Saturday, August 16, 2008

Literature and guns

It doesn't happen very often that something leaves me speechless but yes, this morning was one of those rare times.

An article on the Star Telegram left me astonished: teachers and staff in a school of Harrold, Texas, will be carrying guns during school hours. Honestly I don't know what horrified me the most, the fact that I really can't picture my former teachers (or my mother, teacher in high school!) with a gun in the class, or the fact that I can't myself make any suggestion after the Virginia Tech massacre and the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania.

The headmasters of American schools must be frightened at the idea that something like this is a sad record in the United States educational system and that their biggest challenge is to prevent their school from being the next one.

But what if accidentally one of the gun remains out of the teacher's reach for a second and falls in the wrong hands? Is it not dysfunctional for kids to study in an environment where guns are accepted? Will this have consequences in their young minds? Will they think that having a gun it is not so big deal?

Dealing with children is always difficult and handling such matters is a considerable responsibility. All we can do for now is see what will be the experiment's outcome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Games and war times

I've tried, but nothing, I can't force myself to enjoy this edition of the Olympic Games. I've always followed sport competitions where entire nations feel involved and support their favourite basketball player or swimmer.

But this year it's different. Only few days after the beginning of the games, the umpteenth war erupted. The very moment presidents and kings from all over the world were in the meet and greet mood, Georgian soldiers were planning to attack the Russian-backed region of South Ossetia, and last Friday they broke in.

Fears of a war between Georgia and Russia make what should be the carefree atmosphere of the games, hypocrite and grotesque.

The former superpower seems not to be able to live in a post-cold war world, where its senseless pride is anachronistic and sadly inappropriate. In a world where the war has become the easiest and sole answer, the parameters to measure emotions and priorities are constantly violated.
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