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World and Press January 2 2023

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2 Opinion Page January 2 2023 | World and Press comment Listen up, college students. You don’t ‘get’ a grade. You have to earn it By Jillian Horton EDUCATION A teacher’s job is not to ensure their students are always “satisfied.” mit Übungsmaterial 1 EVERY FALL, my mental timeline is flooded with memories of the teachers who changed my life. And last week – when I read about the controversial termination of Maitland Jones Jr., a distinguished New York University professor whose courses in organic chemistry were deemed too hard by students hoping to get into medicine – it took me back to the September I met my toughest teacher. 2 It was 1994, and I was a 19-year-old student in my third year at Western University in London, Ontario. I had signed up for a course in the department of English taught by one Donald S. Hair. My first clue that Professor Hair would defy expectations? He was bald. Standing at the lectern in a three-piece suit, he took roll, ever-so-properly referring to each of us as “Miss” or “Mister.” It was a distinct shift from the vaguely beatnik tone of many of our other professors, with whom students could sometimes be found drinking beer at one of the campus pubs. 3 A few weeks into the class, the professor administered our first test. I didn’t think I had anything to worry about – until he handed my exam back the following week with a 67 written on it in red ink. Sixty-seven! I’d never received such a low mark. I was dependent on a scholarship, and any grade below 80 put my future in jeopardy. My seatmate’s murderous expression revealed her mark had been miserable too. We fumed silently: Professor Hair was an old weirdo! How dare he derail our GPAs? What was the old boy’s problem, anyway? 4 But the real problem was this: He was right. I knew it as soon as I’d cooled off and taken the time to digest his comments. My writing was sloppy, my understanding of key concepts superficial. Like many of my peers, I was used to earning top grades. Now, for the first time, a teacher had introduced an uncomfortable question. Were we actually “earning” them? … 5 As an associate dean and teacher of medical students for the last 20 years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what usually makes a good doctor – and it isn’t organic chemistry. I disagree with the colleague of Professor Jones who told the ‘New York Times’ that he did not want anyone treating patients who did not “appreciate transformations at the molecular level.” The comment struck me as slightly less outdated than keeping a bag of leeches for emergency bloodletting. There is ample evidence other paths prepare students extremely well for a career in medicine. 6 That issue is a sideshow anyway, because the strong public reaction to this story is largely about something else: the commodification of education. For U.S. medical schools, the Association of American Medical Colleges oversees a rigorous and detailed accreditation process, which relies on the collection of mounds of data – including an exit survey that can heavily influence the school’s accreditation outcome. The survey begins by asking students to rate the degree to which they agree or disagree with this statement: “Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my medical education.” 7 Is that the right way to ask someone to evaluate their education? It seems more appropriate for rating their Starbucks latte. My job is not to ensure my children – or my students – are always “satisfied.” That metric would worsen the quality of my parenting and my teaching; both require me to do unpopular things if I am to do my job well. “Satisfaction” is the language of consumer experience, and when it becomes a target metric, it alters something fundamental about the interaction between people. 8 I have felt that shift as an educator. I’ve witnessed, and championed, long-overdue changes in the learning environment, including a focus on the psychological safety of students. But I’ve seen disheartening changes too – namely, the evolution of a relationship with students that sometimes feels transactional, as if the primary objective is no longer just about turning them into doctors but, rather, keeping them constantly satisfied, the teacher less preceptor than proprietor. That shift is deeply, deeply unsatisfying. 9 Long after I’d moved on from Western University, I heard Professor Hair had been nominated for an award for excellence in teaching. “Professors are often afraid to employ his high standards,” I eagerly wrote in a two-page letter of support. “Setting the bar higher may initially be uncomfortable, but it gives students … a sense of self-respect and pride, which is stolen from us when we work in circumstances where such experiences do not exist.” He won that award. And he also earned it. … © 2022 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. zusatzmaterial Unterrichtsvorbereitung fertig zum Download! 