Monday, August 8, 2016

Guitar Cultures Around the World, at IU this Fall

I'll be teaching my Guitar Cultures Around the World course at Indiana University this fall. If anybody knows any interested undergrads in Bloomington, I'd be mighty grateful if you shared this flyer with them. It'll be a 2nd eight weeks course that counts towards GenEd A&H credits as well as Global Civilizations and Cultures credits, and as of today we still have 17 available seats.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Global Business Institute 2016 - Kelley School of Business, Institute for International Business

Now that the 2016 Global Business Institute is officially over, I must thank both the fine folks at Indiana University’s Institute for International Business for hiring me yet again (cheers to you Stephanie!), the PA and CL staff this year, as well as all 100 students from across the Middle East and North Africa for an incredible summer. I’ve posted notes in previous years about the details of the program and what it is about so I won’t go into those here, but I still want to take a moment to remember a few of this year’s highlights, share some photos, and express my gratitude for a great summer. After my third year working with this program, I again emerge exhausted and groggy, but also incredibly inspired and thankful to have encountered so many motivated and inspiring students from around the globe.

It’s next to impossible to pick out just a few highlights from the last month because in between classes the whole month was packed with fun adventures--hiking through Bradford Woods, celebrating the 4th of July with BBQ and games, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, rockin’ out on Karaoke Night, all of the performances at Culture Night-- but for me, my favorite moments came during those many one-on-one moments: Visiting Cascades Park with Lana and talking about feminism and art and her goal of starting a community art school in Palestine;

discussing the need for environmental awareness and how Ali, Umair, Taha, Ayesha, and Maria’s business plan will make life better in Pakistan;

hearing Mohamed’s own socially conscious songs about education reform and the need for gender equality in Tunisia and performing one of them with him at Culture Night;

playing guitar (and also shopping for guitars) with Sam and Migo;

talking about medicine and dogs with Shehryar, who at 21 years old has already written six (6!!!!) books about dogs and dog-care (dude, i’m still wanting to read the rest of your book on Pugs!);

talking with Yasser about his work in Jordan with education programming for Syrian refugees;

busting into the IU football stadium for a photo shoot with Hamzah (were those gates supposed to be locked?);

talking about the importance of learning foreign languages in Morocco and plans to become a university educator with Mohamed;

saving Yousef’s life; talking comedy (and of my apparent doppelganger, Arron Crascall) with Sarah; discussing landscape architecture and the current urban planning needs in Egypt with Reem; talking with Şeyma from Tunisia about teaching music and then performing ‘Misirlou’ together at Culture Night as well as playing some Hoagy Carmichael together on piano (btw, you are a fantastic music teacher, Seyma!);

And so many more. Seriously, you guys ROCK!!!! There were a thousand more conversations about politics, religion, lifestyles, incredible business projects, jokes, and fascinating people over lunches, dinners, walks to and from class, as well as during some intense ping pong matches and I treasure each of them. I couldn’t possibly mention them all or everyone, so instead I give a sincere thank you to ALL GBIers for the good conversations, hearty laughs and chuckles, but more importantly for the friendship!
Speaking of ping pong, this summer was filled with some of the most intense ping pong games I have ever played and I feel super fortunate to just barely escape the month undefeated (approximately 1,000-0, but with several ties to be sure)... Anas, Abderrahmen, Shorafa, Salem, Malik, Shahrukh, Essa, Ali, Sam, Khalil, Reem, Walid, Ibrahem, Troudi, Yasser, Farah, Yousef and many more, thank you for the many games and super competitive sporting breaks throughout July! (And who has that photo of a bunch of us at the ping pong table??)
I also want to send my many thanks for the wonderful gifts I received this month. ندين الشاعر, this is my new favorite shirt!

Zakaria, I’m still rockin’ that cologne and now I smell like a million bucks! Cheers!

My fridge looks way cooler now thanks to Taha. I’m a richer man thanks to Ahmed (lookout Egypt, I’ve been bankrolled!). My keyholder and bookshelf are now rockin’ thanks to Sam, Yousef, Soufiane, Troudi, and Rami. I don’t even know who left the black suede shoes in the donation pile but I took them because they are sweet and they fit me perfectly. Thanks! And to Shehryar, Abderrahmane, Muhammad, Azeem, Nour, and Abderrahmen--many thank you’s for all the food and food points. Your contributions will keep me fed all the way through the winter!

Lastly, Lana and Reem, your gifts were handmade and very personal so they warrant their own posts, which I will be making soon, but know that I love, love, love them. Thank you!

To everyone in GBI, thanks again! It’s been a great summer in Bloomington, IN with many friendships and connections forged, and I look forward to keeping in touch and following y’all’s successes over the years. If I can ever be of assistance here in the States, just let me know. I’ll be happy to help however I can. And of course, the next time I find myself in Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Egypt, or Tunisia, expect that I’ll be knocking on y’all’s doors! And know that I’m absolutely going to do it some day!
Cheers, Nate