Sunday, August 12, 2012

And it all starts bokra

Tommorrow is the first official day of my contract, as well as the first day of new faculty orientation.  Between all the orientations (university, college, department) I am pretty much booked solid until Friday.  As in I had to set up an 8am meeting with a TA because that is the only time possible in the schedule.

So, I have been working on completing my syllabi and submitting a conference abstract that has a deadline next week.  The syllabi are going well, and I am basically super-excited that I am in charge, which means I get to actually implement modern and sociolinguistically appropriate pedagogy (proficiency-based assessments! 3ammiyya! yay!!!).  I'm teaching two sections of 101 and a supplemental 101 class.  Technically, this is a one-class overload (3 classes), but since in my world any beginning language class worth its salt meets five days a week, it only seems like 1 3/5 classes.

What has been more difficult is condensing a 95-page dissertation chapter into a conference abstract.  I'm basically focusing on the application of the theory to my data.  To me, this is very interesting.  However, my dissertation topic datawise belongs to a strand of SLA that has traditionally been very focused on post-positivist, quantitative approaches, but is sort of looking for a change.  My theory comes from a strand of SLA that has basically drawn from literature, anthropology, and sociology to toss that type of approach out the window.  I obviously think this is a perfect match.  The question is, who will read my abstract? Someone from the data part? Will they be open to new theoretical approaches, or view this whole field of theory as invalid? Someone from the theory part? Will they agree with my application, since I had to change it a bit for the data? Basically, I'm just really curious what they will think.  I've presented papers at this conference before, but they have all been pretty mainstream.  This one, I'm not sure.

On a totally unrelated note, I discovered the best internet/iphone application of all time, yala.fm.  A little Abdelhalim makes everything easier, and there's a whole section of pop lubnani to look forward to!

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