Thursday, June 30, 2011

More on Cotton in German Togoland

Well if criticism of the founding of Israel is not going to garner me any comments then I doubt anybody in the blogosphere is going to care much about my thoughts on German Togoland. But, one never knows. The brief German colonial empire in Africa may become the next hot topic of historical debate. Of course even in this context, scholars have shown less interest overall in Togoland than in other parts of the empire such as Namibia.

At any rate last night I finished a draft of the proposal for my first conference paper on an African subject. As should be obvious from the information above it is on cotton in German Togoland. The conference is on German colonial rule on West Africa and will take place here in Ghana. Eastern Ghana used to be part of German Togoland.  I am going to write on the failure of the German colonial administration in Togoland to make the territory into a major supplier of raw cotton for the German textile industry. I am going to contrast this with the success of the Russian Empire during the same time in developing cotton cultivation in Central Asia to such an extent that it supplied most of  its textile industry. I am going to coauthor the paper with a post graduate student here in the history department. Right now he is looking over the proposal I wrote. I think transnational topics like the history of various commodities are a good way for me to broaden my portfolio to include some publications on topics directly related to Africa.

Tomorrow is Republic Day

Tomorrow is another big national holiday here in Ghana. This time it celebrates the adoption of a republican form of government by Ghana. Most everything will be closed until Monday which is Independence Day in the US.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Okay that didn't work

Well posting five controversial beliefs did nothing to garner me any comments other than one from Walt, my good friend of many years now. I think I first met him in New York over eleven years ago. So much for the suggestion that provocative postings would elicit comments. I do not think it even got me any new readers. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Five Controversial Things I Believe

In an effort to be provocative enough to solicit comments I have listed five things I believe below that I think are definite minority opinions in American academia and the blogosphere.

1. The Soviet Union, particularly under Stalin, practiced racial discrimination against a number of nationalities and Jews were not the worst treated group by a long shot.

2. The mass deportation of nationalities by Stalin to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia constituted genocide by any reasonable definition of the word.

3. The mass expulsion of ethnic Germans from their homes in Central Europe at the end of World War II was a crime against humanity with no moral justification.

4. The mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in 1948 was also a crime against humanity with no moral justification.

5. American academia is rigged so people like me who believe things like I listed above can not get jobs at US universities.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PhD training verus job requirements

The training to be a university history lecturer and the actual job are considerably different and I do not know exactly why this is the case. But, the specialization emphasized to get the doctorate contrasts sharply with the emphasis with the general knowledge needed to teach undergraduates. It seems here a greater emphasis on Western and Central Europe is more helpful than anything fancy. My post graduate training focused on areas almost completely outside Europe. My three MA courses were on Central Asia, the Ottoman Empire, and a methods course aimed at scholars of Asia and Africa. My PhD dissertation was on the deportation of Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars, and Meskhetian Turks to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Europe as it is traditionally understood played a very marginal role in my post graduate studies.Yet, looking at my scheduled classes for the next year I have one class on European history each semester and one on world history each semester. So right now I am brushing up on European history from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century. In retrospect I should have read a lot more 17th and 18th century French and English history while I was living in Arivaca. Instead I read a lot of Arizonan, Middle Eastern, Siberian, and Afghan history.

Evolution of the Blogosphere and the Death of Commenting

It seems to me the Internet and especially the blogosphere is a lot more civil now than it was five or six years ago. But, it is also a lot more boring and less dynamic. Somewhere along the line the medium ceased to be a forum for debate, some of it very hostile, and became a series of echo chambers. This may explain why I never get any comments anymore. People who agree with me feel no need to comment since they would not be adding anything new. This segment of the world's population is of course very small. In contrast those people who disagree with me, undoubtedly the vast majority of the planet, do not ever read my blog. They are off reading other blogs or more likely playing with Facebook or Twitter.

Still no comments

I wonder why other blogs get comments, but I never do?

