Two weeks from today, I’ll be in Abu Dhabi, participating in the first day of NYU Abu Dhabi’s faculty orientation. The students arrive a week later. In the interval, I’m hoping to start up a set of conversations among the faculty and deans about ongoing curricular and pedagogical initiatives. I’ll be at NYUAD an average of once a month and look forward to participating in these conversations, which will address such matters as writing across the curriculum, linking pedagogy and scholarship, and transforming “the ARC” (a.k. the “Academic Resource Center”) from a simple writing and tutoring center into something much, much more.

This morning, I was pleased to come across a blog co-written by Beth Lindsay, NYUAD’s Access and Public Services Librarian, and her husband Vic. The blog is called “Sight Unseen: Vic & Beth Move to Abu Dhabi,” and thus far it’s been full of delightful anecdotes about life in Abu Dhabi and about regional travel.

Finding their blog has prompted me to create an “NYUAD Blogs” section in my sidebar. In addition to their blog, and the official NYUAD blog, “Salaam,” I’ve included links to two blogs I’ve discovered  by incoming NYUAD students.

Leah Reynolds calls her blog, “BiH Bound: Living, Loving, and Learning in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina!” because she has been studying at United World College in Mostar.” In her post “New York University Abu Dhabi” from last April, Leah describes why she chose to attend NYUAD. Apparently, she’ll be giving her blog a new name come September.

Stephen Underwood’s blog is “The Unheard Sermon of a Lesser Scholar.” It aims to tell the stories of the challenges faced by the members of the inaugural class of of NYUAD. My favorite of his posts so far is, “Cosmopolitanism and Christianity,” his response to Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which members of the Class of 2014 were invited to read over the summer. Stephen wonders how one can reconcile a belief in cosmopolitanism with his beliefs as “a devout Christian” that “there are universals” and that these universals are expressed in the Bible. I didn’t tackle this important question in my online lecture for the summer colloquium, but I’m hoping that Stephen, his classmates, and I will be able to start a conversation about that question next month in Abu Dhabi.

If you’re a member of the NYUAD community and have a blog, drop me a line so that I can include it in the sidebar.

I haven’t yet had a chance to explore the various blogs that are listed at “Blog Abu Dhabi,” which are written by expatriates living in the emirates, but it’s on my to-do list for the next few weeks.