F is for fatal

College professors in Baghdad fear that giving F’s could be fatal, says the Globe and Mail. Recently, a professor was murdered; students believe he was shot in retaliation for a bad grade.

Death-threat letters have become commonplace this exam season, and there have been at least two other recent attempts on the lives of university officials.

In a wooden cabinet in Prof. Taleb’s office, he keeps all the threatening letters sent to lecturers in his college. The pile is high and a number of them have bullets taped to them.

Students complain they miss class when they’re held up at roadblocks and can’t study because the electricity is erratic. And the dog ate their homework. So professors should pass everyone — or the final really will be final.

A professor calls for hanging homicidal students.

Poliblogger is publicizing a book drive for Baghdad University’s library, which especially needs math, science and medical texts. Books or checks payable to Books for Baghdad may be sent to Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani, Department of Biology, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265.

About Joanne


  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Arm teachers. In Iraq, too.

  2. Janet Platt says:

    Joanne, I have misplaced your e-mail address, sorry. Thought you might want to link to a request for books for Baghdad University. The info is at http://www.poliblogger.com/poliblog/archives/003991.html.

  3. Mark Odell says:

    Walter E. Wallis wrote: Arm teachers. In Iraq, too.

    “Does it make you wonder, that the lovely new constitution we’ve cooked up for the Iraqis does not include a right to own firearms?”

    You are correct, sir; but I’m not holding my breath waiting for this to happen.

  4. Now that the Iraqis have control of their own country they can change the constitution if they want to. If they want the right to bear arms, they can have it.

  5. Richard Nieporent says:

    Now I know the best reason for teaching an online course!

  6. New growth industry in Iraq: University by Homeschool.

    US universities need to get in on the Iraqi action very quickly, the competition will be fierce. Distance learning, online learning, satellite school, homeschool,

  7. Mark Odell says:

    jill wrote: Now that the Iraqis have control of their own country they can change the constitution if they want to. If they want the right to bear arms, they can have it.

    Are you sure?

  8. Jill,

    One of the conditions of the provisional government in Iraq is that is CANNOT change the constitution. Once a free election is held, then that freeze goes away, and the constitution contains provisions for making changes. The purpose is to prevent someone in power who was not elected by the people from changing things to their personal benefit (and none of the provisional government officials were elected, since there’s no election infrastructure in place yet, among other things).

    Once an elected government is in place as of next year, the government can revise or even rewrite the constitution as their elected officials want. We gave ’em something to get them started and provide a basis in law for a pluralistic society.