Adjusting to different climatic cycles

Ghana is in the northern hemisphere. Therefore it should be summer now. But, it is a lot cooler now than it was in January when I first got here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today in Accra

Today I went shopping in Makola Market. Fortunately, before I went on my expedition I fueled up on a huge amount of fufu. Walking along the streets of the market is like being in a different world even from the surrounding areas of Accra. The place is a maze of stalls, tables, and porters with goods to sell. I did, however, manage to negotiate the labyrinth and find the item of my search. I purchased two of them, each from a different vendor.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The international role of the Tuskegee Institute

Yesterday I came across a bunch of articles on the development of cotton cultivation in German Togoland. A lot of them dealt with the role of African-Americans from the Tuskegee Institute. They established a model farm and school to train Togoland farmers on the best ways of cultivating cotton.  Evidently the Germans started to push for an increase in cotton farming in Togoland at the turn of the century in order to reduce the dependence of their textile industry upon American cotton. This has some interesting parallels to the development of cotton cultivation in Central Asia. Including the fact that there was also an experimental farm run by African-Americans from the Tuskegee Institute in the Uzbek SSR during the 1930s. Langston Hughes wrote about visiting it in his autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander. Apparently in the early 20th Century Tuskegee had the world's foremost experts on the cultivation of cotton and they were sought out by regimes as diverse as the German colonial administration of Togoland and the USSR under Stalin.

Book Progress

My book manuscript is coming slower than I would like. I am only up to 59,000 words. I hope to get some work done on it this weekend. For some reason I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to write more than a few hundred words a day on it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Giant Mangoes

Last night I purchased a mango at the market so big that cut up it fills three bowls. I have eaten two bowls worth so far. I honestly did not think mangoes could grow that big.

There must be an invisible sun

I do not know how people manage to endure horrible tragedy and suffering and still have the strength to rebuild normal lives. I find my own burdens difficult to bear some days and they are far lighter than those of many other people. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

American Popular Culture

My access to American popular culture is obviously limited. I get some clues about what is going on via the Internet or from conversations with family, but I do not have a television so I can not follow events and trends in the US on CNN. Most of my exposure to American popular culture recently is in the form of mystery novels. The bookstore on campus seems to have a never ending supply of American mystery novels. Recently I have been reading a lot of Patricia Cornwell and Sue Grafton. As I have noted earlier a lot of the better mystery novels written in the last two decades seem to be written by women and take place in the American South. Grafton's novel's take place in California, but Cornwell has centered most of her writing around Richmond, VA. I am not sure if this is significant or not. I think in decades past most American mystery writers were men and there was a much more northern tilt to the genre.

Sources for Early Modern Europe?

I have to teach a course on Early Modern Europe next semester. Does anybody have any suggestions on sources? In particular I am looking for stuff  on 17th and 18th century England and France. I am trying both to brush up on my own knowledge and pick appropriate readings for the syllabus. It is a 300 level class.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diaspora Nationalities in the USSR

Despite what everybody else says there was racism in the USSR and national equality did not exist in any real sense from the late 1930s onward. In particular Soviet citizens belonging to diaspora nationalities came under severe repression. On 31 January 1938 the Soviet Politburo passed a resolution regarding the extension of various national operations by the NKVD. Below I have provided a translation of an excerpt from the resolution. The capitalization is in the original.
Allow the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs to continue until 15 April 1938 operations to destroy spying-sabotage contingents of POLES, LATVIANS, GERMANS, ESTONIANS, FINNS, GREEKS, IRANIANS, KHARBINTSY, CHINESE and ROMANIANS, both foreign subjects and Soviet citizens, in accordance with existing decrees of the NKVD USSR.
The lack of differentiation between Soviet citizens descended of immigrants to the Russian Empire and foreigners is striking. The operating assumption of the Soviet government was that even after several generations national minorities would continue to owe their political loyalty to their ancestral homeland due to inheriting some sort of national essence from their parents. In all other historical contexts this assumption is called racism. I do not know why people give Stalin and his henchmen a free pass on this.

