During a session of mathematics in a public high school in the coastal town of Kenitra in Morocco during the spring of 2008, Ibtissam, who was sitting at the desk next to me, listened covertly to music from her cell phone, having neatly tucked one earphone inside her hijab. Sensing the curious gaze of the anthropologist, she looked startled but swiftly regained her composure and winked at me: “I’m bored. What’s the point of all this? I’m not gonna graduate, am I?” Responding to my ardent protestations, Ibtissam said in a resigned tone: “And even if I do graduate, all I will achieve is unemployment ( gilsa f-dar, literally sitting at home).” Even though she was very disillusioned with public education, this was her third time repeating the senior year in pursuit of her Baccalaureate (highschool diploma). She went on: “Education here is bad ( khaib ), what more can we say? Teachers don’t work, students don’t study, we only come to spend time ( passer le temps ). Otherwise we would do chores at home.” We continued our discussion during break until we were cut off by the bell. Rushing to her next class, Ibtissam asked for my msn address so that we could “chat some more.” When I confessed I did not have one, she was stunned: “Really? I spend half, if not more, of my life online!” I asked, “Oh yeah? Doing what?” She replied:

Everything! I learn about current affairs, talk to my friends, discuss issues such as racism, religion, culture, love, Morocco, and the world with random people . . . For me, this is another type of classroom, one where everyone gets to talk about any subject they want. It’s great!