Monday, December 04, 2006

Demoralising Education

On Sunday, Sandy and another girl announced that they were moving to Amman. That other girl's evil because she has the uncanny ability to memorize text by heart that I had not known about till a couple of weeks ago when she over eagerly began to recite from her head the word for word text from the textbook when the teacher asked the question. She was reciting so fast I couldn't catch what she was saying. It really pissed me off. And so I was really glad to hear that she was leaving, but today somebody told me she had changed her mind.

Suzy is very sad about her best and more or less only good friend leaving. And I'm pretty bummed out too, I'm going to miss watching Sandy's cute body. And it's just my luck that just as I was thinking that this other girl in my class isn't too bad looking and could take her place. This other girl then decides to also announce that she's leaving too. She's smart so I asked her about the transfer process, which seems not to be much of a problem from what I understood from her. I'm trying to make Nahida understand that my dad and her should be working on a contingency plan for me.

Last week, Taweela the classmate that I had been waiting for to take guitar lessons with me died in a car accident. He was returning from Syria when the car he was travelling in flipped over. What makes his death extra sad was that last year two of his brothers also died. One was murdered and the other died from electrocution. Last weekend another classmate of mine told me that he's probably going to ditch this year to go work in Syria. He hasn't shown up this week so even though he's often spoke about quitting, I think this time he really has.

Our first period lecturer began the class by chatting about the state of the country. Blaming the Americans for all the violence in the country. She told us the story of a school that was visited by Americans in the middle of the night. The following day the headmaster went round the school to check if everything was in order and found a bomb on the roof. It's the kind of story that resembles the bombing of the Shiite mosque in Samara when supposidly just after the Americans visited the site the place blew up and incited some Shiites to go kill some Sunnis.

But anyway, the interesting thing I heard was that the government was suggesting reducing the hours of attendance at primary schools. Everybody's finding the idea outrageous considering that the kids aren't learning much anyway. Some girl mentioned that her little brother or sister was just attending two or three hours every other day. And I can't remember who told me that the teachers have been threatened to not teach and so the kids just go to school and waste their time. I don't know how true it all is, take it with a pinch of salt, and you're still left with kids not getting the education they need and a government that's not pushing for a solution.

Apparently the situation in my college is a lot better than in others where students and teachers are not showing up. I'm not quite understanding what the story is. The general picture I'm getting is that the universities have become another piece of turf that's being fought over. If I understood correctly there's a rumour going round that the insurgents don't want people to attend universities so that they can attack the Sadr people that have taken control of some of the state run universities. The whole picture is very confusing and complicated to me.

The one big question that's running through my mind and I can only assume all the other students is will the universities remain continue to operate this year or will they all close down?

There's one teacher that's pissing me off. He's supposed to give us a class at half past one on Mondays. So I was there at the classroom at half past one. One of the building's doors got locked by the cleaning lady, some other guy turned off all the lights on the floor and the teacher didn't show up. I went to my department's office and the secretary told me that he showed up last week. Nobody was going to come last week so why did he bother then and not now. It's just taking the piss that he's not showing the same commitment the other teachers are.

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