[I wrote this earlier in the day, and miss-posted it in my hurry–oops!]
3+ odd things I saw:
-The CMU-Q building is designed by a Mexican architect, and has lots of strong colors—deep turquoises, rich oranges, and vibrant yellows stand out
-Lots of CMU-Q students gathered around us and sat with us after lunch to introduce themselves and make acquaintances—moments of awkwardness were few.
-A super-neat student club area and student rec room (can anyone say Air-Hockey?)
-All computer clusters have nothing but Dell Windows Machines—Yuck.
-Construction, construction, construction around Education City
3+ odd things I heard:
-Students easily mixing Arabic and English—being truly bilingual.
-Students griping about the same classes I gripe about
-Women and men working together and it not being a big deal
-My group getting pretty tired
-Women from my group greeting women they knew with hugs, men greeting men from my group they knew with handshakes
3 odd things I thought/felt:
-I do not find the formalism which is common here cumbersome—it gives social interactions some structured
-The student activities host paid for our lunches—I wondered briefly if we were giving back as much as we are taking in this trip. I will keep an eye out because I feel a deep need to payback CMU for this opportunity by producing good work out of it.
-I had thought I had seriously offended the Editor-In-Chief of the All-Around (CMU-Q’s newspaper) when I asked him if I could take his picture after chatting with him for about half-an-hour (story about how I borrowed the camera next). I asked him, and he say “oh no, I would not find that acceptable, no, that would be very bad: it is not allowed…”, when previously we had been speaking in normal teenage slang and chatter. I started to backpedal, apologizing, freaking out a little when he goes “oh no, of course you can! I was teasing you!” *sigh*. I informed him I can be very literal, and plus, we had been warned some people could be very offended if we took pictures of them.
“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. The quotations, when engraved upon the memory, give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.”–Winston Churchill