Friday, February 09, 2007

The Funny Things

My recent lack of postings has had many reasons. First of all, time seems to be absent, second, internet has been abseng. And finally, my typing has been limited due to tendonitis in my left hand. So, the following has been borrowed with permission from a 15 year old girl named Pauli whose family has joined us out here in the Middle East this semester. Be entertained... I was there when the following incident happened.

So Saturday we went to the school for teacher-training. The teachers in the school have to go to a “once-a-month” teacher training session...1)because they are Kurdish, therefore English is their second language, it’s quite difficult to teach kids a language you barely know. 2) The public schools here deal with discipline and teaching completely differently. For example- ear pulling, screaming, anything like that. As for the teaching, one of the teachers had each of the 30 students stand in the corner of the room and read the same 2 paragraphs for the entire class time. They were taught that repition is the key. The session helped show them how to “really” teach.
One of the most interesting parts was the fire drill. Jeremiah made out a plan so they could have a fire-escape plan…which had never been thought through before. As a lot of you know there was a fire a few months ago in the school building in the middle of the night. Now- houses and buildings here just do not catch on fire. Every building in concrete. Nothing is there for it to actually catch onto. So a lot of the people think someone probably set the school on fire. So when Jeremiah came up and said, “We are going to have a fire drill” everyone’s first impression was, “We have an enemy…someone is going to set the school on fire” they all said it too. See, fire drills are un-heard of here. No one does them…like as I said, nothing catches on fire here, so why have a fire drill unless we had threats against the school. So it was funny trying to explain to them that no, we don’t have someone that is going to blow the school up!
So Jeremiah went over the things that they are suppose to do in a fire…the basics that you learn in kindergarten but they were never taught it. One of the things was, “Stay and hold the door open while all your kids get out of the class then follow them” one of the teachers said, “Honestly, if there is a fire…I’m going to leave my kids and get out of the school” my mom and I just looked at each other thinking, how can this teacher leave thirty 2nd graders and run out the door. My mom turned the teacher next to her and said, “Would she really do that??” and she said, “Of course, she is much more important than the children, she has a husband and a family”
It was an amazing opportunity for Jeremiah to open up in discussion. He was saying that this is exactly what’s wrong with this culture. This is why we don’t have electricity- this is why we have limited water- this is why there is trash all over the ground- and that they don’t clean up anything- this is why all the government officials stuff the money in their pockets. The only thing that anyone is concerned with in this culture is themselves. The teacher then went on to say, “I’m way more important than the kids”…this is what happens to everyone, they grow up thinking that they are more important than anyone else. That’s why there is a school in the first place. Believe it or not, but these kids have never ever been taught to clean up. Ever. Everyone just throws their trash out the window. So for the first time- these kids are being taught to pick up their trash. To clean up- to respect others- to help. It’s a completely new concept to them. What we are hoping is that these kids will be future leaders of Iraq.


Jeff Moss said...

Was that Jeremiah Small who was leading the fire-drill training? I know him!

Aiming at Proverbs 31 said...

Yes, it is.

thebeloved said...

Hey Mom! Are you answering my comments for me! Ha ha. Yes. It is Jeremiah Small.

Anonymous said...

To say that "all anyone cares about in this culture is themselves" is like saying "all anyone in American culture cares about is money;" limited encounters, limited conclusions.

thebeloved said...

I would say that American culture does promote the love of money.

Anonymous said...

...But would you say that all anyone in America cares about is money? Only if the only place you had been in America was the Stock exchange.