lunes, 24 de agosto de 2020

Nueva (A) Normalidad

Parece que llamar nueva normalidad  es querer edulcorar, descafeinar una nueva realidad  que se caracteriza por ser distinta a lo que veniamos haciendo.
Tengo la sensación de que las medidas que tomamos son para ver cómo adaptamos lo que hacíamos a las nuevas circunstancias.
Necesitamos pararnos a pensar como organizar en este nuevo mundo la educación, la sanidad, las relaciones interpersonales, el ocio, el turismo, los desplazamientos.

Ante la llegada del nuevo curso, me pregunto:

¿Qué habría ocurrido si en lugar de considerar la banca actividad esencial, se hubiera considerado esencial la educación y la enseñanza?  
 
¿O si la desescalada hubiera comenzado por los patios de recreo de los colegios en lugar de las terrazas de los bares?


 

jueves, 20 de agosto de 2020

Todos castigados

Las medidas que están tomando las autoridades a partir de los rebrotes, me recuerdan aquellas ocasiones cuando en el colegio si no aparecía el culpable, nos castigaban a todos.

Los partidos de ideología autoritaria se deben estar frotando las manos porque los gobiernos de derechas o de izquierdas limitan libertades. Nadie piense que estoy con los descerebrados de Cólon.

Es cierto, que mi libertad no se ve cercenada porque deba llevar mascarilla o no pueda fumar cuando no estoy respetando la libertad de respirar limpio del vecino; pero decir que se va a cerrar un colegio y que se va a pedir al Gobierno de España que regule que el padre o la madre se quede con el escolar en casa, son dos "ocurrencias" a las que no se les analizado sus consecuencias.

¿A qué clase social o a qué barrios pertenecerán los colegios que deberán ser cerrados?

¿Qué harán los padres y las madres cuyos trabajos son temporales o pertenecen a la economía sumergida?

¿Si los padres son responsables, quién va a quedar en casa con los escolares, los padres o las madres? 

Los datos indican que las mujeres han sido las principales perjudicadas de esta pandemía. Por tanto, un poco de reflexión antes de sugerir la primera medida que nos viene a la cabeza.


miércoles, 19 de agosto de 2020

Guerra en este blog

 Para quienes seguís mis entradas desde Facebook, os invito a pinchar este enlace a la palabra guerra en este blog.

Están ordenadas de las más recientes a las más antigua, la más antigua es de 2009. Son un total de 56 entradas que han aumentado en este año desde que decidí escribir acerca del coronavirus.

Os dejo con el video que el Colegio Mayor Pedro Cerbuna hizo en abril con la esperanza de volver a la normalidad, nueva y distinta.




martes, 18 de agosto de 2020

La lucha contra el COVID-19

 La compleja situación actual no me permite comprenderla por varias razones: su inmediatez, mi subjetividad, la desinformación y ruido mediático existente, mi ignorancia por una mala instrucción de los hechos históricos contemporáneos (siglos XIX y XX) y de las cuestiones físico- químicas de los hechos naturales.

Hay tres cuestiones en esta pandemia que me siguen martilleando cada día:

  1. ¿Cómo vamos a volver a las escuelas? ¿Por qué la educación de las generaciones futuras nos importan tan poco?
  2. ¿Por qué cuando comenzó la pandemía enviaron a todas las personas para su lugar de origen? ¿Si el fenómeno era global, por qué cada país recogió a sus ciudadanos y los llevó para casa?
  3. ¿Acaso en las guerras no se destruyen negocios, mueren personas y aparece el egoismo más brutal del ser humano?

Para obtener una explicación, me voy a otros periodos en que el mundo luchaba, estaba en guerra dicho más brutalmente. 

A las primeras preguntas, a las de la escuela, veo cómo la II República española protegió a los niños y a las niñas enviándolas a colonias, a paises que consideraban amigos y seguros, para poder continuar con su formación porque les enviaron con profesores e instructores. ¿Alguién ha pensado que se podría hacer lo mismo ahora en esta "guerra"?

