28 June 2006

And the University's Year's End

My husband is now officially finished with all of his teaching assignments for the year, and it certainly was an interesting year. He'd been warned that cheating and corruption are rampant in the universities here, and that was no exaggeration.

When a paper was due in the middle of the semester, one student came in a few minutes before the paper was due to choose his topic. He showed up 10 minutes later with a 40-page paper on his just-chosen topic. (Actually, I'm impressed that he found a printer that was capable of printing 40 pages in 10 minutes.)

Other students, since my husband required citations, cheerfully cited various paper and report banks from which they had copied their entire papers.

He didn't even bother with a final exam at one university the second semester because of all the cheating that went on during the exam the first semester.

He didn't have much trouble with corruption the first semester, but by the second semester when he knew people better, he had a number of people asking him to help out friends and relatives with their grades. One person who asked was a university administrator whose brother had never even showed up to class, much less done any work.

But there was so much that went well. A number of the students were speaking much better English by the end of the year, and we've had them over to our house a number of times.

He also traveled around the country to do presentations on constitutional reform. Almost without fail students favored a super-presidential system, but after being taught about other systems of government and their strengths and weaknesses, many saw the benefits of separating powers and reducing the influence of the president.

The students have been kind and courteous and pleasant to work with. While it would have been a lot easier to have been at the American University, I'm glad he taught at other universities instead.

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