Exams are almost upon us. Revision practise classes, last minute assignments, last minute lessons and an impending sense of panic. Last term the students went hyper at revision time — I have my own opinions about that and its relation to an education system that promotes factual exam answers writen by students in a language which is probably their third — but that’s not the point.
Meanwhile in the staff room the newspaper provides a rich source of raised voices at lunchtime. Today it was a story about a priest who’se genitals were severed by an irate wife for witholding his sexual services. The story is a little more complex than that, but the conversation, that I couldn’t even begin to represent here, reveals a lot about how my colleagues view the world. Here are a few opinions I have heard from individuals (though not intended to be representative of the staff as a whole):
- Homosexuality == sodomy and is, accordingly, a sin. (While homosexuality for women still elicits incredulous disbelief, this all seems to stem from a strong association of the sexual orientation with the physical act, itself)
- Asking a partner to establish mutual HIV status == an accusation of infidelity and connotes mistrust.
- The high contamination and death rates for HIV/AIDS in Africa might have been exagerated in a money-grabbing conspiracy by greedy governments and NGOs.