Thank God it's Friday

20th December 2002 at 00:00
Saturday Ramadan means school starts an hour-and-a-half late. But my leisurely early morning is spoiled by a dreadful journey: all the roads are jammed with fellow late-starters and I arrive with a few minutes to spare. No drinking is allowed in public, so no coffee until first break.

Sunday Although the Koran suggests fasting from around the age of 10, many of our younger pupils want to join in, with the inevitable resulting sore tummies. The queue at the nurse's door grows by the hour. It's unusual to have to persuade a six-year-old to eat crisps. In the staffroom, western teachers eat guiltily while our Arab colleagues look on quite happily; it isn't a problem if we want to devour a Mars bar. The talk is of Iraq. New teachers look nervous, while long-serving expats talk of numerous crises over the years. But this one seems more serious.

Monday I do a great literacy lesson, and look on with a warm glow as the groups get on with their differentiated tasks. I think we've cracked the rules of punctuation. This reverie is brought to a sharp end with Ahmed asking, "I go bathroom?" He did raise his voice at the end of the sentence, so I suppose that counts for something.

Tuesday This was supposed to be a school trip day, with three classes going together to the museum, followed by a walk on the beach. The weather is beautiful, but a recent terrorist shooting means all trips have been cancelled. I suppose teachers and children playing on the beach counts as a soft target. We run some races in the hall instead, and the children seem to enjoy it just as much.

Wednesday The children are all very excited about special Ramadan dinners, and staying up half the night. Personally, I can't wait for bedtime. Next week's planning done, I collapse on the sofa and am told by CNN that Saddam Hussein has accepted the UN resolution about weapons inspections. I switch channels and I'm in Albert Square. EastEnders and the weekend ahead. Bliss.

The writer is a primary teacher in Kuwait. She wishes to remain anonymous

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