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Pre-Debate Preparation

MOROCCO | Saturday, 21 June 2014 | Views [230]

Classes on Thursday went well, though our lit professor spent about half the time talking about the reading we'd done for Wednesday. We only had the one presentation in politics, as was sane. But, before we could start our lunch, a woman from a Moroccan university came in to talk to us about the debate.

 Ah, yes. The debate. It had been in the calendar of activities as “debate with Moroccan students about gender,” and one of our professors had briefly alluded to it. And earlier that week, we'd been given a sheet of the format of the debate and we'd figured out what we were going to say. (“I think men and women should be equal.” Sit down, ignoring the fact that we haven't talked about the status of women, the problems facing them, the impact of religion on this, or the prospects for the future.) But now that she was here talking about it, we actually needed to decide what we were doing.

 She asked us what our level in French was. She started talking about B1 and B2 to Nathan, and since I knew we'd used textbooks corresponding to that, even if we hadn't taken a test, I mentioned that. I think I said our textbook was B1 when it was actually B2 (the next level.) The teacher asked if she was speaking to fast, and I shook my head. She was speaking at approximately 2/3 of the speed that our cd recordings for that class were.

 During lunch, Natasha, Cynthia, Erika, and I brainstormed problems facing women in the US. Like this one. After a bit of ranting, we decided we could probably talk about female's not getting pockets that for at least five of the eight minutes we had per question. It was nearly as good as our earlier plan.

After the Henna Party and Cooking Lesson finished, we arranged to meet by the boat and, from there, find a cheaper, more wifi available place. Then I went back to my room to drop stuff out and back out again.

 As I was walking, I noticed that the road was kind of quiet by the Casbah. There was even a concrete structure halfway through, so I cross halfway and wait in relative safety. I wasn't sure if the sidewalk on the other side of the street continued as far as I wanted it to, but since there was no one to laugh at me, I gave it a try.

The sidewalk continued to a length of stairs. By going down them, you would conveniently avoid needing to make the dash past the “no more pedestrians” sign and through the street. Essentially, by crossing by the Casbah, you only need to cross half the street, and even that is much quieter. And you can set aside concerns about needing to admit that you got arrested in Morocco for jay-walking. So it made for a significant improvement.

When I arrived, Nathan was the only one there.

“I found a much shorter way to get here,” he said.

“Oh. I found a much saner way. Are they the same way?”
“Probably.”

“Does yours involve going down stairs?”
“Yes.”

“Then definitely.”

In addition to being more hazardous, the way we'd always taken before involves walking past the boat, crossing the street, then doubling back, so it takes longer. By splitting up, Nathan and I had both found the same improved path, which made splitting up a really good plan.

After a bit, everyone else arrived, and we set out to find a cafe. We didn't face too much difficulty, and could sit down in one place and stay there. Even if the sun was blinding my eyes, it was still much better. Finally, prices were about half of what they had been on the boat, which wasn't terribly surprising to me.

We ordered drinks (different kinds of juices. Mine was ginger juice, which was by far the weirdest and least tasty. It wasn't bad, but it was strongly gingery, like a ginger smoothie and they'd poured me an entire glass like it could be drunk as easily as orange juice. I'm not sure if other people can, but I can't) and got to work. Real work involving answering the questions and doing research and all those good things.

Of course we got distracted, because you can't put five or six people who enjoy each other's company in the same room to work on a school project and expect them to do nothing but work. But we did get enough done that it was just a matter of individual research and preparation by the time the people who had an absurdly early dinner (9:30) needed to leave.

We walked back through our newly-found improvement, despite Natasha's claims that she liked the mad dashes across the street And everyone stressed to different degrees over the debate with the Moroccan students the next day.

Tags: cafe, debate, walking

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