After years of threatening to do so I'm actually going to lead a student travel course trip this spring. I've had students and colleagues, both here and on the other side of the planet, repeatedly encourage/dragoon/beg me to take advantage of my experiences and connections to lead a student group overseas. For any number of reasons I've always begged off, but this year I've changed my mind. My dear friend and stand-in little sister Cyndi Brandenburg are taking nine students to Jordan over spring break in March. Initially I was considering a study abroad trip to India, but my excellent friend and student Mahmoud Jabari dashed the idea. Mahmoud and I meet for coffee every month and solve the problems of the Middle East. When I proposed the India trip he essentially said - and I'm not paraphrasing much - "no, you're going to Jordan, because you do love Jordan and the students will love Jordan." (spoken like a true Palestinian, I might add) Who am I to disagree? I'm embedding the trip in a couple sections of my Heroines & Heroes course, and I always have the students read a short retelling of the Ramayana, so the India trip made perfect sense. Instead, Mahmoud proposed that I should build it around Lawrence of Arabia, both the reality and the legend. It is a great idea, and so I took his suggestion. I haven't turned my back on an India trip, although Jordan is certainly much easier to throw together in a hurry as compared to an Indian excursion, which would take much more planning. So, get prepared - Jordan will be dominating the blog again very soon.
A Work in Progress: The Two-Year List
2 weeks ago