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Showing posts from February, 2014

In which I sing the praises of my mudir

Admittedly, I don't often praise my local counterparts. Usually, getting them to work effectively with me is like getting blood out of a stone. For the moment, though, let's focus on what my mudir is like on a personal level.

We have a wonderful relationship. He has many names for me, including, "l3awni" (an old-fashioned Moroccan name, meaning "my helper"), "father Eugene," "my uncle," "Aristotle," and, since I've stopped shaving, "Barbarossa." He often tells me that he thinks of me as his son (he has no children).

We have a half a dozen different kinds of handshakes and fist-bumps, and he likes to deploy them at random in order to confuse me, which makes me laugh despite myself.

Mostafa likes to bring me things. If I call in sick, he is known to walk across town bearing a pot of soup and medicine (sometimes western medicine, sometimes traditional). Sometimes at the end of class, he'll usher me into his office, …