Final Reflections

At the beginning of this summer, I outlined a few goals. Now, it’s time to see how I’ve done. Here we go:


1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read any Arabic news article with relative ease.

This is somewhat true! It depends on what the topic of the article is, of course, but with relative ease I can read the news in Arabic these days. (I still can’t quite hear the news– those radio newsmen speak way too fast for me).

2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to hear and piece together conversations without translating in my head. Conversation will become much more natural and I will be able to structure sentences in Arabic without first forming them in English.

Yep. Conversation is much easier. Even in my english interactions, now, I find myself finding the Arabic word for a concept before I can think of the English word. That’s pretty wack.

3. At the end of the summer, I will have found an academic advisor in Jordan to help with formulating, specifying, and executing my Fulbright research proposal.

I, unfortunately, will not be proposing a Fulbright Fellowship research idea. Why? Well– the idea I have is not feasible given the constraints of a single year of field research. So, for that reason, I’ve actually just scrapped the whole application.

4. At the end of the summer, I will be able to understand the lyrics of Arabic music.

Ehhhhhhhh this one is tricky. Since songs are often written in the colloquial language, it always depends on who the artist is. For isntance, I can understand Jordanian and Palestinian artists pretty well. Egyptian? Some of it. Morroccan? No chance.

5. At the end of the summer, I will be able to write in Arabic creatively; beyond simple mechanical sentences and more toward a poetic style of the language.

Yep. I love playing with Arabic words these days. It’s really fun to stumble upon some rhyming schemes or interesting metaphors that come through the ARabic language only.

6. At the end of the summer, I will have grown in fluency equivalent to two semesters of intensive Arabic study at Notre Dame.

Yep. Cheers to Amman and thank you to everyone who was able to make this happen! Ma’a salama! 🙂