This week students have mid-semester exams so life in my cubicle is slightly more boring than usual. There are no classes to prepare for and few students drop by to ask questions or hand in assignments. Supervising exams is a fairly straightforward process, pick up exam packets, prepare desks, check student ID cards and then handout the exam paper and keep track of the timing. There are time limits for each section of the exam and this has to be monitored closely to ensure that all students have the same amount of time to complete the exams. Marking the exams is done in teams and when everyone works together this can be wrapped up quickly.
Both students and teachers are happy because there are no classes. Although I also like a break from the classroom I find the days much longer sitting in my cramped cubicle. Additionally, when I have no classes and not enough tasks to keep me busy, I find myself pondering life, contemplating returning to Canada, missing my family, and trying not to bruise my knees in my tiny cubicle.
To avoid thinking about home and to spend less time in my cubicle I decided to sign up for Photography 101, a photography course offered by the dedicated team of “Happiness Engineers” at the daily post. I figured there would be some interesting themes and this would force me out of my cubicle to snap a photo for the class. Then yesterday, the first theme was announced – home. Living in a foreign country, away from my family and friends, and feeling homesick, I didn’t want to think about this theme because I am so far from my home.
For now, Nizwa is a temporary home for me but it is a permanent home for several stray cats that live in my neighborhood. This dumpster near my place is their home. They are there when I leave for work in the morning and when I come back in the late afternoon.