December 29, 2010


Now, what’s so special about these Iraqi students? Let me give you a list:

* Students here come to class wide awake and cheerful. Even those students in the 8 a.m. Mathematics II class show up on time and ready to work; the same applies to the students in the later sections.

* Students here show up for class without a bunch of electronics. Cell phones are plentiful here, but I’ve never seen one in class. Last spring, at my university in the United States, I spent countless weeks wrestling with my calculus students over texting in class.

* In both their dress and demeanor, students here display a positive attitude toward learning. There’s no “slacker” mentality. Students are nicely dressed, most at a business casual level. There are no pajamas, flip-flops, or t-shirts with profane or sexually explicit messages, nor do you see a lot of skin. These kids are dressed to learn.

Read the whole thing.

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