World Geography

I'm surrounded by people who think they know all there is to know about what it means to be an educated person.

 A woman in a long, thick dress tells to me the definition of education. She sighs and continues, "I closed my eyes during the presidential election.If Obama didn't win I would've shriveled into a ball for the next four years. Eh, I refuse to be friends with a republican."

 I ask her how her homeroom class is going.

 She responds, "I don't have my favorite students. They are okay. The kid I hate is gone. He was a poison."

 We walk into an old shop classroom. The decrepit gas heater rudely interrupts our conversation. Other teachers are seated around an old clump of tables. A woman drinks diet coke out of a venti-sized Starbucks cup. An intern tries to look important and takes notes. Another teacher stares at the clock. We discuss what we plan to teach the students. The assigned subject is World Geography. A seasoned teacher with a smoky voice confidently announces: "We need to focus our studies on human rights. Let's read Animal Farm. Let's talk about the Holocaust for several weeks. That's world geography. We don't need to teach world history." My thoughts are off with maps, plateaus, earth's atmosphere, and human movement.

 "I asked my students a question." Says the woman in the thick dress. "I asked them, if it was legal to cheat, would you cheat on your homework? Two students said they would not. Then I asked the students a question that naturally flows from the previous one: do you consider yourself a good person?"

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