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Thursday
Oct302008

Ancient History

I hope the old Romans
Had painful abdomens.

I hope that the Greeks
Had toothaches for weeks.

I hope that the Egyptians
Had chronic conniptions.

I hope that the Arabs
Were bitten by scarabs.

I hope that the Vandals
Had thorns in their sandals.

I hope that the Persians
Had gout in all versions.

I hope that the Medes
Were kicked by their steeds.

They started the fuss
And left it to us!

Arthur Guiterman, 1871-1943

Jerash, largest ancient Roman city outside Rome. Jordan, October 2008

 

Now why did this old poem come back to me today? Teachers, have faith. Some learning just has to have a little time to sink in...

 

Thursday
Oct302008

Some things not in Fodors

In response to my entry about Petra, Linda commented:

Okay you have the hat at Petra but where is the Indiana Jones whip and trusty horse to make a quick getaway?

My whip was confiscated by security in Minneapolis, and the only 4-legged transport was this:

No cracks about who's the bigger jackass. Oh, my donkey-boy cut my head off taking the photo. Not Photoshop.

Rules of Jordanian driving: When there are two-lanes and one car, use both lanes. When there is one lane and two cars, make two lanes. I believe this applies to most of the developing world and all the areas around Florida retirement communities.

I was surprised when my rather staid, middle-age taxi driver on hearing Celine Dion on the radio, grunted, "Yes, this is from movie Titanic. I've seen it six times." Romantics are everywhere, I guess.

The Jordanian press reported earlier this week that Osama Bin Laden's approval rating here has dropped to only 19%. I'm guessing that's still higher than George W's.

Whenever I am in another country, I try to eat at McDonalds at least once. The Coke tasted funny at the McD's in the Mecca Mall, but the two cheeseburger meal was the "same-same." And yes, they try to get you to super-size it here too.

Anytime I speak at an international conference, I worry about my US-centric POV and materials. Tomorrow I'll be sharing some information about the demographics surrounding the Net Generation and their love of technology. I was somewhat relieved when at Jerash this morning, my young friend Acmed made a point of showing me his mobile that takes pictures, shows movies and does other wonderous things. The paint on device's keys was nearly worn off. Maybe kids are kids, no matter the place or level of affluence?

Normally I prefer to do my work first and play afterwards. But this trip I had to schedule my vacation before the workshops. I'm adopting this new priority, perhaps as a simple tip of the hat to my own mortality.

Tuesday
Oct282008

History of writing


the postliterate are those who can read, but chose to meet their primary information and recreational needs through audio, video, graphics and gaming.

Ah, writing - but a 7,000 year hiccup in human history. The image on the left is Nabatean from Wadi Rum, Jordan.