Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Value What You Have

The Price of College

Our first semester just ended, and as I reflect on the 50 students I had, I wonder how many of them will remember what they "learned" in a semester-long writing course. More importantly, I wonder if any of them even realized the value of the opportunity they had: an opportunity that many people don't have. For example, I had four students who failed because they would refuse to come to class. Others had to leave early at various times because they "had to work," and I cannot even remember how many grandparents took the Big Sleep this semester (fortunately, none more than once). One student even missed class on the day that she was having her cat put to sleep. And, of course, there were many students disguised as empty chairs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Hawa Akther Jui would have been in class that day...and every day...even without fingers.
In another amazing story from around the world in which a woman is denied education and punished for her desire for it comes the story of Ms. Akther whose husband mutilated her right hand because she wanted to go to college. The story gets even more bizarre: the couple lives in Bangledesh, but he works in another country. When she said she wanted to go to college, he vowed there would be "dire consequences" if she dared to be more educated than he. Upon his arrival home, he said he had a surprise for her which required him to tie her in a chair and tape her mouth shut. He then cut off all the fingers on her writing hand.
What followed was a bit unclear in the BBC story. A relative threw away the fingers so the six hours (the time in which they could be successfully reattached) would elapse, giving her no hope of ever having fingers again on that hand.
Fortunately,Rafiquel Islam is in jail and seems destined for significant punishment. I would hope it might involve chopping something off of HIS hand, or foot, or...
The young lady of 21 still plans to get a higher education and has begun learning to write with her left hand.
Too bad my students have no more class periods. They would definitely see this.


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