A las segundas preguntas, me recuerda al movimiento de personas que relata el Evangelio de Lucas con motivo del censo ordenado por el emperador Augusto y la única respuesta que me viene a la cabeza es conspiratoria. Los dirigentes mundiales, no confundir con los políticos aunque en algún caso coincidan, tenían claro que la única forma de ir a la guerra es que cada uno permanezca en el país del que es nacional.  (siempre se ha hecho así). Tengo grabada la imagen de la población india, hacinada en los trenes para volver a su localidad de origen. (a lo mejor me engañaron y eran imágenes de otra ocasión).

La respuesta positiva a las últimas preguntas podrán resultar odiosas. Pero cuando busco explicación, recuerdo esas películas donde los comercios judios eran destrozados o clausurados, cuando los fascistas quemaban librerías en los estertores del franquismo o cuando el heroe-médico tenía que decidir a quién le ponía la última inyección antibiótica.

En fin, que es lunes, mitad de agosto y a un mes de volver a la actividad normal, no sé, creo que nadie sabe, qué escenario nos encontraremos.


viernes, 14 de agosto de 2020

Colegios Mayores y COVID-19

 En el mes de agosto, todos esperamos el mes de septiembre con la certidumbre de tener el curso preparado: quiénes serán nuestros colaboradores, cómo serán de ruidosas y festivas las jornadas de acogida, etc. Pero aunque siempre hay sorpresas, tenemos experiencia de años anteriores aunque en mi caso sea sólo de dos años.

Pero este tercer año acude con la incertidumbre de cómo afrontar la pandemía del COVID-19 en una colectividad de 260 jóvenes en el Colegio Mayor Pedro Cerbuna y unos 198 en el Santa Isabel.

Hemos preparado un Plan de Contingencia para intentar regular en nuestro entorno lo que las autoridades sanitarias y nuestra Unidad de Prevención de Riesgos nos indican. Pero somos conscientes, como ocurre en el resto de la sociedad, que es necesario el compromiso y la responsabilidad de todos los colegiales.

Todas las normas pretenden una convivencia segura pero es necesario apelar a la corresponsabilidad y al sentido común que estamos seguros que los jóvenes entienden. Porque esta situación exige comportamientos  solidaridarios que ya hemos visto con anterioridad.

Igualmente seguiremos avanzando en la educación en valores: EMPATIA, RESPETO y HONESTIDAD.


martes, 4 de agosto de 2020

Cristobal Colón (por Kevin H. Siepel)


CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
by Kevin H. Siepel
                                                                                                                                
Back in 1952 my social studies book portrayed Christopher Columbus as a sort of cardboard figure, a likable guy who sold an idea to the queen, took three ships, discovered America, and sailed back home, leaving presumably happy Indians and settlers in his wake. We commemorated him without fuss on Columbus Day. The guy discovered America, didn’t he? Certain ethnic communities loved him, and the rest of us surely had nothing against him. He was Columbus. Like Washington and Lincoln, he got us a day off.

That’s all changed. Today in the US October 12 is marked mainly by his vilification, which seems to be starting early this year.

Opinions abound. He was the face of European oppression, a grasping, odious, incompetent man, despised by many of his peers. He was a good person, a talented navigator, sensitive, religious, creative, far-sighted.

What was he then?

Check “all of the above.”

It’s difficult to get a handle on Columbus. The venerable Columbus scholar Samuel Eliot Morison rightly idolized him as a mariner, even if his navigation skills may have been picked up “on the job”. It’s clear from Columbus’s writings that he was a sensitive man, although prone to self-pity and frequently depressed by physical pain. He showed an ability to come at problems in fresh ways. He was tenacious, and not shy about using others to reach his goals. Like most of the Europeans whom he led to the New World, he had a clear view of himself as superior to the poor denizens of the lands he was claiming for Spain. Like a father who is ambivalent about fatherhood, he alternately loved and punished these people. Finally, he was not only religious, but even mystical by nature, some of his religious ideas reaching head-scratching extremes.

One seeks in vain for contemporary praise of Columbus—he and his brothers came to be loathed by most of the adventurers he brought to the New World, pretty much as he is loathed by today’s anti-Columbus agitators. His maladministration of the Crown’s new holdings across the sea caused dismay in the Castilian court. If it were not for his improbably close relationship with Queen Isabella, whose support for him seemed almost never to waver, he would have been recalled and possibly even imprisoned. He was in fact once arrested.

