“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Prayer request, folks: Please pray for the Muslims here around me, that they find Christ as savoir. Not because they’re bad people, but because they’re good people. Thanks.

In this post:
– Real estate agent disorganization (in which nobody is surprised)
– Bus rides are fun in rainy season (if you enjoy a ride)
– Random food

Continue reading “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Apartment hunting

Update: There are now links to videos of the plantation visit on that blog post. Right after the photos.


Today is a holiday of some sort (another Christian holiday we don’t celebrate in the US, which is ironic given the self-proclaimed religions of the respective countries), and it’s been pouring all day. This means that I have not moved from a 10 foot radius and am still in pajamas. On the other hand, I’m making great progress on Kingdom Hearts 356/2, and organized the kitchen cupboard. (Yes, singular.)

It’s been A Week.

Flight decisions are agonizing. As it is, I have an 11 hour layover in Morocco, which is going to be fun without a laptop or Kindle. Thanks, terrorists, for ruining flight for everyone.

Meanwhile, I’ve been apartment hunting.

Continue reading Apartment hunting

The Gala

It’s rainy season. Or Power Outage Season, depending on your level of dependence on electronics.

Friday night was the gala dinner. I jumped at the chance to help out LM and MM in decorating for the first part, which had some VIPs coming (the university’s president, a representative from the US, etc). The second part was entirely the students. Let’s just say… the planning skills around here, particularly anticipating what can go wrong, could use some practice.

Continue reading The Gala


I’m pretty sure my beloved Flex 3 is going to die at any time.  Back up all the things.

In related news, why doesn’t Lenovo have any contact option other than phone?!


So the field trip. The field trip from hell. The lab tech did most of the planning, since AN was pissed that they moved the date and I don’t speak French. Or know the conventions, of which there are a lot here. Continue reading Azagny

Because who cares about the students?

I just realized it’s April Fool’s. Suddenly the week makes sense.


The past several weeks, we’ve been planning a field trip to Azagny National Park, for tomorrow. We bribed the students with extra credit, threatened them with mandatory-ness, arranged all the details, asked for the buses. WEEKS AGO. All we needed was the PO to go through.

On Tuesday, we get an email: Mandatory Social Security meeting Sat! 10-2PM!

LM says it’ll be in French, AN says we don’t need to go. Okie dokie, no problem.


Thursday, the lab tech comes into our office. AN is in class.

“The field trip.”

“Yes? Did you get a hold of [name of financial guy]”

“Well…. they need the buses for students. Can we change it to Sunday?”

*pause while I’m trying to figure out what he means, because surely…*  “I’m sorry?”

“They need the buses. We can move it to Sunday.”

….wait, what universe are we in now? “No we can’t! The students have all had plans!”

“They can change their plans!”

“They won’t.”

“It’s mandatory.”

“We can’t!”

“We have to.”

This went on for a while. A student was sitting there, doing the midterm redo (very badly, but I’ll get to that).  Eventually, what can you do but concede?

Tech: “Send an email out to all IUGB saying it’s changed.”

What in the ….? “I’ll send it to my students, of course.”

“They don’t check their email. Send it to the whole school, then others can tell their friends.”

“No! They’re supposed to check their email! I’m not sending an email to the entire school over 60 students!”

Later, I talked to AN. We decided it would be best to request renting a bus, and she sent an email or something requesting that. I’m not entirely sure. She had a plan.

A half hour later, I get an email from the tech, to all the bio students, saying the trip was postponed. So much for renting a bus.

Turns out, the dean told the tech to do it on Sunday. All we can figure is that he wanted to go on the trip (which he is).


Friday night, I find out I’m supposed to go to the meeting. So much for the weekend.

The meeting was indeed in French. Once they gave a summary in English. Once they invited English speakers to ask questions. Nobody had anything to say. LM hid in her office. AN played Candy Crush, making me sit in the aisle seat and hide her because I was grading labs and it was ‘more academic.’ It started at 10 AM and ended at 2. It was supposed to end at 1.

Mercifully, the tech (who should have been around to help us find a place for the drinks since he was involved in screwing up our schedule but had an ’emergency’) called at 1 PM and I took the opportunity to leave the room. It was supposed to be a Q and A, but as far as I could tell the speaker was having fun telling humorous anecdotes.

When I saw MM whilst looking for a place to put drinks to keep them cold, she rolled her eyes and said, “Why did you go?!” Yeah. That’s the question. (First, she said “put the drinks in the office and turn on the AC… )

Anyway. Off to the park tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes…. At least the students should show up. The dean sent an email reminding them it was mandatory X-D

…and then back to class on Monday….


LM says that in Ghana, when something odd and usually negative would happen, they would say “WAWA.” “West Africa Wins Again.” So I’m going to be using that tag. Heads-up.

