Saturday, September 22, 2007

Out of Jurisdiction

Here's an amusing bit of news one could only find in the litigious society of the United States. Help me out people, because I'm not sure what to make of this one.

A state senator in Nebraska files a lawsuit against God, and gets a miraculous response when a legal brief is filed under mysterious circumstances. The senator seeks an injunction against hurricanes, tornadoes and deadly natural disasters among other charges.

According to the brief filed by God, the court "lacks jurisdiction." God also mentions that there "was no proper and sufficient service of summons." You can read the whole article here.

Here's the article I originally found on Yahoo news.

I googled the lawsuit and found this article on the Christian Post.

Further reading confirms that Omaha senator Ernie Chambers is an amusing and colorful character. This might be worth following, if only for a few laughs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Feeling Trapped

One thing I didn't count on was the Ramadan schedule at the gym I joined. I have time on the weekends and after school to do stuff, but everything is closed. Another big problem: I don't have the money right now to do anything else. I'd like to go scuba diving, take sailing lessons, or even just go to the movies. But I need to save my money so it lasts until payday.

So I'm feeling a bit trapped in my apartment and the school right now, without the means to get out and do stuff. I'm trying to be productive, doing things I should be doing for school, agonizing over what to do for Christmas break, and some other things, but I'm kind of disheartened right now about the whole thing. I'd like to have the freedom to do a lot of things that I'm accustomed to be able to do, and I just can't right now.

Month of Ramadan

Some of my readers might be aware that this is the Holy Month of Ramadan in the Muslim world. All healthy and able Muslims are expected to fast from sunrise to sunset. As sunrise is about 4:30 in the morning, and the sun is setting about 6 PM in the evening, this is not an easy task. While I'm not expected to fast, it is widely regarded as extremely rude for me to eat or drink anything in public.

Devout Muslims are currently waking up at 4 AM and eating until sunrise. They go all day without food until sundown and then eat until about midnight or later. Most of my students are up all night and are slowly becoming less and less productive. Because the students are understandably more tired and hungry during the day, my school has a special reduced schedule for Ramadan. The school now starts at 9 AM instead of 7:30 AM.

Consequently, my school has set up a special area where students and teachers who don't fast can go during lunch and eat privately. The gym I joined closes for the big meal everyone eats at sunset and doesn't re-open until 8 PM.

My school is also hosting a fundraiser called, "Ramadan Around the World." Each grade is assigned a different Muslim country and expected to put on a big production next Thursday for the school showing how these different countries celebrate Ramadan in different ways. After being assigned Morocco, the seventh graders are getting ready to organize and decorate a big tent with a Moroccan theme. Naturally, some of the responsibility for this falls on the Social Studies teachers, and I've assigned students to make posters about Moroccan culture and society. I'm still trying not to laugh too hard about the irony of me teaching Arab kids about Ramadan.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sailing out of Fahaheel

Went sailing this weekend in the Arabian Gulf. And yes, you are all mistaken. It is called the "Arabian Gulf." A local expat sailing club is offering lessons to novices. So they offered a free day of sailing to anyone who wanted to join. Several teachers from UAS came along and we piled into 25 foot sailboats. We were joined by our skipper, who rakes in the dough from a military contractor, and our first officer, a oil services consulting engineer. But most of us were just teachers from my school. There was a British woman working in another school who came along.

The picture shows me imitating a pirate for everyone! Seriously though, it was a great day of sun, not much surf, and floating around in a boat. Who can complain?

As for the sailing, there wasn't much wind until the sun went down, and we had motored most of the way in. I went for a brief swim as well. I'd write more right now, but I'm thoroughly exhausted from work.

I'm considering taking lessons, but I can't do anything that costs money until payday!