Columbus made four voyages to the New World. Most know of his first voyage (1492-93), where he made landfall on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Throughout this voyage, he believed strongly that he was in the Orient, with an Oriental potentate just around the next point of land. It would take another voyage for him to become disabused of this notion, and to replace his search for the Orient with a search for gold. His second voyage (1493-96), joined by hundreds of eager adventurers, some bringing with them their horses and large hunting dogs, was confined to portions of Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. By this voyage’s end he had virtually lost control of his enterprise. On his third voyage (1498-1500) he headed farther south, landing for the first time on a continent—South America, in today’s Venezuela—but on his return to the Hispaniola colony, now in turmoil, he found himself arrested by the new governor (no formal charges being brought) and shipped back to Castile in chains. Released and exonerated by the queen, he soon undertook what he called his alto viaje, his top voyage (1502-04), a disastrous trip that led him as far south as today’s Panama, and that resulted in his being marooned for a year with a mutinous crew on a Jamaican beach.

Like many Europeans, he saw the Indians as a means to an end—namely, riches—and if they assisted him or at least did not impede him, he treated them well, at times even professing profound admiration for them. “They are such a loving, docile, peaceful people,” he wrote to the sovereigns, “that I swear there can be no better people in the world. They love their neighbor as themselves. Their speech is sweet and cheerful, and always delivered with a smile.” He was overcome by the beauty of the newly discovered lands themselves. “Everything so green”, he rhapsodized after a stroll around today’s Crooked Island in the Bahamas. “It’s like April in Andalucía. The singing of the birds is so sweet that a man might never want to leave here. The flights of parrots even darken the sun.” 

Being a man of his times, however, almost his first thought was of binding these obviously ignorant but clever people over into servitude, saving their souls along the way. “They should prove to be good servants and intelligent,” he wrote to the monarchs. “I feel it will be easy to make them Christians.” During his second voyage he proposed to the king and queen a system of trade between Castile and the nascent colony—Indian slaves for livestock and other commodities from Castile. To acquire these slaves, or at least to tamp down their resistance to servitude, he at times occupied himself strenuously with the “pacification” of Hispaniola.

In this effort he tolerated cruelty among his men—on his second voyage apparently not batting an eye at the almost casual beheading of an Indian with an axe aboard ship. He presented a captive Indian girl as a gift to a friend, knowing perfectly well what the friend had in mind for her. He scooped up Indians wherever he could for transport back to Spain.

In 1495 he permitted the assembly of 1,500 captive Indians—many of them women with infants at the breast—for the purpose of choosing 550 to ship to Castile as slaves. Women who were not selected for this trip were given their freedom. Such was their dread of the Spaniards, however, that they abandoned their infants, dropping them on the ground and running pell-mell for the mountains to escape these terrifying strangers.

Throughout his domains, he resorted to violence, threats, and intimidation to make the colonists work—many of them highborn men who had never known a day’s work in their lives. These men, angry, carried back tales to Castile of a foreign despot gone mad. On a beach in Cuba’s far west, he forced his men to take an oath before a notary that they had landed not on an island, but on an extension of the Asiatic mainland, imposing grave penalties for maintaining the contrary. He could not allow news to seep back to the monarchs that they were financing a mere island excursion.

Having lost his hold over the colony he had founded—and insisting strenuously that the fault lay with others—he attempted to make a fresh beginning in today’s Panama. He wrote to the sovereigns of his dream for this future settlement, comparing it to the disastrous ventures of the past. This is not,” he said in reference to his planned new enterprise, “a child to be turned over to a stepmother for raising. I can’t think of Hispaniola or those other lands, without weeping. I believed that our approach there would serve as an example to others, but it has not. These lands are already in a state of exhaustion. Although they are not dead, the sickness is incurable and widespread. Let those who brought them to this state produce the remedy if they can.”

His dream of a new beginning in Panama would soon be splintered by the arrows and spears of local Indians, who did not share his vision of new beginnings.

He was tenacious in pursuit of his ends. As a penurious foreigner in a land not noted for acceptance of outsiders he nonetheless made strenuous efforts to cultivate influential men, and showed no hesitation even to the badgering of royalty in Portugal, Spain, and—through his brother Bartholomew—England for support of his notion of reaching the east by sailing west.

