Friday, November 26, 2010

At SMEE day 2 part4


Lunch - a late one like yesterday - was - also like yesterday - really tasty. A lot of the same things, but instead of red molé, today it was green molé. (Sí, entiendo que se lo escibe menos el acento, pero en inglés, ya hay una palabra se escribe 'mole'.) There was also a green chile soup, which was very tasty (sino fue un poco tan picante a Rafys).

At lunch, I listened to the conversation around me, and was following pretty well until a student of the host program sat down, and (according to what Rafys told me later) he then decided to take over the conversation by regailing us with the last things he read by (a translated) Marx, Engels, and Lenin as well as a what he had read about land division after the Spanish had taken over the area of Xochimilco, and how the current-day arguments over borders wasn't actually to be blamed on Cortes, but on themselves. I thought that a large part of my boredom was that this guy didn't talk about things of interest to me, but then I noticed that the others at the table were also glassy-eyed. Rafys saved the situation by smoothly changing the direction of the conversation, and the guy left the table about that time, too.

I had't had too much difficulty in following the conversations about environmental and social research, but what he was talking was a completely alien linguistic corpus. However, I did recognize that he was quoting from his (translated) Lenin, and it made me wonder about the importance in teaching rote memorization plays in Latin American education. Rafys told me that it has played a part in many of the experiences that she has had, but that some professors seem to think that a glut of memorized ideas will automatically lead to good conceptualizations and criticisms. Apparently, the guy who took over the lunch conversation didn't get the memo.

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