Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eurocco: Ramadan time changes and private tutoring

I was going to try to fit this into a weekly post, but it is complicated and mildly interesting, so it gets its own post.

Cait's class schedule, as well as Morocco as a whole, is going through some time changes, mostly related to Ramadan, but not entirely. First off, unrelated to Ramadan, Cait started private tutoring on Monday of Week 5. Cait got a Foreign Language Acquisition Scholarship (FLAS) to pay for a lot of this trip, and in order to qualify for that, she has to take a certain number of class hours, and 4 hours a day for 6 weeks wasn't enough, so Cait also signed up for 3 weeks of 2 hour sessions of private tutoring, the cost of which was also covered by the scholarship (in fact, she didn't come close to spending all the money that was exclusively reserved for paying for class time, but she has about all the class time she could ever want, so not really money lost). She will be going from 11-1 every day but Tuesday, when she goes from 4-6. That means 6 hours a day of Arabic, in addition to a heavy homework load, and that, as they say in show business, is a lot of freaking Arabic. She really likes her teacher, gets to set her own agenda, and hopefully will be able to use some of that time to get help with her heavy load of homework. It will be an extra stretch on our already very full lives, but it will be worth it in the end, or at least, it is worth doing to make this whole trip possible.

Now let's talk about Ramadan time changes for a minute. Cait started off having classes from 8-10 and 2-4 but when Ramadan starts, which is supposedly tomorrow, Wednesday of Week 5 as I am writing this on Tuesday of the same week, Cait's school will shift its 8 o'clock classes to 9 so that teachers and students can sleep in later after big Ramadan parties (mainly the teachers, who are all Moroccan, or at least Arab, although maybe some of the mostly American students will also take the opportunity to party). Cait's 2-4 class is unaffected by this change.

Also at Ramadan, the entire country of Morocco switches their clocks back an hour, like daylights saving time. This is also to push the regular hours of working later into the day so that some work still gets done even when people sleep in late after parties.

So, what all this means, apart from the general effect of everything changing an hour (so kids are getting up at 6 instead of 7, which doesn't really matter because I don't really pay attention to time here anyway), is that, where Cait before was going to class from 8-10 and 2-4 GMT, or UK time (which was the same as Morocco time before the time shift) she will now be going to class from 10-12, private tutoring from 12-2 (except Tuesday, when it is from 5-7) and class again from 3-5, all times GMT (so shift them back an hour to put them at the different Morocco time).

There will be some very obvious effects of this, mainly longer classes, but I'm sure the other time shifts will have their own effect on our schedule in ways I can't now predict. Also, I'm sure this will be only one of the many changes that Ramadan brings that I will try to chronicle here.

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