Sunday, April 01, 2007

Getting An Education In Baghdad

It isn't as easy as we might like to think, and car bombs are not the only problem.

Rafi, an English-language lecturer, received a warning one day not to give low marks. He ignored the warning and continued to apply the usual standards to students' exam papers.

Rafi was shot dead getting into his car to go to work at the university...

One found a bullet on her desk with her name written on it.

Another came to work one morning to find a message scrawled on her office wall: "Warning - you risk the same fate as Rafi."

Students have been threatened too.

It would be one thing if it were random violence, but when individuals are specifically targeted, when lawlessness seems so close to home, it takes true courage just to go to school. If only the students at UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State, those who hate our own government so much, had 1/10 as much courage.



Ellen K said...

What a tragedy. But that probably won't be reported in the major news venues. Frankly, I think teaching worldwide is pretty much under attack. It seems that no matter what teachers do, there's always some parent, some politician or some busy body know it all, none of whom have even set foot in a classroom as a teacher, that wants to tell us how to do our jobs. While it in no way is as serious as getting shot for failing a student, in some sectors there are serious professional drawbacks to failing a star athlete, or a student whose family has significant political pull. That's why I think teachers and administrators should not be allowed to teach in the schools which their children attend. We have enough pressure just from testing, I don't think the pressure we get from on campus parents is justified, but we hear it far too often.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I feel your pain.(Sorry!) I went from being a police officer to being a teacher. These are two jobs that EVERYBODY can do better than the people doing them. The problem that was discussed in the post is the prevalence of American self-hate. It is amazing to me that we have become what we are as a country and we feel so guilty about it. The left-wingers in this country can not accept American preeminence. I'm not guilty in the least about the place America holds in the world. We have tried more that any other country in history to be a fair society. We have a ways to go but we have made progress.

Darren said...

I keep a list of quotes that are especially true to me. Here's one that's apropos of what Law and Order Teacher said:

"A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."
--French writer Jean Francois Revel

Law and Order Teacher said...

Great quote! The reason I love to teach history is that students must use the conduct of those who came before them to inform their choices and conduct when they take charge. We are not a perfect, nor were we ever. But again I say, we have taken more voluntary steps to correct wrongs than any country on earth. The factual basis for Darren's quote is the Iran/British stand-off of today. The British, once the sea power of the world is now down to about 28,000 sailors. They have given in to socialism and a kumbaya attitude that everyone can get along. You see where that got them.