Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Particularly Beautiful Day

It's 3:30. We finished our final class a couple of hours ago, and it was great. Work had kept me from a few classes this week, so it was nice being there for both again. In conversation today Erin gave a presentation on the Lost Colony, which was really neat because sadly it's not a well-known story, even among Americans. Presentations on our home countries had been regular fixtures in conversation for the last month or so. It was great because there were so many countries represented, and even more so because our teacher loved asking provocative questions. Great for learning and gaining perspective, and of course great for speaking. The discussion of course found its way to Bush, America's occupation of Iraq and international behavior, and the upcoming elections. I always like hearing what other students have to say about America and Americans, because regarding international affairs Americans tend to have at least these presumptions:

1) The perspective of America is (almost) always right and therefore ignoring consensus isn't a problem.
2) Foreigners, especially Europeans (and especially the French), do not like Americans.

Number one is a tired subject, so I'll just skip to number two and say that it's just plain not true. Are there people that just don't like Americans because we are American? Probably, but I've never met one. Instead I've had pleasant encounters with some older people that spoke gratefully of the liberation they received during WWII. Of course the younger generation is different, but even they don't have a blind opinion. In class we heard opinions, some not flattering and rightfully so, but I've still yet to encounter someone that actually believes Americans as people to be just plain evil or otherwise undesirable. Do they have differing world views and opinions? Of course, but then how could it be any different? Things apply and make sense to different people based on how their cultures and societies have evolved. This is not a good or bad thing, it's simply reality.

Looking out the window now at the apartments that have become so familiar to me, it really is a beautiful day. As I said before I am glad to have a break from school, but I'm not ready for it to be over. Reflecting now I feel as if I've only just received all of the pieces to a puzzle, so now how will I assemble the picture? Eh vabbeh, it will be assembled.