First Day of Classes at the American University

Today was to be my first day of classes at the American University in Cairo, but I had no students.  I’m told it’s because I’m an unknown quantity, teaching an elective course that’s never been taught before.  Since students had no idea who I am or the strange subject I’m teaching — just what is “convergence” journalism anyway? — we had no takers.  So we posted flyers on campus, tarting up my bio to lure students with the names of the fancy places I’ve worked and the trophies I’ve won.  It’s a little like sitting at the soda fountain in a short skirt waiting to be discovered.

The good folks at the Adham Center for Electronic Journalism at AUC have assured me that many classes don’t have much enrollment in the first week until the end of the add/drop period, which ends next Tuesday.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to report next week that I have a half dozen or more bright-eyed and energertic students eager to learn new things and telling the whole campus the definition of “convergence.” 

In the meantime, here are some photos of my new palatial digs (it looks bigger in person):

 apartment1  apartment3  apartment2

And here’s the view from the balcony (and the forest of satellite dishes on the rooftop of the building next door):

                         The view from the balcony

Oh, by the way, my fifth bag arrived.  With all of its contents. The travel angels continue to watch over me.


Dateline: Cairo

I arrived in Cairo this morning at 2:00 am along with four of my five bags.

My apartment is as big as Brooklyn: fully furnished, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies.  But I need to get something to put on the bare walls. 

I’ll post details and photos soon.  Right now it’s time to shake off the jet lag.

En Route to Cairo

I’m off and running…

I’m writing this post from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after spending a day in this city visiting a friend and taking unexpected naps (particularly during a canal boat tour of the town).

I’m kind of wiped out.  I guess I underestimated how much I was getting myself into when I decided to give up my apartment, move everything into storage and jump on a plane to Cairo.  But as I sit here on an extended layover, I’m thinking that moving makes me realize a few things:

– Your apartment looks a lot bigger without all that stuff in it.

– Your apartment looks a lot filthier without all that stuff in it.

– Now that all that stuff is gone, you have to ask yourself if you’d really miss it if the truck just headed for Mexico and was never seen again.

I wish I was one of those minimalists.  You know the type.  Their entire apartment decor is a zen-inspired emptiness, with only a futon and a few pebbles.  The kind who only touch a piece of paper once before it’s in a file folder or trash bin.  That’s not me.  I can’t help it; I was raised by pack rats.

I’ll write more from Cairo, but here are a couple of photos from the going away party, taken by photographer Jeff Moore:

point and shoota toast