Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting Ready for the Voyage

Well, the fall semester departure is about 101 days away.  The faculty and staff embark on 23 August in Norfolk and then sail north to Halifax where the students board.  Sandy and I are busy getting shots (Yellow Fever shot to enter Ghana), visas (for Ghana, India, and China) and filling out endless forms for the Semester at Sea admin people. 

I am also finalizing several field trips which are named "Faculty Directed Practica-- FDPs" in which I will assist a local person in leading students to a particular site that will enhance the courses that I am teaching.  I will have 4 FDPs:  a day trip to Gibraltar to receive a general tour of the "Rock" and to get a briefing from a former US Naval officer who now works for a company that found an old sunken Spanish ship that is located on the seafloor that is disputed between Spain and the UK.  Then, in Casablanca I am putting together a tour that had been used in a previous trip, over 10 years ago which will take the students on a cultural tour around the city and region including one of the largest mosques in the area.  Then, once we arrive in Mauritius I will help lead my last two FDPs-- first to the Jummah Mosque where we will get a lecture from one of the religious leaders and then the students will have the chance to meet with Mauritian students. And, finally my Oceans students will receive a briefing at one of the country's marine scientific research institutes, followed by several hours of snorkeling in their reef system.

I will be teaching 3 courses-- two sections of World Regional Geography and a course on the Geography of the Oceans.  I have just received information on the times and rooms on the ship during which I will be teaching them. We teach only when we are at sea and the teaching days are divided into "A" and "B" days.  On the A day I have only one class-- a section of the World Regional Geography from 12:15 to 13:30; on B days I teach the other World Regional Geography class from 10:45 to noon and then in the afternoon, 14:55-16:10 I teach my Oceans class.  The land field trips will comprise 20% of the grade for all the classes.

Do check back to this blog, after August 23 as I intend to write as frequently as I can and to include photos.