Thursday, February 16, 2012


A student called me a 'Fucking asshole!' last week, this was rather surprising as I haven't been sworn at in anger in quite some time, I would say at least 7 or 8 years so to be insulted by an 18 year-old with attitude came as a bit of a shock. The following day when he came to class and acted as if nothing had happened was also a bit surprising and when I informed him he was not going to be attending any lessons which I was teaching he told me, 'You don't kick me out; I kick you out.' As it turns out I did in fact kick him out and I wrote my report and the administrators wrung their hands and promised that this would not stand. A few days later I saw this student had been transferred to another class and while I only saw him and didn't speak to him he didn't seem all that contrite, in fact, he maintained that same cocksure disposition as before and it struck me then that I am not part of an educational institution; I am involved in an incredibly inefficient welfare scheme.

As you may have noticed on the news and through other forms of media that the Middle East and North Africa is experiencing a wee bit of a distraction and it is generally being led by youths dissatisfied with the status quo. Understandably the powers that be, who have managed to hold on to power, are somewhat concerned with these developments and as such are taking measures to keep their particular systems running. Qatar last year increased the pay of their military and police personnel by 100%, the leaders of Dubai and Abu Dhabi increased salaries for different sectors of the economy. In the Kingdom there are a number of technical colleges and universities, mine being one of them, that pay their students to attend. In theory these young minds are to help the Saudization of the economy but in reality I believe they are here to keep them off the streets. These so-called students lack any of the requisite skills to be successful but as long as they are in the classroom shouting at each other and being bored to tears by uninspired teachers, like myself, they aren't out throwing rocks and torching cars. I guess it makes sense but for me being in the middle of this charade it does make for a number of long days. But on the bright side I do get to be a well compensated babysitter.