Prof. travels to Iraq to teach

first_imgA Notre Dame political science professor had the unique opportunity last month to teach students about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in a place where such terms are foreign and difficult to grasp.Professor Vincent Muñoz traveled to the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUI-S) to teach students about the principles behind the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence.“The ideas were new and not familiar. They really wanted to know what it means to have the right to life, the right to liberty,” Muñoz said. AUI-S, a private university, opened in 2007 and offers an American-style liberal arts education. All classes are taught in English.Muñoz met AUI-S Provost John Agresto last November after the Notre Dame professor gave a lecture about the Constitution in Philadelphia. Agresto later invited Muñoz to teach students about American democracy in a workshop setting at AUI-S.Muñoz left for Iraq on March 25 and returned on April 5, traveling 30 hours each way. Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) funded the trip.“I definitely want to thank Agustin Fuentes, director of the ISLA,” Muñoz said.On a typical day, Muñoz did some of his own work in the morning, ate lunch with faculty in the afternoon, met with his class and held informal conversations with students after class.“I taught for five days, but the total trip was 10 days,” Muñoz said. “I taught a 75 minute class which tended to go to 90 minutes. Anyone could come, and more students came every day.”Muñoz said the students arrived at each seminar class well prepared and with many questions.“The first day we did the Declaration of Independence and [discussed] what the purpose of government is. The second day we did the Federalist Number 10. [We then] spent two days on religious freedom and one day on constitutional design,” Muñoz said. “Students were so engaged because Iraq just wrote a constitution.”Muñoz said most students looked to America as the ideal democratic society.“[We discussed that] liberal democracy has its advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “They are so enamored with the idea of democracy, to have someone talk about the disadvantages of democracy was new to them.”Muñoz said some female students worried about the abuses of freedom. These students were concerned too much freedom could lead to an increased prevalence of abortions and pornography.Toward the end of his stay in Iraq, Muñoz gave a lecture open to the entire university titled “Constitutional Democracy and Religious Freedom.”“In the lecture I did a comparison between the Iraqi and American constitutions,” Muñoz said. “Islam is the established religion in the Iraqi constitution. I compared that to how we don’t have an official religion in America. Students thought it would be impossible not to have an established religion [In Iraq].”Muñoz said students were surprised a separation of church and state is not considered anti-religious. They also struggled to comprehend the idea of a limited government.“They had not seen the arguments for these ideas before,” Muñoz said.Muñoz said his class felt “in many ways, just like a seminar at Notre Dame.”But he said teaching students who are so unfamiliar with concepts like freedom of speech and freedom of religion — concepts most Americans do not think twice about — was refreshing.“[The trip] reminded me why I love to teach these things, because the students were so hungry to learn and the ideas were so new to them,” Muñoz said. “The eagerness of the students was infectious — they desire so much to live as a stable democracy like America.”last_img read more

Dodgers trying to find days off for regulars after challenging trip

first_imgRoberts said Muncy’s break on Friday was unrelated to his right wrist, which he appeared to injure on a check swing on Wednesday, though he stayed in that contest.“Actually, his wrist feels good,” Roberts said. “I think it’s more we pushed him through each game and the lack of off-days and travel.”The travel also took its toll on relief pitcher Dylan Floro. The righty complained of stiffness in his neck on Sunday as the team flew home from Philadelphia and was sent to the 10-day injured list on Monday with neck inflammation.The Dodgers recalled Casey Sadler to replace Floro on the active roster.“Hopefully he’ll be a short-term thing,” Roberts said of Floro. “Obviously, a pitcher having a tough time with his neck is going to compromise him.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cooper could hardly contain his glee pregame before his Dodger Stadium debut, which he anticipated would be attended by 50-100 family members and friends.“It’s a dream come true. Once I step in that box,” Cooper began, hesitating with a brief laugh, “it’ll be a feeling I probably haven’t felt since my big-league debut. Playing in your home city is something you always dream of.”Cooper batted third for the Marlins on Friday.ALSOThe Dodgers will hold a ceremony on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium to unveil the official logo for the 2020 All-Star Game. Vin Scully, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti will be in attendance at the ceremony, which will also include the revealing of plans for stadium renovations in the coming year. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season LOS ANGELES — Smothering humidity, a series of rain delays and a frustrating delay on the flight home due to a mechanical error made the Dodgers grateful to be back home in California ahead of the weekend’s three-game series with the Miami Marlins, even after taking four of seven from the Phillies and Red Sox.“We’ll take that,” pitcher Ross Stripling said, “but obviously it’s nice to be back here in 70 degrees and sunny L.A.”But the rigors of the trip did have an impact on the Dodgers’ plans for the weekend series.Manager Dave Roberts found himself budgeting for off-days for several of his regular players. First baseman Max Muncy got Friday’s series opener off, while Roberts said he was eyeing getting right fielder Cody Bellinger off his feet on Sunday.center_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start HOMECOMINGThree years into his major-league career and Marlins outfielder Garrett Cooper had never had the opportunity to play in his hometown. Until Friday night.The Manhattan Beach native had a winding road back to L.A. County. After a standout career at Loyola High, he spent two years at El Camino College before transferring to Auburn. He was selected by the Brewers in the sixth round of the 2013 draft and spent four years in their farm system before being traded to the Yankees in 2017.There he made his MLB debut before he was traded to Miami that November. After an injury-plagued 2018, Cooper has made an impact for the Marlins this season. Entering Friday, Cooper was hitting .313 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs while playing in the outfield and infield.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more