He was notable for keeping his head during crises and sometimes showed good management skills, even flashes of brilliance. When, on Christmas Day 1492, Santa Maria was wrecked on a sandbar, he immediately saw in this event not disaster but opportunity: he would now be able to supply a group of settlers for a year with the equipment and provisions taken from the wrecked ship. On his fourth voyage, with his two ships sinking, and forced to save them by running them aground on a Jamaican beach, he did his best to keep his men under wraps and away from the Indians by requiring them to seek permission to leave the beached ships, even to signing out. He later saved his men from starvation in this land by frightening suddenly unhelpful Indians into giving them food. He did so by threatening a heavenly portent of their doom—an eclipse of the moon—for failure to provide rations. The eclipse took place exactly as he had foretold, and the Indians, frightened out of their wits by his apparent power over the heavens, immediately strove to outdo one another in delivering food baskets to these obviously powerful strangers.

Abetted by luck, but doubtless due greatly to his levelheadedness in crisis, he brought his men through storms whose horror is difficult for us to grasp. Of a near-death experience off the Panamanian coast, he wrote graphically to the monarchs, “For nine days I ran, lost, with no hope of survival. Eyes have never seen the sea so high, so ugly, so seething with foam. The wind would not allow me to move forward, nor did it permit me to seek shelter behind some headland. It held me in a sea turned to blood, boiling like a cauldron on a roaring fire. The sky had never been more frightening. For a day and a night it blazed like a furnace. And through it all the rains came pelting down. It wasn’t just rain, but felt more like the coming of the second Flood. The people were already so broken in spirit that they begged for death, just to escape this martyrdom.”

Quieter waters gave him time to meditate on the meaning of these lands he had discovered, his meditation leading him to conclusions likely startling even to his contemporaries. On the basis of some anomalous compass readings he began to believe that he was sailing on a bulge of the globe. “I’ve noted an irregularity,” he wrote to the sovereigns. “And for this reason I say that the earth is not round as has been written, but is more pear-shaped—round except near the stalk, where it bulges out more.” He went on from there, slipping into his habitual biblical frame of reference, conjecturing that the South American continent was actually the site of the Garden of Eden.  “I believe,” wrote this ostensibly hard-headed mariner to the monarchs, “that the earthly paradise is there, and that no one may go there unless God wills it.”

With the perspective afforded by time, he began to acknowledge his own role in the mess that had been made of Spanish colonization so far. His self-criticism, however, remained well attenuated. “My errors,” he wrote to Juana de Torres, a friend at court, “have not been committed with the purpose of causing harm, and I believe that Their Highnesses will take my word for this.”

Yet withal, he remained overtly defensive about his effort, a stance that pulled him slowly downward into self-pity. “I have arrived at a point where even the vilest person thinks nothing of insulting me,” he wrote to Torres. “To refrain from doing so is actually counted as virtue. [People] have made war on me right to this day as if I were a Moor.”

“It would be a charity to me,” he continued, “if Their Highnesses might censure that mob that knows of my exhaustion. The slander I have suffered from these people has done me very great damage. If my honor were restored by them, their action would be told throughout the world, because the importance of this enterprise will be proclaimed and recognized more and more every day.”

“In Spain,” he concluded, “they judge me as if I’d been sent to govern Sicily, or a city or town already in good order, and where the laws are strictly kept with no fear that everything might collapse. This grieves me. I ought to be judged as a captain who left Spain for the Indies, to conquer a people numerous and warlike. By God’s will I have established in such places the rule of the king and queen, our sovereigns—another world, through which Spain, which once was called poor, has become very rich.”


Columbus had served as a bridge between two worlds. Like a bridge, it was his fate to be trodden upon. It is difficult to see him in the full joy of discovery. Everything he grasped seemed to turn sour in his hand. Perhaps our most poignant picture of Columbus was supplied by his own pen in the last letter he ever wrote to the sovereigns—a letter written from his seemingly hopeless isolation on a Jamaican beach, to be carried more than a hundred miles across the sea on a modified log by a daring young man, and at length almost miraculously to reach them in Castile.

“I myself have profited little from twenty years of laborious and dangerous service,” he wrote. “Today in Castile I have no roof over my head. If I need a meal or a bed, I must go to an inn or tavern, and I frequently have no money with which to pay the bill. I’m sick and worn out. I am so ruined. I’ve always wept for others, but now may heaven have mercy upon me, and may the earth weep for me.”