Oh my gosh. I started this over a week ago, and… life. Either time or internet connection Now it’s been long enough to increase the motivation:fatigue ratio over the threshold, so I’ll just leave it as it was and continue. At work. Because I am (wait for it) caught up. Seriously. I have everything ready for the rest of the week, with the exception of what I’m going to with section B and their failing grades. This is a big thing but requires a ‘eureka’ moment….. anyway. Onward.


“But I copied from the book!”

“It doesn’t matter! It’s in the syllabus underlined, italicized, and in bold. I’ve said it multiple times in class. Never, never, never, never copy word for word.” I have.

“But I read it first.”

I cover up the answer with my hand. “What is the answer?”

“I… but… I copied it from the book.”

“Exactly!” Continue reading Groundbreaking

Proof that things go right sometimes

Did I mention about the tap before? My bathroom tap hasn’t worked since I moved in, and my kitchen tap stopped working. It had become a problem. The groundsman said that I didn’t need a water pump, which is a common occurrence. We got a letter early this week that auditors would be coming around to take complains. The lab tech and I  waited for two hours (and watched American Pie at his request*) and they never came around. When I complained to the groundsman once again, he went in and took the end off. Turns out there’s a filter that was clogged with what was probably clay. Such and easy fix.

But THEN the problem was that the kitchen sink wouldn’t stop! I didn’t have time to get that worked out, so I just turned off the water and left for work. When I came home this evening, my housekeeper had come, and the water now works… *knock on wood*


Can I ask the universe to spread out the good news, or is that asking for trouble?

Section C really struggled with the lab (they don’t understand me when I speak!) Section B, today, had no troubles. Breezed through it. Didn’t turn their work in on time AGAIN, but breezed through the labs. “You take what you can get,” the Canadian said in response.

I also found AN’s Starbucks tumbler she thought was stolen. She’ll be happy to get it back!

The Students This Semester

It’s been a week of frustrated ranting from we professors.

A sampling of answers I’ve received on the homework:

  • Question: Why don’t onions have chlorophyll? (Hint: think about where you find onions)
    • Answer: “Because onions are not plants, even though they come from a plant.” (At least three students wrote this)
      • At the bottom of the pile I found a student who wrote “Because onions are root plants.” I can almost guarantee you that one student copied that and changed a word, but didn’t bother to think about what she wrote, and then other students followed suit.
  • Question: Label the dermal tissue
    • Answer: Dental tissue
      • (also in the wrong place, also repeated by multiple students)
  • Question: Label the chloroplasts
    • Answer: Chloroporm
      • At least it’s almost chemistry?
  • Question: Describe what part of the plant each fruit or vegetable is, and why you think that.
    • Answer: Potato – fruit – yellow color
    • Answer: Ginger – fruit – common use
      • The whole point of the lab was that things we call one part are actually others
    • Answer: Potato – root – root hairs
      • There is absolutely nothing resembling root hairs on a potato. It’s a modified stem, btw…. you can tell by the ‘lateral buds’ (the eyes) that come off one.


  • 4 out of 15 students turned in their assignments to the right place.
  • 2 students tried to turn something in handwritten when it said at the top of the page to type it and submit on Turnitin.
  • 1 student asked me if it was ok to copy and paste the answers
  • 1 student (probably half the class, but this is the first paper I’ve read) clearly copied, but had the decency to paraphrase. How do I know she copied? There’s a key available online that begins “student should recall….” she started her answers with “student has to call again…”
  • 1 student turned it in 3 days late because she “typed it on my friend’s computer and then said friend went to Abidjan and didn’t get back until today (Monday)”. “Also I could not submit to Turnitin.”
  • Students in bio 2 were allowed to correct their answers for half credit. Three did so, and the answers were STILL wrong. They’re directly from the powerpoints, available to the students.
  • Half bio 2 got about 1-3/20 on their labs. The other half got 17-19.5/20.
  • LM’s class, almost all went to the bathroom during class, when they have no classes prior. Madame, I didn’t have to go before! She’s banned them from using the restroom during her class.
  • LM’s class also, she gave them instructions, and they immediately proceeded to do the exact opposite.
  • The Canadian overheard her expressing her frustration to me, and called from her office: “I hear that and totally sympathize!”

My bio 1 class is teaching tomorrow. This was a suggestion from a CI native stats professor. Peer pressure is a big motivator here, so either 1) they will do a better job than anything else, or 2) they will be ‘sick.’ In which case they will either get to do a different topic at a later date or get a zero. At least one group will forget their USB with their presentation. And if anyone shows up late because they’re printing out a handout, so help me I will not give them points.

Additionally, the wireless network has been inaccessible because the head of the IT department got sick of students downloading and streaming videos all day, so they switched to another service that stops that, and didn’t tell anyone. AN, who uses her own computer since the other got stolen, cannot access via ethernet cable and so has no access, period.