When I was a kid
I used to get up in the early light gray serenity of silence
and drink in the tweets of a timid blue jay.
A solitary sound, a perfect prelude. 

Now a drunken orange bird with a messy yellow crest
tweets at all hours of the day
shattering my peace of mind.
And bitter laughter echoes back across the blue oceans.

I miss my old dictionary.

S. Susan Marandi

On using a search engine

Small hands used to mean
chubby little kids with their sweet chubby hands.
(And ooh, look at those tiny little fingers with the perfect little fingernails!)

Orange used to be the color of warmth, sunlight and laughter. 
It used to go with blue on the color wheel,
and you got it by mixing red and yellow.

Now small hands stroke pussies, not kittens,
and Orange is said to be the new black?
I've been told that it mixes well with Saudi oil,
and that it dances with a sword.
(Or was it with wolves??)

Even my search engine is confused.

S. Susan Marandi

Celebrating baby blogs and a newborn wiki! :-)

Hello all!

Finally, a new entry in my blog! Yay!! :-) I bet most of you had given up on me by now! I know I had! ;-)

Still, I hope you will feel that it was worth the long wait after seeing the newborn weblogs of my Essay Writing Class at Al-Zahra (a.k.a. Azzahra) University. My girls have done a good job, if I say so myself. This year we have gone a step further and have created a classroom wiki, as well! I hope you'll have time to drop by and leave a few comments. I'm sure it will give the class more incentive to continue working on their blogs even now that the term is ending. Thanks! :-)

The classroom wiki:

My girls' new weblogs:

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, dedicated to Crusader George

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, dedicated to “Crusader” George

Lips gray-blue, nose still running, streaking his face
A grimy white bandage
hugging his baby fat
His dark wide eyes stare accusingly into mine
thru the camera lens
Sweet little three-year-old
How can I possibly make you see
the soldiers only want to set you free?
How to help you understand
they merely want to save you from yourself
by beating the “terrorism” out of your filthy Muslim blood?
Alas! You are yet too young
or you would now know
what your teenage sister will never forget
The precious price of “democracy.”
* * * *
Lovely little darling with those curly long lashes
look the other way, please.
They are coming again
and it’s time to "turn the other cheek."

By (Seyyedeh) Susan Marandi

A big 'thank you' and an even bigger apology!

Hello all!

Just wanted to say thanks so much, those of you who spent time on my blog and my students' blogs. They were really thrilled at receiving your kind comments and it made them take their work so much more seriously! Thank you all soooo much! :-) I should also apologize for not replying to your comments; I know this excuse is inadmissible and doesn't lessen my rudeness in not replying, but I have truly been overwhelmed by trying to keep up with my girls' blogs! Nevertheless, I am really ashamed of myself for not being as good a friend for you as you have been to me. :-(

I also owe a big 'thank you' to my dear students, whose enthusiasm was inspiring. I can now safely say that I have reached the 'no-return' point with Computer-Assisted Language Learning, because despite all the difficulties, it has been truly rewarding. Actually, I had been avoiding writing classes for a few terms, because of all the extra work it adds to my already overburden…

My BA students' blogs

Hello all,

I finally started using blogs for my BA students' Essay Writing Class! It is a new experience for us all, so bear with us while we blunder thru, but I may add that I'm proud of the efforts my students have put in, and I hope you feel moved to visit several of their blogs and honor us with your comments. I'm sure they will be delighted to have visitors!

The URLs follow below (not all of them, but those who have already posted to their blogs; the rest will follow shortly, I hope). Hopefully, the English and typing mistakes will lessen after more experience, but since they are mostly new to typing (not to mention blogging!) and they are only sophomore students of English, I think they are doing pretty well. I should also mention that some of them have been guilty of plagiarism without knowing how serious an offense it is (they mostly think of it as sharing something worth sharing, and don't mean to abuse other people), but we're working on that, too. As a sta…

Tomb of Hafiz, the celebrated Iranian poet

This is the tomb of Hafiz, a celebrated Iranian poet. His full name was Khaje Shams ud-Din Hafiz-i Shirazi, and he lived from 1326-1390.

After the Holy Koran and Islamic prayer books, Hafiz's collection of poems is probably the most popular book in Iran. (I can hardly imagine an Iranian household not having a copy, so you can guess how popular he is!)

Khaju Bridge, Isfahan

Here's another historical site to visit if you come to Iran: Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, which was built around in the year 1650. Like Shiraz, Isfahan has many places worth seeing. For more info on Isfahan, you might want to take a look at Wikipedia. Although it's not always accurate with regard to Iran's modern history, it can give you an idea of the more ancient history, at least with regard to architecture.

Perspolis (Shiraz, Iran)

This is a photo of Perspolis, capital of Achaemenid Empire 500 BC. It is located in Shiraz in Fars province in Iran.

The stone engravings are unbelievable!

Those of you who haven't seen it don't know what you're missing! :-)

My blog reincarnated!

Reincarnation, resuscitation, renovation, or maybe just face-lifting! Whatever you call it, it looks like my blog and I are back again!

(Whew! Long story; I'll tell you later ...)

Finally I can relax!

Susan :-)


Looks like my blog has just disappeared!