“Weep for me,” he repeated, “whoever has charity, truth, and justice.”


So—what are we to think of Columbus?  Does he merit our admiration, condemnation, or pity?  Or all three?  And whatever are we to do about Columbus Day?  Or Columbus statues?

R

Kevin H. Siepel is the author of Conquistador Voices, a two-volume work on the Spanish Conquest of the Americas.


miércoles, 29 de julio de 2020

175 Aniversario del Magisterio zaragozano

En el mes de noviembre de 2019, pocos meses antes de que llegara la locura del COVID-19, tuve la oportunidad de ser el comisario de la exposición de los 175 años de la formación del magisterio en la ciudad de Zaragoza. A uno como yo, que ha pasado más de cuarenta años dedicado a dicha tarea, significaba un gran honor y una gran emoción.

Aquí, inserto el video que elaboramos para el momento, donde se recogen en diez minutos esos 175 años de historia.




martes, 28 de julio de 2020

Definitivamente, esto es una guerra

Aunque ya deje de pensar en teorias conspiratorias acerca de la epistemología de la pandemia, el escenario que me encuentro al escuchar los medios de comunicación y el aspecto que observo cuando salgo a la calle es como si estuviera viendo una película de la II Guerra Mundial en la que no soy espectador sino un figurante.

No me estoy refiriendo solo a ese "brote" de nacionalismo que surge por doquier aunque se pertenezca a una confederación de estados o de regiones; sino también a los uniformes que simbolizan "las mascarillas".

¿Quién no lleva la mascarilla es mi enemigo? ¿Quién se cruza conmigo con la mascarilla de babero o sin ella y fumando intenta matarme? ¿Quién no lleva la mascarilla con la bandera de España pertenece a una región con más contagios?  ¿Puedo circular por Francia con mi coche de matrícula española?

Podráis contestar negativamente a todas las preguntas e indicar que soy un poco exagerado, pero creo que mi percepción es compartida, pero no nos atrevemos a expresarlo por temor a que sea verdad: que esto es una guerra y pensabamos que la paz era para siempre.

domingo, 19 de julio de 2020

Otros años en esta fecha...

Este bisiesto 2020 ocupado por esta situación de confinamiento, me lleva a pensar dónde estaba los años anteriores en este 19 de julio porque en los últimos dos años, el mes de julio ha significado: Tour de Francia, aire libre, autocaravan, nuevas experiencias cada día.

En 2018,  estabamos en la mítica etapa del Alpe d'Huez después de haber pasado la noche conduciendo para poder alcanzar a los ciclistas.

En 2019, era en una ciudad donde el tour ha llegado en casi todas las  ediciones: Pau. En los Pirineos, un calor horrible en la Plaza Vandome pero me había encontrado con mi hermana que llegaba al Tour ilusionada con pasar por el pueblo natal de nuestro padre.

En fin, este 2020, se caracteriza por: confinamiento, encerrados, suspendido, no a las concentraciones de masas. Porque es el público, la fiesta, la alegría, la emoción lo que caracteriza a un Tour que este año está aplazado y que no tendrá ni el calor metereológico, ni el calor de las masas de público internacional que lo seguimos.

miércoles, 1 de julio de 2020

El coladero del COVID


Creo que nunca he sido un profesor “hueso”. De esos de los que suspenden a muchos alumnos porque antes de que el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior señalara que hay que valorar el proceso además de los  productos, yo  tenía en consideración todo el trabajo que los estudiantes desarrollaban a lo largo del curso, PERO ...

En los últimos días he recibido más de veinte solicitudes de revisión de tribunal al amparo del proteccionista Reglamento de Normas de Evaluación de Aprendizaje de la Universidad de Zaragoza frente a los criterios de profesorado del que conozco su ecuanimidad, incluso cariño y comprensividad con los estudiantes.

El Consejo de Gobierno deja presentarse al Trabajo Final con 12 créditos pendientes, es decir, 2 asignaturas de un total de 240 créditos.

Leo la noticia de que se presentan 1200 estudiantes más que en el 2019 a la EVAU en Aragón.

Es decir, como en la política existen listillos y listillas que aprovechan la oportunidad para victimizarse y sacar provecho. A rió revuelto, ganancia de pescadores, dice el refrán.  Y lo peor, es que lo facilitamos.