Sunday, May 07, 2006

This Week's Recommended Reading

From Ash:

Since we've written so much on education recently, the time for reading is over. Instead, how about a couple pop quizzes? How would you do if you were in school today?

The Washington Post published a few of the questions from the 12th grade version of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as "the nation's report card" since it measures students' mastery of basic subjects. Actually, those questions were actually harder than I'd have expected them to be: at least the sample questions do measure mastery, as supposed to just mere competency. But then, math's, uh, never been really one of my things so we won't go into that how I did on that section.

Geography's never been one of my expertises, either, I'm ashamed to admit. But compared to most young American adults, I'm a regular cartographer. At least, according to a new National Geographic / Roper survey which found that about half of US adults 18-24 can't even find New York State on a map and they don't even know what continent the Sudan is in. A third can't find Louisiana, even after endless Katrina coverage. Another third read a map so poorly that they will go the wrong direction in the event of an evacuation. Be brave -- take the quiz and see how you do.

And this week, Reuters reminded us what real love is -- and how it isn't valued in other places around the world. In Pakistan, a couple was just released after having spent years in prison for having committed "adultery" -- but the truth was that they had been faithful to each other, marrying despite their families' objections. Because of that, they were in prison for five years until a Muslim cleric testified in court that he had, in fact, married the couple. (Now, why this took five years, I don't know . . . . ) The bright side here, besides the couple's eventual release was, well, the family might have just killed them -- "honor killings" are still common in Pakistan for things like this.


Blogger evil ape said...

I don't know what you're cooking, but it's making me fat.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the National Geographic survey after I clicked on the words in your post.

I have to say that the questions were so easy that a 10 year old could answer these questions.

I did not always know the answers and the questions were really easy. I expected the questions to be tougher like is Iowa located one state over from California or something like that.

Regarding the couple in prison for five years in Pakistan, unfortunately, that is not so unusual.

In reference to honor killings, you may want to read the May issue of the Oprah magazine. There is an article about a woman who took pro bono cases for poor families in Iran or Iraq or pakistan. The stories are too awful for me to repeat here.

I remember there was a BBC docudrama about a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family who fell in love with a British diplomat. I cannot remember the specifics. It seems the woman was either born into the royal family or married to a member of the royal family. She was executed in public and I think the British man was either deported back to the UK or executed too.

I thought it was AWFUL!

But on a happier note, during the Gulf war around 1992 ? a member of a Bahraian royal family fell in love with a US Marine and she ran away! She ran away, married him and moved to the USA.

I think it was made into a movie with Mark Paul G. as the American.

Interesting read, though.

8:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home