Source: S.U. Alievea, Tak eto bylo:  Natsional'nye repressii v SSSR 1919-1952 gody (Moscow: "Insan", 1993), vol. I., p. 253

Another lovely day

The weather in southern Ghana is a lot nicer than I expected it to be before I got here. Looking at a map it is quite close to the equator and I assumed it would be much hotter and more humid than it has been. Even though we are in the northern hemisphere, the temperature has been cooler now that it is summer than it was in January.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday in Legon

Today the campus seemed particularly deserted even for a Sunday. Walking around I saw very few people. Despite being summer it is quite cool now. So the walk was quite pleasant.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today's activities

Today I planned to get more done than I actually did. This afternoon I ate fufu and goat in light soup for lunch, drank a coconut, and then took a tro-tro to Nkrumah Circle and walked down to Makola Market. I got a late start and getting a seat on a tro-tro took over half an hour. So I did not get to the market until considerably after three in the afternoon. I took a cab home around four thirty so I could get home before it got dark. I wish there was subway system in Accra. It would solve a lot of transportation problems.

German Togoland

Last night I compiled a three page bibliography of sources to look at regarding German Togoland. This morning I found one of the shorter ones in the library and read all twenty pages. The scholarship on the colony is limited. I suspect in large part to its relatively small size, brief existence, and lack of large scale military conflict in comparison to other German colonies in Africa.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Updating the Blog Roll

Okay I have been lazy about just about everything recently. But, I have finally cleaned up my blog roll. Those blogs that have been inactive for a long time have been removed. I have also once again added Randy McDonald's A Bit More Detail. For a long time it was impossible for me to access Live Journal sites so I took them off the roll. If anybody would else would like me to add them to the list let me know. I only ask that you link to me in return.

Another accomplishment and it is still five minutes to noon

I finally got JSTOR to work on my laptop. Now I can actually do some research. If anybody knows any good articles on German colonialism in West Africa, I am interesting in German Togoland, please let me know now that I can download them. Most of the literature on German colonialism in Africa I have seen deals with Namibia.

Today's accomplishments

Today I finally finished grading final exams. I had been putting off the last seven for what seems like weeks. I still have to enter them into the computer, but I do not have to read any more student essays on the Cuban Missile Crises or the end of the Cold War for a while now. Overall the students did well. But, I think they did better in general on the mid-term. Nobody failed the exam and over half the grades were a B+ or better.

Even more thrilling, after weeks of failure I finally got the latest virus definitions for my anti-virus software to download onto my laptop. I had to wait until most people had left campus for summer break for the available bandwith to be sufficient for this task. But, I finally got updated today and a quick scan showed no problems.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving slowly, but surely

I have gotten up to 57,000 words done on the book ms or 200 pages double spaced. I also recently got invited to submit a paper to a conference on a subject that is rather new to me. But, I am excited about doing a paper on an African related topic and going to another part of Ghana to deliver it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good News

So far this week has gone well. I got a set of peer review reports back on a journal article and it was revise and resubmit, not a flat out rejection for a change. Getting a manuscript past both editors who are increasingly using desk rejections to limit the number of articles they send out for peer review and peer review itself seems to be taking longer and longer. In the days before the Internet it took months to get an article published now it only takes years.

Seventy Years since the Baltic Deportations of 14 June 1941

Today is the 70th anniversary of the first mass deportations of people from the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to Siberia and other distant areas of the USSR by the occupying Soviet authorities. This forced resettlement of tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children led to predictable human suffering and mass mortality. I do not have time to write an extensive post about this crime today. But, I have written about this deportation in the past and the following links will take you to some of those pieces. Five years ago for the 65th anniversary I wrote a short summary of the deportations which you can find here. The following day I posted a short piece on the personal experience of a single Estonian woman who had survived the deportations and exile which you can find here.  Finally, for those that are interested here is an attempt to quantify the number of people to die as a result of the deportations. The deportations represented an attempt to violently remove the leading strata of the Baltic states in order to eliminate  resistance to Soviet colonial rule. As I noted earlier, Soviet rule over the Baltic states represented a classical colonial occupation complete with economic exploitation, foreign settlement, and armed resistance.

US Embassy

Yesterday and today I went to the US embassy to get more pages put in my passport. The embassy is a lot friendlier on the inside than it looks on the outside. The procedures are pretty streamlined and I was in the embassy less than an hour both days. Getting to the embassy, however, takes at least an hour even though it is less than twenty miles away. Accra has the worst traffic I have ever seen. It makes Los Angeles look good by comparison.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The sun is shining again

Yesterday it was gloomy and rainy all day long. Today the sun is shining and there is not a hint of approaching thunder clouds. Also even though it is summer it is not too hot.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rainy Season

It is now officially the rainy season as if I had any doubts earlier. Today it rained for hours on end. I have been told that this will continue for some months.

