Thursday, January 25, 2018

The end of the first week of the semester

Today at 11:30 am I finished the first week of the semester. Having a TA to take roll is great. It looks like it will end all of the hassle associated with the this task. Already there are some people burning through their eight allotted absences before they receive an F.

I really like the schedule of only having classes 8 am to 11:30 am Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursdays. It means I finish before lunch and get everything over fast. It also means I have all Monday and Wednesday to do other things. This week I got all the revisions including redoing all the footnotes as in-text citations done for a journal article which will come out in June. That means I can probably get the same schedule next semester as well since priority in scheduling is given to those that have a peer reviewed publication in the previous semester.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Middle of the Week

Yesterday I taught three classes all in a row. I had my new TA with me this time. I am hoping that her additional presence makes managing the classes easier this semester. In particular I am hoping that having her take attendance for me alleviates the problem of absenteeism. 

My new flatmate sent to replace the one that moved out on Monday also arrived last night. I thought he would come earlier. But, his departure was delayed. I am guessing he stays longer than the last one so I won't get the flat cleaned again for free this week. The first guy was from Syria and the new guy is from Iran.

This morning I had one student show up for my office hours. That gave me time to redo the citations from footnotes to in-text citations on the revised journal article I submitted two days ago. I got an email about this needed change from the editor yesterday.  Fortunately, it only took me an hour and a half to retype all of the citations. So I managed to get the article off before breakfast today. The article will be coming out in June.

I have a department meeting at 5:40 pm and I don't feel like going home and then coming back. So on my list of things to do today I have some reading for my 306 class, cleaning my desk, and redoing the citations on another journal article. I probably won't do the last one today since I spent this morning doing a very similar and boring task.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Week So Far

Classes started Sunday. I have three from 8 am to 11:30. The classes are quite large and there is still a horde of people trying to get into them. The ratio of students to professors keeps getting bigger and bigger.

My new flatmate is already moving out and they are moving in a new one. This means I get the flat cleaned again even though it really doesn't need it this time. At least the cleanings are free.

I have put my office hours at 7:30 am to 9:00 am in the morning on Mondays and Wednesdays. Surprisingly, I actually had a student show up this morning. Then I spent until lunch revising a journal article due next month. I got the revisions finished and sent it off today. If everything goes right the revisions will be accepted and the article will be published in June. Which I hope is soon enough to get flexible schedule for fall 2018.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Since my wife and daughter coming to Kurdistan from Kyrgyzstan has been delayed for so long the school finally moved another faculty member into my giant flat. He arrived last night which was later than expected due to visa and travel problems. I am not sure how long the arrangement will last since he plans to move his family from Syria to here in the next couple months. At which point one of us will have to move somewhere else. But, I did get the flat cleaned for free by the school two days ago as a result. He is also an IT guy so I am hoping that I won't have anymore problems with the wifi or that if I do he can solve them.

We had our first meeting yesterday. Evidently AUIS is now in partnership with University of Arizona in Tucson. Practically, I am told this means AUIS students will also receive a U of A degree and faculty like myself will have the unpaid position of adjuncts at U of A in addition to our position at AUIS. So I finally will get a faculty position at a big name state university in the US. Ironically, University of Arizona is also where my Ph.D. supervisor from SOAS, Benjamin Fortna, is now a very big name. Which is something he richly deserves if for no other reason than he wrote me many hundreds of letters of recommendation for jobs. Three of those jobs, AUCA, UG, and AUIS I actually got in very large part due to his efforts. God works in very mysterious ways.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Work so far

Today, I finished revising my syllabi for this semester's classes. I added two new books to my History of the World 1945 to Present course.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stress Reduction

The cardiologists have decreed that I have to give up stress in addition to quitting smoking narghile. Those are the only two things I have to give up completely. I can still have red meat twice a week. Giving up narghile again was pretty easy. But, stress is something that is inflicted upon you from outside so you don't have the option of just avoiding it like smoking. But, I can try and avoid contact with people that cause stress. One thing I am going to do on this front is have my office hours from 7:30 am to 9:00 am.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Random Doings

It has now been over a week since I had the stent done. We still have a little over a week before classes start. Today I walked over to a cafe to have lentil soup and bread for breakfast and read some Norwegian noir. The book manuscript which is on the Soviet deportation of ethnic Germans from the Volga and other regions to Kazakhstan and Siberia and their subsequent treatment is now up to 12 pages. Yesterday, I met with a recent graduate about hiring her as a TA for the semester. It looks like we will formalize the paperwork on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Back to Work

Okay, today I started work on writing a book. I got a little over a page done. I figure if I do at least a page a day, I can finish it before the end of the year.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


For those concerned about my health, the insertion of stent into a blocked artery was successful on Thursday. I am back up and easing back into work today. I tidied up my desk and updated the anti-virus definitions on my work computer. I feel quite good and the chest pains have stopped.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


This morning it rained a lot. But, fortunately I was inside for most of the downpour. We are on break right now. For Christmas and Boxing Day I went up to Erbil and Dohuk with a friend for a few days. I saw the Citadel in Erbil and had some excellent food in both Erbil and Dohuk. Here are a couple of photographs from the trip. I will post more later.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year

To anybody reading this I wish you a Happy New Year. I am not exactly sure what is going to happen with this blog in the upcoming year. But, I am open to suggestions.