Tuesday, April 3, 2007

School in Saudi

Quarter system schooling is great; I wish my entire life was run by quarters. The constant deadlines, clear step ups, and wonderful sense of accomplishment. In two quarters, one as slow going as I am got a year’s worth of work done!

Writing scripts, watching sitcoms, one hour drama and movies, reading gorgeous novels, sitting in a leisurely rooms with reading/writing addicts, and acting,…this is the type of stuff my graduate school requires. It is too fun that it feels like cheating behind school’s back. Found out, I would strictly be punished or even banned.

17 years of studying: primary, middle, high, and college, there were rarely moments of enjoyment without their consequences. Extra curriculum activities were “usually” down graded by my professors’ back home. Fun is not “serious” enough. Once, my classmates and I put a play together which turned out to be too sarcastic for their taste. Thanks to flower shops, and head kissing, we managed to save our selves from being kicked but remained cursed forever after.

But to be honest, university back home was not that bad. I remember the time I almost burst into tears in an exam. It was my second semester, and the final of “17th Century Novel” asked what MY OPINION WAS about a character! It was an emotional experience, because for the first time in school, somebody asked what my opinion was, and in a FINAL. Other girls did burst into more serious tears, however. They thought that the professor was mean. “She did not show us the answer to that question in class!” They suspected that she was intentionally scaring them away from the English department as was the attempt by most Professors who kept saying “This is not an ESL school you people, it is an English Literature Department!”

Well, before university level, life was not bad either; if you take out the fact that we did not have electives, or P.E classes. That is a story on its own!

Up until Middle School, I did have P.E classes. Then, it seems that God spoke His word to some Scholars in the Capital City, Riyadh. It makes sense that God would communicate with the Capital, right? Since then, P.E was forbidden for girls in Central Saudi: Riyadh, Quaseem, and other infected cities. Girls wearing tight pants that would show the shape of their legs and asses amongst other girls, God forbids! Pants are for guys only, and so are those harsh sprots. What if a girl falls down in P.E and looses her virginity! Oh, boy!

Of course, not all schools had to abide by the word of God (I mean, the capital city scholars' version of it.) Some schools simply had strong backbones, which is another word for being backed up by a prince. Oh, girls in those schools were snobs, but they could do horse back riding, swimming, sports, fashion shows, music classes, singing, and can even get out of the school door without having their entire body covered in black! Damn it, those girls SHOULD feel special.

Yeah, school was not that bad. It was always possible to pass under the table notes to classmates, sketch on the laboratory tubes, substitute salt for sugar in baking classes, and all that. The greatest thing you could do in school is join stage activities 24/7 but even then, you are sure to get a grudge from the teacher and her grades.

Anyways, thats that, and here is here. Alive from Portland: spring quarter had just started at PSU, and I am madly in love!


Anonymous said...

Hi Aysha,
I liked your memories because I was part of it ;P
I have a question about the P.E class, what was this class?

Nouf said...

Hi Aysha, you toke me back to nice and bad memories. School was the beautiful side of my education life. It was just perfect. I liked my school; I liked most about it, its individuality and not caring to the Riyadh God. How ever, I lost this special feeling you said, when I entered the prison named King Saud University, I wish I can have eraser to take off this part of my life. Every thing there was BAD, expect the friends I knew and proud of, you Aysha and Farooha. The university as they call it is where should long sleeve white shirt, not tight, and should be blank like their heads. Then complete this perfect outfit with looooooong wide black skirt just black like their hearts. It is ironic; the university uniform reflects the real life of the University, it is black and white life, either with me or against me, it is one image all students should think and act in the same way, and no way that you can create in this environment. It just black and white.


Aysha said...

Aloha there!
"P.E" is short for Physical Education. It is the sports class, and they used to call it in our schools as "Tarbeya Badaneya."
I'm glad for the memories that brought you by...

Aysha said...

You have (besides gorgeous acting abilities of course) a wonderful precision in describing life at university as it was. I liked the black and white concept. Very thought provoking and true!
Now tell me, before university did you attend one of those "special schools" ? ;)

Nouf said...

Hi Aysha,
;p , Thank God, I toke the PE education classes until the end of my school life. How ever, I missed the music classes that I enjoyed until fourth grade. Then the Riyadh God spoke and no matter whom the back of the school was music is 7ARAM and you will go to HELL...

You can say that I attended what you called “Special Schools".

Nouf :)

Lawrence of Arabia said...

the quarter system is definitely great for those of us with atttention deficit disorder. :)

best wishes,

Aysha said...


Lawrence, that is some DENSE writing on your blog!

Keep it up.