Tras haber creado mi anterior blog cecilmundo varias personas, muchos de ellos mis alumnos, me sugirieron que creara una secciòn dentro de cecilmundo para publicar mis obras de docencia de idiomas. Dado que la cantidad de documentos de explicaciones, ejercicios y exàmenes de inglès son muy numerosos porque tengo màs de 30 años del ejercicio de la docencia, preferì estrenar blog con mis alumnos a como ellos realmente merecen. En este blog planetcecil no solo iràn mis documentos didàcticos de inglès, sino tambièn la producciòn literaria de varios alumnos que se destacan en las letras. Tambièn darè oportunidad a aquellos que tienen excelentes obras pero que no han logrado publicarlas ya que en mi paìs Nicaragua todo se mueve por la marrana polìtica, y si una no pertenece a determinado partido no verà jamàs publicado su opus. Tambièn tenemos la desgracia de contar con seudoeditores quienes al no conocer verdaderamente de literatura se convierten en mercenarios de la imprenta solo para llenarse ellos mismo de dinero y fama a costillas de los escritores. Todos aquellos que deseen participar en este blog, denlo de antemano por suyo. Aunque lleve mi nombre en un arranque de egolatrìa, yo soy sencillamente vuestra servidora.Cecilia

Las alas de la educación

Las alas de la educación
La educación es un viaje sin final.

La lección de física

La lección de física
Casi aprendida

lunes, 13 de octubre de 2008

getting our deserved education

59th entry to the Colonel`s Scrapbook
October 13th

1921 Yves Montand France, actor/singer (Z, Napoleon, Grand Prix),what did this guy with a cucumber nose have that he drove Marylin Monroe crazy after having managed to marry the incredible Simone Signoret?
1942 Paul Simon Newark NJ, singer/actor (Kodachrome, 1 Trick Pony), what a big noise his sounds of silence made!
Deaths which occurred on October 13:
54 Claudius Roman Emperor, dies, gaunt and ugly, he is the maximum authority as a historian on Etruscan period, too bad his fifth wife didn`t appreciate that 1601 Tycho Brahe greatest naked-eye observer, dies in Prague, having been royally patronized

1972 Uruguay to Chile plane crashes in Andes Mountain, (12/23 rescue), poor soccer players, never believed they would have to digest such a menu


