June 28, 2018.  Yesterday was the first day of school-wide exams.  I think I did OK.  I have a new study partner, Moustapha.  This amazing young man is 24.  Arabic will be his 6th language.  He sings beautifully.  He is an artist.  He has already worked in the diplomatic service (Belgian embassy if I remember correctly).  He is Belgian, descended of Moroccan parents, the first of his family to attend University, and more.  We drilled each other on vocabulary and it helped a lot.  I hope that we can do so every day.  Wednesdays are special here at Middlebury.  Whereas we normally attend class from 8:45 to 3:30, on Wednesdays we go to 11:00.  This is in order that we go to “Club”.  My club is Arabic current events, but others include calligraphy, the Quran, the Bible, and cooking (among others).  The cooking class prepares Arabic food, which everyone shares after the evening lecture, 9:30-10:30ish.  The beginning speakers, levels 1 and 1.5, have been allowed to speak English in class (not in common areas).  That was supposed to end yesterday, but we have been given a reprieve of one more day.  Last night’s lecture was our final one in English as well.  Time to ask all the questions.  Trying to communicate in Arabic makes me see why babies cry so much.  Very frustrating when you have something to say and no vocabulary with which to do so.  But, I am adding every day.