Friday, August 24, 2012

Stand Up

Education and politics have been on my mind recently. Well, lets be honest, they are often on my mind. But after settling into the swing of things at PUCV, I have started to pick up on cultural cues that suggest that Chileans (South Americans in general) go about their education differently.

Take for example the student riots going on in Santiago over their demands for a new framework for their education system. There haven't been any new public universities build since the Pinochet revolution and their is little to no support for student grants and loans for the expensive private schools. PUCV participates in their own educational marches in Vina y Valpo. I plan on attending one of these marches soon to gain even more new perspective.

We can think back to my blog post about my dear Culture and Communications profe and how he is inspiring a new outlook on culture for non-natives (I dislike the use of the word foreigners). Our newest homework assignment is to write a poem, based on the Pablo Nerudian description of personal characteristics with out being obvious. Carlos' example:

I have some grey hair.   LAME
And onto my head falls a gentle dusting of snow. NERUDIAN

I am still working on my poem, but also during our class we watched a powerful video that inspired not only me to jot some thoughts down. Mi soon-to-be hermana, la Meghan wrote about it in her blog post. And while you are there, just take a little gander; she has some great things to say. 

This poem was written during class and finished on the bench waiting for the metro station. 

No Importa

No importa que lengua hablas con su boca
Ni importa que cosa trabajas con sus manos
Ni importa que color tienes en su piel
Ni importa el tamaño de su billetero 
Ni importa la ubicación de su casa
Ni importa la ropa que llevas 

La única importancia es su tiempo y que haces cuando nadie te ve.

For all of the non Spanish readers out there, I also fabricated a poem in English as well.


Someday, the sea will reach out to me, 
Take my hand; offer me a cup of tea. 

Someday, the land will lift me up, 
Pour more wine into a half empty cup. 

Someday, the sky will lend me air, 
Send down white clouds while I sit and stare.

Someday, the mountains will give me a plot, 
Of land to plant some forget-me-nots. 

Someday, the world will take a stand, 
And I will be there, holding her hand

The world has a way of helping us understand others through the arts. I don't know what it feels like to not have the opportunity to go to college. Heck, I am going to two colleges! I don't know what bombs sound like, destroying my city and loved ones. I don't know what it is like not be able to voice and type my opinions with out extreme censorship.

But I do know what it feels like to care. I do know what it's like to get goose bumps during class, when we are talking about educational reform. I do know how frustrated I get when American students who are handed everything on a silver platter, would rather skip class and hold no value in their education.  I do know how it feels to cry over the minor riots in South Africa, the drug cartel violence in Mexico, the explicit monotone voices of news reporter after reporter give a death toll, take a sip of their coffee and move on to the next homicide report.

And just maybe, while not physically acting to remove this violence, these little poems can just bring a small bit of peace back into humanity.

find out what it feels like,

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