Are you a stressed-out academic cursing your heavy teaching load? Consider how much worse it could be. You could work at the University of Baghdad:
Most students interviewed by AFP on the campus in the capital’s central Jadriya neighbourhood acknowledged they take circuitous routes to reach the university — avoiding either Sunni or Shiite neighbourhoods, depending on their own ethnic allegiances. . . .
Chemistry masters student Ahmed al-Maliki was happy to be named and was one of the few who said he took the most direct route possible to the campus, from the Sadr City Shiite ghetto in eastern Baghdad where he lives . . . While he is adamant it is a whole lot easier getting around the capital than it was even just six months ago, he warns that lethal dangers still exist.
“In late September, three masters students were travelling down Palestine Street (in central Baghdad) when unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car. Two were killed and one seriously injured. I have to admit that really shook me.”
The lack of professors — either killed or fled overseas — is affecting education at the campus, he believes.
“In the past there were seven professors in our faculty. Three of them have since been killed. Now there are only four — two of whom are not of sufficient experience to be able to lecture masters students. Which leaves just two.”
The full story is here. After reading it, marking first-year papers suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.