Students don’t show for school this morning for the fear of violence on this day, the second day, of Mohamad Morsi’s trial. Turns out this part of the trial is for charges against him for breaking out of prison back during the Mubarak uprising. It’s not the first time a jailed leader has become president, as we know, but how many have been “sprung” from jail and then become president? I’m not sure that this was common knowledge back when he was running for office. It may have been. It’s hard to keep up with all the details and the who’s who of the Egyptian Revolution, though I’ve been here long enough to have a pretty good timeline and participant list.
Our early bus is diverted from the usual entry point to school this morning. The frontage road is blocked with troops and barbed wire barricades. We are across the street from the backside of the Cairo Police Academy, a sprawling training facility for the, well, police, and the sight of the court in which Morsi is being tried. Mubarak was tried here as well. My classroom window overlooks the compound, from the second floor I can see over the walls and into the complex. I often hear marching and chanting, as well as gunfire from the practice range.
School begins with a new chapter this morning, as in Chapter 6, Section 1 in our Pre-algebra book. One of my students, also named Mohamad, sits by the window, staring through the blinds. He’s too smart for this class, so he’s bored. He should be in Algebra, but he never applied himself and so he’s here.
Mohamad is staring out the window while I am teaching.
“Mohamad! Let us know if you see Morsi’s helicopter.”
He starts, as I wake him from his blissful reverie and, with a slight embarrassment, apologizes for not paying attention.
“No, I mean it, let us know if you see the helicopter that brings Morsi to trial.”
Used to being castigated for his lack of attention he is pleased that I am both not reprimanding him and giving him a task. I tell by his grin.
Decimals converted to fractions converted to percentages and vis-à-vis. “Mr. Roy! I think I hear something.” Without direction every student rises and walks to the windows. I am among them. We scan the distance and I spot it first, a large lumbering khaki colored helicopter moves slowly over the academy. It moves toward us, hovers, and eases down into the compound until it disappears behind a building. We stare for a while.
Homework is Page 267: Problem numbers 1-26…