Monday, February 08, 2010

There's Nothing Wrong About Tawjihi

I stand behind this statement. Tawjihi is a series of exams designed by experts in education. The major drawback of these tests is that they examine the student's ability to memorize data rather than analyze it. With this said, it remains an excellent way to test resilience, hard work, commitment to study and the ability to handle stress. The more hard-working a student is, the better his/her score will be.

The problem exists with Jordanian universities that accept Tawjihi as the only way to judge a student's academic performance. Doctors are not smarter than engineers, and engineers are not smarter than lawyers, they just think differently. However, with the method universities accept students we end up with having a large number of students graduating from colleges they didn't like. They chose it because it was their only choice. Other students went to more challenging colleges only because they could. In face, the majority do so every single year.

Our universities do not do a single interview in the process of accepting students into anything. They don't even ask them to take any additional test or questionnaire about their ambitions or aspirations or reasons on why they want to join this particular college in that particular field. Any work experience a student had before going to college does not count. Any voluntary work or research or invention or activity does not count. What counts is what you scored on physics and maths and your ability to remember all those chemical formulas and Ahmed Shawqi poems.

With thousands of students graduating every year from colleges they never wanted to join, from universities they were never proud to belong to, after being taught by professors they never liked or aspired to become like, we keep having a bigger number of Jordanians who are unprofessional at their jobs, who hate their careers and always dream of becoming something else. This could have been different if someone, some day, had stopped and asked them what their dream was.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Wrong Conversation

December 31st (new year's eve)
my flight to Las Vegas scheduled at 1.30 pm

It was 11.00 am and I still had a few patients to see.
While reading a chart on the 3rd floor, a 60-something old nurse that I barely know asked me,
"Hey what are you doing tonight?"
"Going to Vegas, in a little bit actually"
"Vegas, wow" she answered with a loud voice, which got me some looks from a few nurses and doctors near the nursing station.

"Yes, Vegas"
"Ohhh, you're gonna get wasted there.... hahahaha"
"No actually I'm just going for a little change, I'm not a big drinker...."
"Oh no, don't tell me you're not a big drinker, Vegas on new year's? haha ... you're gonna get so drunk! They'll close the strip and you'll get drunk like everyone else"

I smiled and turned around and left, while she was saying, "have fun, lots of it, but try to come back, HAHAHA"


One month later.

8 pm. I'm on-call, exhausted. On the 3rd floor getting ready to leave.
I heard the same husky loud loud voice screaming from the skies, "OOOO"
It was the same witch.
"Here you are .... haven't seen you in a while... tell me about Vegas"
"Well I had fun, it was great"
"HAHA great, did you get wasted like YOU TOLD ME YOU WOULD"
"No, I didn't say that, I didn't drink there"
"HAHAHA it's OK, it's the new year, everyone gets wasted in Vegas, it's good you came back, some people don't.... HAHAHA"
"Well... ok... "
"And you know what they say about Vegas right?"
"Yes I know, thanks for asking, I have to go check on something now...."
"But you know what they say about Vegas? Huh? No?"
"Yes I know, I know...."
"You know huh? You know? "
"What happens in Vegas... huh? What happens in Vegas...huh?"
"I know"
"Stays in Vegassss, right, HAHAHA"

I have to be honest. I might have enjoyed this conversation if this was a smokin' 22-year nursing student, not a 60-year old obnoxious nurse talking while my own patient dying from stomach cancer with 3 members of his family were not sitting 5 feet away from us, or if a priest was not hanging close to us in the nursing station listening to the whole conversation smiling at me with these thoughts running in his head, "you will be doomed in hell with Satan you evil drunken doctor"

Again, I smiled at the evil witch and turned around.

sometimes people shock you so much that you just can't say anything.