Over the past few years, HCT has become a slum. There are so many unhappy people just biding their time here, finding ways to cope, but not enjoying any job fulfillment. The English program has been further dumbed down to a curriculum based solely on books, where teachers are dictated to, told what to do, and even what to wear. Nowadays, working in ADMC’s J-block is a constant reminder of where you are and where the students are in the eyes of the system – it smells, it’s overcrowded, and a constant in-your-face reminder that you are one step from being a car washer.
Educating is no longer at the center of the college’s purpose, and it is the (former) director at ADMC whom I guess is the source of misery - a scrutinizing director who only seems able to have a duty thru the administration of his absurd 'dress code'. In short, he is (was) pretty pathetic. HCT has acquired a non-professional, non-education centered atmosphere, where teachers feel like factory workers and the lowest of the low. Unfortunately, one has to find ways to survive in this autocratic system. It is a very unfulfilling job, and mostly we feel hated.
At work, I also feel the profile of those recruited has become much lower. The English departments now feature fewer and fewer first language speakers. The atmosphere is poor, not what I experienced as true faculty back home. There is no longer any enrichment. Now it’s a matter of having to step in line, be subservient, subordinate yourself, and hopefully clue in to the very few who do want to learn something and enjoy some of the students upon whom you know you made a difference and sparked a fire or opened their eyes ... yes, there are a few.
So much here in the UAE is a farce, a showcase, unsustainable and very sad indeed. It’s a hollow shell, with a population that does not value productivity. A rentier system that has created mini lords who are fortunate to live with so much wealth they can live like in the ancient Greco-Roman empire, feudal lords or landed gentry symbiotically. If only they were educated, informed, so that something showed beyond flat screens and BMW's, and our students’ favorite hobby - sleeping. Museums are being built for the blind. I would like to think it would change, and the populace could be brought forward culturally, but there is little sign of that among the majority. It is sad in a pitiful way, if not desperate - and HCT is a reflection of it all.