Drinking from a coconut

Today I did not do much productive. I walked around campus, cruised the Internet, and ate cheap Ghanaian food. One of the things I ate was a green coconut. Actually you do not so much eat it as drink it since most of the edible part at this stage is still in the form of the liquid coconut milk.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More on publications and academic jobs

There seems to be a pervasive need by American academics to maintain the illusion of meritocracy by falsely claiming that publications count in hiring decisions. For the vast majority of hires at the assistant professor level this is simply not true. If it were I would have gotten at least one US interview from 2005 to 2007. Publications undoubtedly count for many other things, but for landing a first teaching job in the US they do not help at all and may very well hurt your chances. They can often signal to committees that your expertise is too narrow and outside the perimeter of what they are looking for in a candidate. Again for the most part they are looking for people to teach European history from 1400-1945 to freshmen, not anything specialized. I enjoy teaching in Africa so other than wasted time and effort being blacklisted in the US is not that big of deal for me. But, it really is misleading for American academics to be telling recent PhDs that if they just publish enough they will get a job. This is simply not true and in many cases publications might hurt their chances.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan 1950

After the Second World War had already ended on 9 May 1945, the Stalin regime subjected the Russian-Germans already living in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan before 1941 to special settlement restrictions. Between 18 September 1945 and 6 November 1946 the Soviet government extended the special settlement regime to 105,817 Russian-Germans living east of the Urals during the war and therefore not subject to deportation (Berdinskikh, doc. 9, pp. 341-343). The largest concentration of these local Germans was in Kazakhstan. The new decrees placed 59,365 Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan under special settlement restrictions and exempted only 107 of the ethnic Germans living in the republic (Krieger, note 24, p. 155). The legal basis for these restrictions was quite weak even by the standards of the time. A 12 August 1950 top secret report from the Minister of State Security (MGB) of Kazakhstan to Abakumov, the head of the MGB for all of the USSR noted the unsound legal basis for placing these local Russian-Germans under special settlement restrictions. I have reproduced the relevant passages below. The translation from Russian is my own. The underlining appears in the original text.
In Kazakhstan the record of special settlers includes 56,972 local Germans, not subject to resettlement in the Period of the Great Fatherland War. These Germans were taken into the registration of special settlers in 1945 by a telegraphed decree by the deputy minister of internal affairs of the USSR c.(omrade) Chernyshev. There has been no kind of government decision about the extension of these restrictions establishing them as evictees.
The General Procurator of the Union of SSRs has clarified to the Procurator of the Kazakh SSR that it is illegal to take these Germans into the registration of special settlers and they are subject to liberation. Guided by these instructions, the Procurator of the republic, and also oblast and raion procurators of the Kazakh SSR refuse to sanction the arrest and arraignment on criminal charges cases of flight by these Germans from places of settlement and do not sanction their arrest by administrative order for the violation of the regime in places of special settlements (Tsarevskaia-Diakina, doc. 200, p. 657).
The position of the General Procurator did nothing to change the legal status of the local Russian-Germans in Kazakhstan. They remained special settlers until 1954, well after Stalin's death on 5 March 1953. But, the complete lack of any legal basis for their restricted status did not go unnoticed even among the officials of the MGB.


Berdinskikh, V.A., Spetsposelentsy: Politcheskaia ssylka narodov Sovetskoi Rossii. Moscow: Novoe literatunoe obozrenie, 2005.

Krieger, Viktor, Rein, Volga, Irtysh: Iz istorii nemtsev Tsentral'noi Azii. Almaty: Daik-Press, 2006.

Tsarevskaia-Diakina, T.V., ed., Spetspereselentsy v SSSR: vol. v of Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga: Konets 1920-kh - pervaia polvina 1950-kh godov. Moscow: Rosspen, 2004.

