In my nearly two weeks at The American University, I’ve noticed something about the campus: The place is full of cats. I think the cat to student ratio rivals the faculty-to-student ratio by a wide margin.
The well-fed felines lounge on chairs and hang out below tables and munch on the piles of cat food dumped on the walkways by someone on the kitchen staff.
The cats look at me with a bored detachment as I walk by, and I’m reminded of comic Brian Malow’s observations on feline existentialism: “Me, ow.”
And at least they seem curious (no matter how perilous that may be for their species).
Which is more than I can say for the student body here, since no one — not a dang soul — signed up for the class I was supposed to teach. And here I was prepared to tell them everything they’d need to know to become successful 21st century journalists. If they only knew what they’re missing!
Needless to say, my class didn’t take. So now I’ll fill in when other professors are away. I’ll give some lectures on multimedia journalism and documentary filmmaking. And I’ll begin reaching out to working journalists here in Egypt.
And given the number of journalists (both local and expat) working in this town, all I have to do is pick up one of those campus cats, swing it by the tail and I’m bound to hit a reporter.