Saturday, January 26, 2008


If lies are prettier than truths, would you still want the truth?

Plato banished the poets from his Utopia because they tell lies. Sidney brings them back because these lies paint a more beautiful truth. The funny thing is (not the DeGeneres' version) that Plato's banishment of liars was really more beautiful that Sidney's defense of them. The truth is more beautiful after all. Or is it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mona Lisa


There comes a time, every term, when I have this sense of waiting anxiously for the final papers to arrive while simultaneously dreading the many P’s I have to assign for plagiarized papers, the many redundancies I read, and the pure loss of focus that is common in most papers. However, almost every term, there are a few papers that make the time spent on the other 30-40 papers worth my while. This year was no exception. Some students still surprise me by their ability to interrogate theoretical articles and work them within the folds of their literary analyses. So gratitude goes here to those few students who have made the long task of correcting papers quite enjoyable. The highlights this year were those papers on J.K. Rowling, Paulo Coelho, and Tsitsi Dangarembga.


All doubts about the identity of the Mona Lisa have been eliminated by a discovery by Dr. Armin Schlechter.” And once its mystery has been solved, its greatness is no wonder lessened. Why is it that we always need to find answers to problems only to discover that answering them takes all the magic out of life? Mysteries should remain mysteries. Otherwise, life would just be too dull.

And more mysteries:

Newspapers announced that Saturday exams are postponed till Tuesday. Since faculty members haven’t received any official word, I called to inquire, only to be informed that the director is in a meeting with the deans now (11 am today) to decide on it. We must be really technologically advanced when the newspaper, printed the night before, can predict the outcome of a meeting that was still ongoing during the day :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Tribute to Nouriya Al-Sabeeh

When she spoke, Nouriyah did wonders. She countered all Dr. Saad's false allegations with solid proof. Her presence of mind was something to be admired. Her ability to argue was something that Kuwaiti officials should emulate, especially since most of them lack the simplest ability to debate logically.
يعطيهم العافية شيخة وعنود على مساعدتهم للأخت نورية (يمكن أكون غلطانة بالأسماء) كانوا مستعدين بالأوراق المطلوبة بأسرع ما يمكن

Certain MP's, if it was left to them, would've burned that 12 year old girl on the stakes. We can have our own Salem here in Kuwait. The girl scribbled some nonsense on a school textbook, be it a religious studies textbook, and suddenly she's the talk of politicians.
من طرائف الجلسة سالفة القلب المكسور
والسكرتيرة المسكينة اللي غلطت بالنموذج سموها مزورة
وأحد النواب ابتدى كلامه ب"وقرن في بيوتكن" يعني أشكره انتقاده لنورية أسبابه واضحة وما لها شغل بكفاءتها أو حسن إدارتها للوزارة

It was an enjoyable session most of the time, in spite of the hunger and headache that began to seep on us towards the afternoon.

*Kuwait Times referred to her today as the Iron Lady. I don't know if that's gonna take its intended positive sense within Kuwaiti society.