More Book Progress

I have gotten up to 55,000 words on the book manuscript. It is coming along nicely. I have almost completely finished the section on the legal infrastructure of the special settlement regime. This weekend I am going to try and get a working draft of the section on the labor army finished.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Making Future Research Plans

I have been reading and thinking about comparative history recently. I have a couple of projects dealing with Russian-Germans I want to finish up. But, after I finish them I am going to change my research focus. It appears that I might be working in Ghana for quite some time. The source base here is best geared towards the colonial history of the Gold Coast, followed by the more recent history of the Republic of Ghana, and finally the history of Pan-Africanism as an ideology. I am told that the archives here especially for the colonial era are easy to access, well ordered, and contain a great deal of information. I am, however, not sure exactly what I would research. First, I obviously need to do a lot of background reading on African history. I would like to do something comparative that incorporates some aspect of African history. I have been thinking about maybe writing an extended comparison of Soviet policies towards deported nationalities, the special settlers, and South African apartheid. If anybody has any suggestions for me regarding sources on African history and possible comparative research projects I might be able to pursue please let me know. I will have some more thoughts on comparative history later.

Book Progress

I am almost up to 54,000 words on my book manuscript. That is 190 pages double spaced. I hope to get a completed first draft done sometime in August.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Easing into summer

Now that classes are over things are pretty slow on campus. I am almost finished grading final exams. I will definitely finish up this week. I also have some things I need to do in Accra, but they should not be too difficult. I have been working on my current book manuscript regarding Russian-Germans and have written a little over 53,000 words total. I would like to get a completed manuscript done before the middle of August. I hope to be able to read up on African history as well as prepare for next semester's classes in the next couple of weeks. It is very nice not having to teach four or five classes a semester.

If I knew then what I know now

Today I read over my old blog posts from when I lived in Arivaca Arizona. At that time I did not think I would ever get an academic job. If I had to do it again I would have done things differently. First, I probably would not have bothered to apply to any jobs in the US. I now know I never had a shot of even getting an interview with any US institution. Having a PhD from the UK and no teaching experience basically eliminated me from the first round of any search. No amount of publications could overcome this second disability. Anybody who tells you that publications are what get you hired as an assistant professor in the US is lying to you. I see this lie repeated a lot on academic blogs and I wish it would stop. Second, I would have sent an application to every history department in English speaking Africa regardless of whether they were advertising openings or not. While having a British degree hurt me a lot in the US job market since my degree is from SOAS not Oxford or Cambridge I believe it would have helped me in the African market. Not surprisingly the School of Oriental and African Studies is known and respected in Africa. This was the second university in Africa I even looked at and I got the job on the basis of my CV and publications without the need for an interview. Finally, I would have done a lot more to project myself as a generalist rather than a specialist. Universities are not looking for people to teach on the subject of their PhD dissertation. They are looking for people who can teach the broad outlines of several centuries of the history of whole continents. I honestly did not fully realize how far removed the daily work of a university lecturer is from the process of getting a PhD when I lived in Arivaca.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A Brief History of Communism in Africa

Despite Soviet rhetoric under Lenin and Stalin denouncing imperialism and colonialism there was little Soviet support of movements seeking independence in Africa before the 1960s. Most anti-imperialist activity undertaken by Moscow during this time focused on Asia. Even here, however, rhetoric trumped actual material assistance. As a result the vast majority of independence movements in Asia succeeded under non-Communist leadership. Nehru and Gandhi in India, Jinnah in Pakistan, and Sukarno in Indonesia to name only the leaders of the three most populous Asian states to gain independence after World War II, threw off European colonial rule without establishing a Soviet style system. The only successful anti-colonial movement to establish a communist government was the Viet-Minh under Ho Chi Minh fighting against French colonial rule. In 1954 they established a communist regime in North Vietnam after the signing of the Paris Accords with France. Successful communist revolutions after Stalin’s death were few until the 1970s. After North Vietnam there was only Cuba in 1959 and South Yemen in 1969. Successful communist revolutions against colonial regimes were even rarer. Cuba was already an independent state leaving only the British colony of South Yemen as an example of communism replacing colonialism between 1954 and 1975. The British and French empires collapsed in Africa without any communist governments replacing them. It was only in the mid-1970s that communism established a foothold on the African continent with the collapse of the imperial regimes of Ethiopia and Portugal.