0 – 2 TERMINATION Kündigung — distinguished angesehen — to deem … etw. als … ansehen — to defy etw. trotzen — to be bald e-e Glatze haben — lectern Pult — to take roll die Anwesenheit abfragen — distinct deutlich — shift h.: Unterschied; s.w.u. Wandel — vaguely … leicht … — beatnik Beatnik-; unkonventionell 3 – 4 to administer a test e-n T. durchführen — to put in jeopardy etw. gefährden — to fume vor Wut schäumen — to derail (fig) scheitern lassen; h.: zerstören — GPA = Grade Point Average Notendurchschnitt — to digest verdauen — sloppy (coll) schludrig — superficial oberflächlich 5 – 6 associate dean stellv. Dekan(in) — struck me as … erschien mir als … — leech Blutegel — bloodletting Aderlass — ample reichlich — sideshow Nebenschauplatz — the commodification of education Bildung als Ware — accreditation process Zulassungsverfahren — mounds of e-e riesige Menge an — exit survey Abschlussbefragung 7 – 9 metric Kennzahl; h.: Ansatz; s.w.u. target m. Zielvorgabe — to champion verteidigen — disheartening enttäuschend — transactional wie eine Geschäftsbeziehung — preceptor Lehrer(in); Ausbilder(in) — proprietor Geschäftsinhaber(in) mit Interpretation impressum ISSN 0509-1632 World and Press erscheint 2 × monatlich (Juli und Dezember als Doppelausgabe) in der Carl Ed. 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Datenschutz Die personenbezogenen Daten werden auf der Basis der geltenden Datenschutzgesetze, insbesondere der EU-Datenschutzgrundverordnung (DSGVO) sowie des Bundesdatenschutzgesetzes (BDSG), zweckgebunden erhoben und verarbeitet. Wir geben Ihre Daten nur weiter, soweit ein Gesetz dies vorschreibt oder wir Ihre Einwilligung eingeholt haben. Die personenbezogenen Daten sind für die Lieferung Ihrer Sprachzeitung erforderlich. Unsere Informationen zum Datenschutz nach Art. 13 und Art. 14 der EU-DSGVO können Sie über unsere Kontaktdaten einsehen oder anfordern. Green Politics. | Cartoon: Marian Kamensky, Austria

World and Press | January 2 2023 A quest to make train travel easier, and the EU greener RAIL TRAVEL One man is on a mission to find and suggest fixes for all of the flaws making international rail travel in Europe surprisingly hard. In Focus 3 By Erika Solomon 1 THE LANKYman bent down to examine a rusted railroad track that cut across the empty square of a small forgotten town, shaking his head at the weeds poking up. “Disappointing,” was his verdict, the ruling perhaps influenced by the shuttered brick train station accumulating cobwebs in the German border town of Seifhennersdorf, not far from the Czech Republic. By profession, Jon Worth is a university lecturer in political communications. By passion, he is the self-anointed inspector of Europe’s railroads. And he has tasked himself with addressing a dilemma: Why isn’t it easier to traverse European borders by rail? 2 No one asked him to undertake this mission, but his justification is clear. In order for Europe to live up to its ambitions to lead the globe to carbon neutrality, it needs to get people out of planes and cars. 3 On paper, Europe’s train system has a leg up on many parts of the world, including the United States. Yet its railways could almost be an allegory for the European Union itself. From the outside, the system seems boringly functional. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and you discover a tangle of bureaucracy, finger pointing, and the kicking of problematic cans down the road – or rails. 4 For the bloc aspiring to be the greenest of them all, international rail routes within the European Union leave something to be desired. Bridges once spanning borders have lain in ruins since World War II. A multimillion-euro line between Paris and Barcelona, offering spectacular vistas, could be transporting trainloads of people every hour. Instead, its crossborder routes lie unused most of the day. Traveling high-traffic commercial routes, like Paris to London, can cost hundreds of euros more than flying. Want to ride the rails from Tallinn, Estonia, to Jon Worth boarding a Prague-bound train in August at Berlin’s Central Station. Riga, Latvia? Good luck. The national railways involved refuse to coordinate train schedules. 5 And travel sites for international rail bookings – for instance, the equivalent of Kayak or Sky scanner used for airplane flights – somehow either fail to exist or are difficult to find. To understand why – and to attract attention to the problem – Worth began a one-man grassroots campaign this summer that he calls the Cross Border Rail Project. 