So, we had an interesting moment in class last night.

I’m teaching a People’s of Latin America class (don’t ask my how, since I’m a well-known Europeanist, but I think I’m doing a good job of it since I have a lot of background in Indigenous movements). For our section on Cuba we read an article and watched an excellent documentary on Baseball in Cuba and the U.S. Basically, baseball developed in both countries simultaneously, and there was a lot of cross-pollination in it’s development, including black players from Cuban teams being the first to play professional baseball on American soil (at exhibition games), arguably paving the way for desegregation of baseball in the U.S.

When the Castro regime took over, Castro quickly made baseball a social and national sport, rather than a professional sport. Cubans (except for defectors) and United Statesians were stopped from playing with each other for almost 40 years.

A few years ago there were two exhibition games played between the Cuban team and the Baltimore Orioles. The first game was played in Cuba. It was attended by invitation only, the invitees were highly examined and vetted, and obviously there was no protest of any form in evidence. It was a rally meant to demonstrate the greatness and solidarity of the Cuban nation with it’s social and national passtime.

The second game was played in Baltimore. Although there were many necessary security measures put in place, the tickets were open sale, and as a result there were a lot of protesters for a variety of things, including at least a few who managed to run onto the field during the game. It was a much more chaotic event, and while many of the Cubans that had been hand-picked to go in order to root for the Cuban team were apalled at the behavior of Americans, I think it was a powerful demonstration of how complex yet still precious our freedom is.

So, we were talking about this last night in class, especially about how the freedom to protest sometimes makes things messy and uncomfortable to the status quo, but how it is necessary unless we want to end up silenced like many of the people in Cuba, who have nice, organized, not-messy games, but no forum for or ability to dissent, when one of my students piped up and said:

“It kinda reminds me of the Bush rallys versus the Kerry rallys”.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/content/shared/news/politics/stories/10/21secret.html
http://www.zwire.com/site/printerFriendly.cfm?brd=2259&dept_id=455154&newsid=13207582
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2004410160329
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6314130/
http://www.oregonlive.com/campaigncentral/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1098100569144670.xml

It was a beautiful moment.

In other news, the official Bush website has blocked people from other countries from accessing it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3958665.stm

Fascists.

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8 thoughts on “

    • Re: your other class?

      I spoke with him last night. He was very upset and then belligerent, including claiming that he didn’t know it was plagiarism (I showed him the underlined portion of my plagiarism policy that described exactly what he did); that he had done it in the past and never gotten in trouble (I told him that I was very sorry that his other instructors either hadn’t caught him, or hadn’t enforced the university plagiarism policies, but that it would be wrong of me to allow this behavior to continue even if they had); that I was picking on him and making this a personal attack on his presentation (I told him that I was sorry he felt this way, and that I would miss his contributions to the class, but that I had to be firm regarding plagiarism); and that he had a student government position and an RA job that he would lose because of this (I told him that I was very sorry if he would suffer other repercussions because of his plagiarism, but that this was not my responsibility).

      All in all, it was a nasty meeting which I hope I handled well. We will see what the administration decides to do after this, as I’m pretty certain he’ll try to appeal.

      • Re: your other class?

        You’re absolutely in the right; your student’s excuses are shamelessly weak. Good for you for standing firm. As if you you’d take pity on someone who has made a pattern of this behavior. He knew he was violating the rules, unless your assignment description consisted of “go on the net and search around for a website that answers my question, copy it, paste it into word, and attach your name.” Garr. Stupid people.

        And your list of links made my day. It’s neat watching the campus get politically active. I saw a girl walking around with a Bush/Cheney sticker today and I had to keep myself from walking over to her to ask “Why?” If I hadn’t been on a 10 minute break from class perhaps I would have. After the Supreme Court Decision 4 years ago I went from being a news junkie to not reading the front section of the school newspaper, I was that upset. Now I’m beginning to feel like I could carry on a semi-informed debate. Let’s hope this election goes smoothly. *g*

        dunno if this got posted once before anonymously. I keep getting logged out of lj for some reason.

  1. Oh dear… I’m sorry, A. It looks like the fox hit you with the Banaphone. I’m going to assume that he’s also Badgered you at this point too.

    My condolences.

    ring ring ring ring…

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