Saturday, October 24, 2009
To be fair I am fully aware that the daily life of a morbidly obese person is different from the life of a thin person. I take up more space on the bus seat, have fewer options when it comes to fashion, and can’t see a doctor without receiving a lecture about my presumed lifestyle of excess despite having no obvious health problems (normal blood pressure and cholesterol, etc.). But the fact that I am also 6 feet (1m82) tall poses many of the same quotidian inconveniences—minus the health lecture. Yes I realize that longevity is more likely if I lose weight, but I can’t resist being annoyed at the aesthetic revulsion of becoming overweight that exists among so many people. There are worse things in life to be, including stupid, morally bankrupt, and hateful.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Perhaps I might temper my disgust by reminding myself of one sentiment expressed in the MN Daily: though Mr. Kaplan may “not yet understand all the intricacies of the U.S. –Moroccan relationship…[he and his wife] present a double dose of professionalism, stamina, and exceptional potential…(in addition to their deep pockets and solid connections)…” You can listen to Ambassador Kaplan here and here.
Ugh. I might aspire to those same qualities (or even embody them-scribbly requires stamina for sure) but I’m far too fond of mentioning my first experience with dysentery to anyone who will listen. I have done my best to exhaust all possible nepotism available to me…but without the deep pockets and connections, I actually have to learn Arabic to get anywhere important in Arabia.
Whoever authored this graffito in Rabat’s Les Orangers neighborhood will be displeased with this article about Ambassador Kaplan. (Anticlimax--I can't get any photos to upload at the moment).
Otherwise, my new alarm clock makes me happy beyond measure and terrifies me with its shrieking Arabic devotion--instead of buzzing it reminds of prayer time!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
In non-food related news, I am fond of my Arabic class at Qalam wa Lawh. The other students are extremely good, which both shames me and motivates me to giddy-up. One of my classmates is Maltese, which reminds of the fact that an Arabic teacher I know authored a Maltese dictionary, in addition to having an MBA. My weekdays begin with Arabic class from 8.30 to 1. I then eat lunch at home before I bus to ADFM to work from 3 to 6 usually. I walk home, taking in the city, and spend the evening relaxing from interacting all day in foreign languages. Mornings are all in Arabic and afternoons are in hybrid French and Moroccan. By the time I get home from ADFM, my head is pretty much done in, and I am not sure if I am ambitious or clever enough to keep it up AND get to dissertating. On that note, it’s funding application time once again, and writing proposals does lend itself to dissertation work. So I will give myself the month of October to negotiate how I spend my time, which will necessarily include dissertation work IF I am serious about a year of research in Egypt after this delightful Boren year ends.
I have also been accepted to present at a conference in Bristol in January, which will hopefully include visits to friends I’ve been missing for a while. I must now get more serious about finishing my essay for tomorrow and reviewing grammar and vocabulary.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded for graduate study beyond the bachelor's or master's degree to candidates who have demonstrated their academic ability in oral and written examinations and through original research presented in the form of a dissertation.
Latin Philosophiae Doctor
1. Abbreviation of Doctor of Philosophy, a terminal research degree.
2. The highest of academic degrees conferred by a college or university.
Ph.D. students must pass a written and an oral comprehensive examination prior to beginning their dissertation. The written examination transpires over two days and lasts six hours per day. The oral exam lasts approximately two hours. The Ph.D. comprehensive examinations may not be scheduled before students have completed all core, methodology, and language requirements, nor may the Ph.D. comprehensive examination be scheduled prior to the last semester in which regular course work is taken. Ph.D. examinations are scheduled twice a year, at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. If Ph. D. students fail the written comprehensive examination on the first attempt, they may retake the written comprehensive examination only once, no earlier than one semester later. Note: Ph.D. students can only advance to the oral part of the comprehensive examination after passing the written portion.
A dissertation (also called thesis or disquisition) is a document that presents the author's research and findings and is submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification. In some United States doctoral programs, the term "dissertation" can refer to the major part of the student's total time spent (along with two or three years of classes), and may take years of full-time work to complete. At most universities, dissertation is the term for the required submission for the doctorate and thesis refers only to the master's degree requirement. The completion of a book-length project of independent research is the sine qua non of the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. dissertation is also a significant and important life achievement that will serve as the defining product of your doctoral career. Preparing a doctoral dissertation is a complex and demanding process which may at times seem quite overwhelming. By definition a dissertation project is an effort at independent and individual work, so there can be considerable variation in how the process works for different students. Nonetheless, there are some basic procedures and minimum standards that apply to all dissertation writers. These guidelines were developed to help clarify that common process.
In North America, the dissertation defense or oral defense is the final examination for doctoral candidates. The examining committee normally consists of the dissertation committee, usually a given number of professors mainly from the student's university plus his or her primary supervisor, an external examiner (someone not otherwise connected to the university), and a chair person. Each committee member will have been given a completed copy of the dissertation prior to the defense, and will come prepared to ask questions about the thesis itself and the subject matter. Doctoral defenses are open to the public. The typical format will see the candidate giving a short (20-40 minute) presentation of his or her research, followed by one to two hours of questions.