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  • Writer's pictureJoia

Today's rhaps is on ... My Successor

Malala Yousafzai's school in Mingora, Pakistan

Malala was shot in the face for wanting an educated future. She now has the Nobel Peace Prize.

I cannot imagine my life without that future, the promise that curiosity and questioning would lift me out of servitude and shadow and let me loose in freedom and light.

The first time I taught a class I knew I was home. This wasn't a performance, memorized Shakespeare, this was like old baroque, like jazz. Improv. Three points on the board and just walk around calling up theme variations, modulating the chart, fielding inquiries. Did it for the next thirty years.

So lately it occurred to me...

What if when I had to step down from my position, the person selected for my replacement did not have a PhD in the philosophy of science? What if he had never taught logic and medical ethics courses, had no experience working with engineering teams, meeting operational deadlines, working within departmental budgets? What if he'd never written a syllabus, a report, a white paper, published an article, or graded term papers and exams? Never even written an exam? Yet he was my replacement and my students were now in his hands.

Who hired him?

Soon after he took over my position and the future of my students, let's say he accused me of bad faith, bad mistakes, bad behavior. His failings were my doing. His shortcomings, my setup. His flaws, my booby traps.

I will be to blame when the students get up and walk out.

Rabid narcissism works like this, overriding intelligence, expertise, experience, reality itself. There is only money and power. And Deutsche Bank loansbacked by Russia's VTB Bankwhen supplies get low. And disposable sycophants who fire respected Navy captains and dedicated intelligence officers.

Chicago is dying. No one is safe. The world has gone warp-speed into a space where no man has gone before.

Who fires him?

8 APRIL 2020

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