6 Using crowdfunding to buy a drone, a camera, and a gauge to measure trains’ air quality, he has traversed every EU border to determine where international rail systems work, where they don’t, and what can be done to fix them, then documenting his findings. At each stop, he writes a postcard detailing his findings to the EU railways commissioner, offering his recommendations. He has yet to receive a reply, he said. 7 “One reaction I get is: ‘Are you this crazy?’” said Worth, as we clattered along in a glass compartment on the line to Prague from Berlin. “The other reaction is: ‘Actually, this is really interesting. Because we need to get more people on trains.’” 8 Worth first came to my attention while I was trying to plan a trip that seemed straightforward but ended up in hair-pulling frustration. As an American, I’d once mocked the complaints that some Europeans leveled against their train systems. Compared with U.S. railways, the European version seems enviable. Then I tried to book a journey from Paris to northern Spain. I ended up all the way down in Madrid before I could catch a train back to the border with France. 9 That was when I discovered Worth on Twitter, where he often responds to pleas from exasperated travelers. A top request is advice for getting to Portugal, whose train timetables are notoriously elusive to outsiders. “Lisbon is supposed to be one of Europe’s 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030,” he said. “But how the hell do you get to Lisbon by train? It’s next to impossible. You shouldn’t have to be an expert to book a train.” 10 Recently, I joined him on the final leg of his journey traversing the borders between Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. On board, we met a fellow passenger, Sebastian Kaiser, who On the tracks along the Decin–Rumburk line in the Czech Republic. At the railway station in Rumburk, Czech Republic, on the border with Germany. | Photos: Emile Ducke/The New York Times recognized Worth from Twitter. Kaiser, too, was trying to stick to traveling only by train in Europe. On this day, however, it felt hard, he said – not just because of logistics, but because of the crowds of inebriated young tourists headed to the Czech capital. “This route is always annoying,” he said. “And it’s usually way smellier.” … 11 Sometimes, you can feel the lingering effects of World War II on train travel. On our way home from the Polish border to Berlin, one train was canceled after an unexploded ordnance was found at a Berlin station. But our journey exposed another type of problem, too: rail theft. We had to reroute on the German-Polish border because thieves had stripped train signaling cables of copper wires. Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway, said it needed three months for repair. 12 Our final leg of the trip revealed a stark example of failed cross-border modernization. At the bridge linking the Polish town of Zgorzelec to its German sister city of Görlitz, wires erected for electrifying the railway line abruptly stop where Germany begins. Poland and Germany signed an agreement in 2003 to electrify their cross-border lines. But nearly 20 years later, Berlin has still not honored its part of the deal. The electric wiring on the Polish side has never been used; effectively, the electric poles were put up as a giant gesture of annoyance. To this day, only diesel trains can cross that border. © 2022 The New York Times Company This article originally appeared in The New York Times. 0 QUESTVersuch — fix Lösung; s.w.u. to fix h.: verbessern — flaw Schwachstelle 1 lanky schlaksig — to poke up hervorsprießen — verdict; ruling Urteil — shuttered stillgelegt — to accumulate ansammeln — cobweb Spinnwebe — self-anointed selbst ernannt — to address lösen — to traverse überqueren 2 – 3 to undertake übernehmen — justification Begründung — to have a leg up on (fig, coll) etw. weit voraus sein — allegory Sinnbild — tangle Gewirr — finger pointing (fig) Schuldzuweisungen — to kick the can down the road (fig, coll) ein Problem aussitzen wollen 4 – 6 to aspire to be danach trachten zu sein — to leave to be desired (fig) zu wünschen übrig lassen — vista Ausblick — Estonia Estland — Latvia Lettland — equivalent Pendant — grassroots an der Basis — drone Drohne — gauge Messgerät — to detail ausführlich beschreiben — commissioner Kommissar(in) 7 – 9 to clatter rattern — compartment Abteil — hair-pulling (fig) zermürbend — to mock s. lustig machen über — to level erheben — enviable beneidenswert — plea Bitte — exasperated aufgebracht — elusive schwer zu verstehen 10 – 12 leg Etappe — inebriated betrunken — lingering anhaltend — unexploded ordnance Blindgänger — to strip entfernen — train signaling cables Signalkabel — stark krass — to erect errichten — to honor einhalten — electric wiring elektrische Leitungen — electric pole Strommast — gesture Geste — annoyance Verärgerung

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