Although Soviet support for national liberation movements in Africa gets rhetorical and limited material support starting in the early 1960s under Khrushchev it is only later under Brezhnev that this support becomes significant. Soviet support for national liberation movements in southern Africa such as the MPLA in Angola, FRELIMO in Mozambique, ZAPU in Rhodesia, SWAPO in Namibia, and the ANC in South Africa sought to buy the allegiance of these movements should they ever come to power. In the case of Angola and Mozambique this strategy was successful. In Rhodesia, the USSR bet on the wrong horse. Robert Mugabe’s ZANU movement came to power rather than ZAPU. In Namibia and South Africa the Soviet Union’s favored movements came to power, but they did not establish communist regimes. Moreover, the ANC came to power after the USSR disintegrated and ceased to exist as a state.

The first communist government in Africa was not established until 1974. The overthrow of Emperor Selassie in Ethiopia that year made it the first state in Africa to pursue the Soviet model of development. The collapse of the Portuguese Empire led to the establishment of two other Soviet style states in Africa that promptly allied themselves with the USSR, Angola and Mozambique. The MPLA in Angola and FRELIMO in Mozambique had received Soviet military assistance during their existence as guerilla organizations fighting against Portuguese rule. Upon the removal of Portuguese soldiers from Africa in 1975 they continued to receive Soviet military hardware as well as Cuban soldiers in their struggle against armed anti-communist movements backed variously by Rhodesia, South Africa, and the USA. Today Angola and Mozambique are at peace and the ruling parties have largely dismantled the Soviet style economic structures created in the 1970s.

Overall communist movements had limited success in Africa. Outside of South Africa, there were no organized communist parties prior to World War II. Communism came to power in Ethiopia through a military coup and in Angola and Mozambique through guerilla organizations more influenced by Castro’s Cuban Revolution than Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution. Africa provided a weak social, organizational, and ideological environment from which communist movements could develop. Asia proved to be much more fertile ground for such movements. Communist governments came to power in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and at one time strong communist parties or movements existed in Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Monday, June 06, 2011

What I did today

Today I had to get a prescription renewed. The medical system here is pretty efficient. I would say it is comparable to the British NHS system with which I am familiar.  But, I wish the doctors would give me a prescription for longer than a month. It seems silly to spend a couple of hours every month just to get a prescription renewed. I hope the next time I go I can get more than a month.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Another trip to the mall

Yesterday I went to Accra Mall. It was crowded as usual. It amazes me that while in the US almost everything is made in China at the Game store almost everything is made in South Africa. Some of it like my Logik kettle is not made very well. I still have to return it since it is still under warranty, but in the meantime I have purchased a more expensive and hopefully more durable kettle.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Thanks for Commenting

Thanks for commenting people. Since 4:00 pm yesterday I have gotten five comments on my blog. That is more comments than I have gotten in the last two months.

Friday, June 03, 2011

More on working in Africa

This semester I spent a lot of time adjusting to life on a new continent. This is the fourth continent I have lived on in the last ten years. Which I think is part of the coming globalization of academic labor. Had I stayed in the US, I am pretty sure I would have had to stop looking for an academic job eventually. To date I have only had one phone interview for a US position in seven years during which I sent out hundreds of applications. I am not exactly sure why there is so much competition for lousy academic jobs in the US compared to much better academic jobs in places like Ghana. But, I suspect I got lucky in getting here before the competition realized that there are universities outside of the US, Canada and Europe.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I Love International Students

I did not realize it until recently, but we get paid a nice bonus for grading the final exams of our international students. I had two international students in my class. Both of them did quite well. When I turned in the marking sheet with their grades into the International Programs Office today I just had to sign two forms and they gave me 50 cedis in cash. That is not bad at all.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


We had a department meeting today. Among the items on the agenda were class assignments for next year. Nobody has more than two classes to teach each semester. Since we get paid a straight salary rather than on a per class basis,  I am very pleased with this teaching load.


I am pretty sure this blog has the fewest number of comments per a reader of any blog in the history of the Internet. I am not exactly sure why. Is it because nothing I write is interesting enough to comment on?