Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Killing Fields

Yesterday's post ran long, and I forgot to post about a mandatory class here that all high schoolers at their school have to take.


When my 9th grader started off the year in Government, I thought it was strange, since that was a senior-level class for me.  I only assumed that the second semester would be Economics.

Silly me. 

Something tells me we aren't in Kansas anymore.

Genocide was her second semester class.

These are just a few of the essay questions and definitions that she had to know for her last exam.

*List and briefly describe the 8 stages of genocide.
*What was the Holocaust?
*What symbols did the Nazis put on homosexuals/Jews during WWII?
*Why were the Armenian Christians, Jews, and Kurds targeted?
*Why were the Rohingya Muslims, Yazidis, and African Americans targeted?
*How were the Tutsis classified by the Hutus? 
*What happened in Cambodia after the Vietnam conflict?
*List 2 ways Nazi Germans killed Jews during WWII.
*Give 2 definitions of genocide by 2 different researchers or professors.
*How many people were killed in the Ukrainian famine?
*Which genocide is illegal to talk about in the country which such genocide occurred?
*What does "Anfal" mean?  Who led and carried out the campaign and why?
*What 3 forms of discrimination did the Armenian Christians face during WWI?
*Which group entered India and created Hinduism?
*List and describe the Caste system.
*Define polytheism, monotheism, animism, and atheism.

I actually learned a lot helping her study.  George Santayana was right, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Our earth seems to be in a vicious cycle, so maybe a study on genocide isn't so bad.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Whole New World

I know I've written about the kids' school before here and here, an awards ceremony here, and a science fair here, but as the year goes on, I get more and more insight into the school.

For example, when a teacher is absent...nothing.

Do you think this is what it looks like?

Seriously, the kids have an entire free period un-monitored (except for the cameras in the classroom).  The kids have told me that sometimes if another teacher has a free period, that teacher will come in to sit, but what happens the next period and the next when no teacher is available?

When I taught school, faculty meetings with the principal were held after school, and if a parent wanted to meet with me, it had to be during my off-period.  At this particular school, if the principal wants to meet with her high school teachers, she calls them all out during a period during the day, leaving all 9th through 12th graders with no supervision.  Sounds marvelous, right?

If a parent wants to come and talk to a teacher, the principal will call the teacher to the office even if they are teaching.

But, to be honest, teachers are not respected in this culture.  The kids treat them terribly.  No one listens.  They talk while they teacher is talking.  They sleep.  There is never a moment of silence.  And no one studies or does homework.  Over half of one of my kids' classes is failing and they don't seem to know why???  I never saw it this bad in the States, but it may be present there and I don't know it. 

 I have heard that classrooms are different these days.

When my children attended school in the States, saying "No" to drugs was an important theme.  My then second grader came home with a poem that said:

If you're asked 
to try some pot,
just say, "NO,
I'd rather not."

If you're asked
to drink some wine
say, "No thanks,
I'm feeling fine."

If someone asks
you to smoke,
say, "I don't want
to cough and choke."

With other drugs,
like cocaine and crack
say, "I'd rather have 
a healthy snack."

When you say, "NO,"
you will agree
how great it feels
to be drug free.

He asked me what pot, crack and cocaine were.  I guess you have to get educated sometime.

The funny thing is that here, we have seen students from their school out smoking hooka/shisha, and at the school teachers and students all smoke together between classes.
Flavored tobacco smoked in a hookah, usually mixed with molasses or honey and often fruit pulp or dried fruits.

It's a Whole New World.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life in a Taxi (Vol. 1)

I ride in a lot of taxis.

After 8 months of taxi riding, I finally decided to take pictures to entertain you with the "inside" of the taxis.

I started taking pictures in September, having Keira (mostly) pose for me so you could see some of the interiors.

This is the one time all six of us rode in the back.  Usually Doug rides up front, but this particular time, we had a male guest with us, and we allowed him to ride in the front. 

It's generally a good practice for females not to ride in the front next to the driver.  We've even ridden with 5 and 6 girls in the back to avoid a female getting in the front seat.

 Below is the first picture I took for you because it's the most common way taxis are "covered." 

In houses, the people like to leave stickers covering the drains and window panes, so they will always appear "new," but the irony is that they never take them off to see the "new."

This idea of plastic in the taxi is also to keep the taxi looking "new" and protect it from dirt and dust.


 Some use material.

You can even see the seat belt covered in plastic behind Keira.

 Some just cover the seats and benches with material.

Or pleather.

And, of course, there are non-working screens in many.

I'll have more to show you when I write "Life in a Taxi (Vol. 2)"