broadcasts, one day for translating from the Media Arabic book, one day for working from the Al-Kitaab series, and one day for free discussion. Giddy-up!