When I was in elementary school, my mother mistakenly thought I had a blister on my neck and sent me to school. I returned that afternoon covered in spots. By the end of the week my entire class of 36 was out sick with chicken pox.
My mother’s mistake demonstrated just how virulent a disease with an 85 to 90-percent chance of transmission can be in an unvaccinated population. Chicken pox is relatively mild among children, but these days it’s common for school-age children to have vaccinations against it, along with measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, and meningitis. However, these vaccinations are not mandatory. The result? Continue reading
“We are all Dilma.”
I arrived in Rio de Janeiro just two days after the first round of the presidential election. Incumbent President, Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers’ Party (Partido dos trabalhadoes) and Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira) had just beat out Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro) to move on to the second round. The second round took place one week ago on October 26, with Dilma holding onto the presidency.
That period between the first round and the second round served as my introduction to Brazil. While we are often taught in the US to avoid discussing politics with new acquaintances, nearly everyone I talked to between my flight, settling into my apartment, the Terra dos Homens field site in Mangueirinha, and getting fresh fruit juice at one of the local markets seemed eager to know my opinion on the election.
I’m a recent graduate of the MPP program here at Sanford and am currently working as an education policy analyst in Raleigh. Prior to attending graduate school, I was a middle and high school teacher. While I’ve held down other internships and part-time work, my current role is my first full-time desk job and the experience has been illuminating. I wanted to share some of my reflections on post-graduate life and the things I’ve learned so far!
“September 26, 2014 massacre in Iguala, Guerrero, six people dead, 19 wounded, and 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School Ayotzinapa”
I have been trying to write this article for more than two weeks, trying to figure out how to feel and what to think, how people in Mexico feel. As I read local newspapers I notice everyone back home is shocked and indignant about the recent events in the state of Guerrero (a level of indignation that has not been seen since the massacre of students back in 1968). In a country where forced disappearances have unfortunately become a regular part of daily news, the case of Ayotzinapa stands out as particularly outrageous.
Without a doubt, one of the hardest things about being a foreign student is not being able to express support and to join closely in demanding that the authorities resolve the case. For sure, there is a certain feeling of guilt. Particularly, fellow students of Mexico at Sanford and I wished we were in Mexico on October 8th for the massive walk in solidarity to the #Ayotzinapa case.
Here at Duke, North Carolina House Representatives Rick Glazier (D–Cumberland), Grier Martin (D–Wake), and Chuck McGrady (R–Henderson) recently joined students to discuss policy in practice. They spoke candidly of their experiences in the NC political system, the challenges they face in office, and fielded questions from an audience of professors and students.
(L-R) NC Representatives Grier Martin, Rick Glazier, and Chuck McGrady address policy in practice at Sanford.