CGE, our workplace

26 Sep

CGE Jordan - Floorplan

The CGE (the Consortium for Global Education) Jordan is the Middle Eastern office for a consortium of over 40 American colleges and universities.  CGE’s headquarters is in north Atlanta just up from Perimeter Mall on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.  The Jordan office is much larger and more populous with visitors and employees than the Atlanta office.  That is mostly due to the fact that CGE Jordan is not only an office for correspondence with the U.S., but it is also a learning center where regularly scheduled classes meet.

The Street in front of CGE Jordan (the University of Jordan is located directly behind our building)

There are two main departments at CGE Jordan.  There’s the Arabic Department where foreigners (Americans, Koreans, Germans, etc.) take courses in the Jordanian spoken dialect of Arabic and also in MSA (Modern Standard Arabic, which is the lingua-franca form utilitzed by the media throughout the Arab world).  CGE offers a summer study abroad program for college students in attendance at the 40-something American universities associated with our consortium.  Students come to Amman for 10 weeks in the summer, study Arabic, hit the major sightseeing attractions, and experience life here for credit given through Union University in Tennessee.  (This is the same program for which Phillip came to Amman in 2009 — but ended up returning to the U.S. before it was finished because he had fallen in love with this girl named Rachel.)

The other department is where I come in — English!  My title is “Director of the English Studies Department,” which entails several new dynamics for me:  curriculum development, finding teachers, marketing, and teacher training in addition to teaching; however, I certainly don’t pull the load by myself!  I work with several great people who are also full-time at CGE:

(1) Fred — American, my boss, who is the overall director of CGE Jordan; he has written one of the only textbooks that exists for helping non-native speakers of Arabic learn verbs & vocabulary that are particular to the Jordanian/Palestine world.

(2) Rami — Jordanian, teaches Arabic & works directly under Fred as assistant director of CGE Jordan; he has a knack for business & marketing and is presently attending the CGE national conference hosted by none other than my alma mater, Mercer University in Macon, GA!

(3)  Christine — Jordanian, teaches Arabic & works as the receptionist/translator for the English Studies Department; she’s a very sharp & diligent worker and supplies several opportunities for laughter throughout each day.

(4) Maryam — Jordanian, teaches Arabic & will be my tutor for the first leg of learning Arabic; in fact, our first lesson is today.  I think we’re going to review the alphabet & work on greetings.

(5) Izzid — Egyptian, works as a multi-tasker maintenance person, custodian, errand-runner, & doorkeeper; his English is only slightly more than my Arabic, so we don’t engage in much conversation at this point although Phillip can speak with him and any Jordanian quite fluently.  (Go, Phillip!)

This blog is entitled, “CGE, our workplace” because both Phillip and I are teaching English here this semester.  We’re each teaching 12 hours per week.  CGE offer group classes in Conversational English (by far the most popular), TOEFL Preparation, SAT Preparation, and we also offer private lessons.  The regularly scheduled classes meet two hours per day on Sundays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays (that’s right, the weekend here is Friday/Saturday — thus, I’m never sure that day of the week it is).  One term is 10 class sessions, so that adds up to 20 hours of classtime per course.  (For students, the cost of a group lesson averages to $4.11/hour — very reasonable.  I don’t know of anywhere in Atlanta that would offer such an affordable rate for foreign language study.)

While we are not teaching, Phillip is typically studying Arabic in one of the unoccupied classrooms, and am working on various administrative tasks.  We like to break for lunch around 2:00 — yes, that’s late, but it enables us to wait until classes are finished at 8:30 to go home and eat dinner.

There are good places to eat in front of the Univ. of Jordan shopping center where CGE is located.  We like a Yemeni restaurant (pictured here) as well as a couple of chicken shwarma stands (that’s where they roast chicken on a vertical spit and carve it off into sandwiches).  When you come to visit, we’ll take you to our favorite eateries and then back to CGE for an in-person tour.  :)

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2 Responses to “CGE, our workplace”

  1. Karin September 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Rachel and Phillip! Thomas, Cem, and I just came back from the CGE conference in Macon where we had the opportunity to meet Rami. You’re really lucky to be working with such a great group of people. Drop us a line back at Mercer if you ever need anything. In the meantime, I will follow your adventures on your blog. :-)

  2. Jenny September 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    It looks really nice! I’m glad we got a tour! :)

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