As if foreshadowing what I am going to write about, everything seemed against the fact that I needed to sit down at my PC and write about this. I had a difficult time getting home, where more often than not the climate is contrary to any radical yet truthful thing I would have to say, and there was even a physical barrier for me to jump over so I could get to my keyboard. A supposed antivirus that wasn`t worked momentarily banned me from sitting here to spew my words for today, and feeling like I am about to whelp a calf because I am on the first of “one of those days” that men so often use as an argument against us females, I honestly don`t know how much bile is pent up inside. I picture you sleeping placidly, your dark curls on the pillow I would have wished to share with you since I was a baby, unaware how much rage is pent up inside this me that you have learned to identify as your purple lion. As a teacher, I am in pain today. Why is it that education has been falling into the hands of pirates, mercenaries who deal with lack of quality, mediocrity and easy grading? Well, as long as the euros or dollars appear on hand as promptly as possible.
I have been a teacher for 32 years. I learned my trade when I wasn`t even a high school graduate, but I tried to teach my own mom and grandmom the best possible English at that age, and succeeded at it. After they both rained beltings on me when they made mistakes, because they-like Far Eastern teachers that haunt the memories of many Koreans-usually believed in physical punishment, only that it was the other way around. The student made the mistake and hit the tutor(me). After those two prize students, I felt I could put up with anyone or anything that was thrown by kismet my way.
What I never imagined was that problems don`t only come from students, but from the administration of an institute or academy that rules the teachers, and can withhold their salaries for any reason, including the pressure exerted to pass a flunking student just because daddy is a magistrate or the mom is the pet mistress of a rich politician(oops, unnecessary repetition, have you ever met a politician who is poor?) Education is never a method for getting rich fast,at least for the teacher. Sure, institutions promise you that in three months you will speak better English than all the poet laureates of England put together, but you and I know that is a fraud. The administrator of the institution buys a new car every year, but teachers never see the benefits of their job. In countries like Nicaragua, being a teacher is the kissing cousin of being a fakir, and all the pressures and tossing around that we get are the equivalents of the bed of nails on which to splat your hungry roaring stomach. Being a teacher is like getting a sure fire vaccine against serenity, a good salary and stability. In private schools you can be fired just because the spoiled brat doesn`t like the color of your hair, as happens in places like the school I went to for my elementary and high school. A kid learns to treat you like his housemaid as soon as he learns to spell his own name. Then, in the public school system, where you might desire being fired soon, the salary is so piddling you might consider it a bit below alms given to the beggar. If you belong to any political party other than the one in power, you may never get to see an eraser while that type of government is in power. So, whether it is the government that demands that its teachers be politically manipulated and manipulative at that, or the capital that backs up the institution that you work for, education is in the hands of condottieri(and I like that Italian name), buccaneers and pirates worse than the ones driven away from our San Juan River in 1762 by the brave mulatto Rafaela Herrera trying to preserve the interests of the Spanish king and not those of the future nation that Nicaragua would be.
When the gangrene begins by having someone as rector who has such a dirty past that he should feel ashamed of showing himself in public, or the dean is a woman who doesn`t even speak English and refuses to take advantage of an intensive course her boss will pay for her …and she drops this opportunity saying that on those days that the lessons are taught she must cook for her husband, how can this selfsame person even dare attempt something like checking on a syllabus which has to be written in English? How can a syllabus for another language to be taught be written in Spanish so the mediocrity in charge of the pensum can read it? Can anyone learn to swim without getting into the water? In Nicaragua many private universities have been opened in large garages, a few chairs added, and the teachers they hired are being paid a miserly sum with so much delay that sometimes the poor professor has to walk miles because he has no pennies for the bus fare because the salary never comes on time. How many of the degrees conferred by these so called garage universities can be useful when job-hunting? What knowledge exists there in the student`s brain to back up the piece of paper that credits him as a bachelor, master or doctor? Would I as an employer take this person who paid for an education he or she didn`t really receive because he was royally ripped off? Can you get a degree in Managua from a dubious university when you live in Serbia and don`t even speak Spanish?
Now you may ask me, okay, why does the government allow such fraudulent institutions to continue with open doors? It must really be a truly honest government, like the one Ataturk had when he put together the bits of the Ottoman empire to create Turkey as we know it today, it needs a precisely enlightened ruler like Kig Chulalongkorn of Siam to promote education. Most corrupt governments aren`t interested in the people`s furthering their knowledge. Having knowledge is having power in your hands,because an educated person knows his rights and protests when his rights are being neglected or abused. A reading person knows which law defens him in any case arising from injustice. Many countries forbid women to educate themselves because the rulers know that an educated woman will not let any jerk tell her to stay at home tending only to the kids, pregnant all the time, or “suggest” to a woman writer that it is best to write love stories in which she and the husband are the Romeos and Juliets. An educated person will not let anyone trample all over him or her. A well-read person can question his ruler as to where does all the money for taxes go, or why is he letting so many foreigners come to injure people in the name of foreign investment, as happens with the Taiwanese who kick our women in their sweatshops and go scot- free after all they do. A truly enlightened ruler,as was Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg in the Century of Enlightment, or Vespasian in the Roman Empire, who enjoyed bantering with professors and journalists, will always be open to criticism, knowing that the feedback he gets from his people is exactly what will make his procedures effective and his government to benefit all people. It was her fine education that led Eleanor of Arborea, giudicessa of the free Sardinia, to write down her Codi di Logu, a code of law that was way ahead of her medieval times. Had she been illiterate, we would not even be mentioning her with so much love and admiration because she would have gone down into the pages of history without a cry nor a bang nor a whimper,as said T. S. Eliot in his poem The Hollow Men.
While education stays in the hands of people more in love with the easy money a garage university can bring or a high school that is more of a prison or reformatory where kids do absolutely as they please and never get good grades, passing dirty notes to the English teacher asking her to let herself be seduced and be a collector`s item in the array of women the class playboy has bedded, we have no guarantee that society will have any kind of real progress nor development as such. While schools or language centers continue to be used to launder money coming from other less palatable sources, while educational authorities don`t set a great example so kids can take them as genuine role models, we will have no true learning going on. While so-called religiously overzealous people keep knowledge divorced from the people, brutally censoring the most unsavoury parts of history by using euphemisms or superstition, our children will continue ending up as titled ignoramuses.
It is up to us, the intellectuals of the world, and the people who want to leap out of ignorance, prudery and other evils that come from having pirates and thieves trying to merchandise so called education, it is up to us to denounce those mercenaries who prevent us from truly learning and being able to serve society, humanity and our nations as proper citizens of the world that we are. As the great historian and emperor Claudius said once,”You can change the past, but you, by doing this, will lose your origin and most probably your future.”

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