Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Questions of Travel

i decided to post my reply to shane's school assignment here.
i also decided to focus on the Questions of Travel

i think this is what it all comes down to, questions. yes, i think that if we had stayed at home, we would have asked questions, and yes, we might have found answers to them. the difference, i think, is the kind of questions we ask.

i find this really hard, i have deleted and re-written this paragraph about four times now.
in essence i think that shane, you are right, we are better off with the experience. even though when it comes to questions, i still tend to wonder "when will i have enough money to buy those nice winter boots?" rather than "when will the genocide in sudan stop?"
i think i am, in a way, defending my worries about silly mundane things by thinking that, well at least now i am educated enough to think of the genocide in sudan once in a while. like, now at least i kind of know what it is. there may be many better examples of this, and i do still feel rather uneducated.

i have so many things to say and such bad organisation of my thoughts!!!
i think i will continue in bullet point form

1. the other day i was at a dinner party and i was talking to a middle aged american woman who was "very worried" about the fact that american high school students don't even have to study world history. i agree, that is rather worrying, but you don't have to study history in high school in norway either, or britain for that matter (i think), and (sorry, american kids, i'm sure there are many exceptions to this one) europeans still seem to generally be more aware of what's been going down around the world in the past. so maybe education is not the problem? maybe it's the media, maybe not, maybe it's the conversations you have with your friends, maybe it is what is talked about around the dinner table.
i remember going to ola's house, sitting around the dinner table talking about politics and history and whatever (this was pre-muwci) and i remember thinking that "this is how kids learn. why isn't my dinner table like this?" ok i realize i am digressing here, but i guess my point is that you learn so much from the people around you and that maybe, yes, you learn stuff in school, but unless you learn to think critically (as you might learn from discussions around the dinner table, maybe even over a beer in paud) that knowledge is worth nothing.

2. at this afore mentioned dinner party, i disagreed with most of what the american lady was saying, but i was really appreciating the conversation! (it helped that there was a very intelligent guy from bangladesh there, and one from germany and one from england and an american girl) i think this is the essence; we were from all over the world and so we had so many things to learn from each other, and so many things to tell. i think this is how we learned in muwci.

3. a guy just walked by, outside the internet cafe window in glasgow, wearing a "same same but different" shirt. i wonder if he went to india, and i wonder is he asked many questions while he was there, and i wonder if he asks different questions now than he did before. (maybe he went to thailand or morrocco for that matter)

4 this is the most incoherent thing i have written in a long time. shane, i think it's good that you're the one taking a writing class.

5. i am listening to sufjan stevens, he is talking about running out of springfield, maybe he wants to go out and learn about stuff so he can ask new questions.

hmm i think that when you're in a place for too long, you kind of run out of questions to ask and things to talk to people about, so you start talking about the new, modern roof of the local shell-station and forget that there's a world out there. it's dangerous, and i feel myself falling into that trap! i'm forgetting to ask questions and i forget to remember what i've learned, and when the news come on, i switch to "america's next top model".

where will this end.
thank you girls for making me think at least a little bit.


jshim said...

your incoherence is totally coherent.

Shane said...

you're so right... it really is about the questions you ask and learning to ask questions. and would we have learned to ask the 'right' or i mean, the far-reaching ones had we not gone? i mean you talked about the dinner table at ola's, & this was pre-muwci, this was at home, and those questions that it took us india to ask they were asking. we didn't do that in my family either; i guess they're a particularly amazing one, but still, they are not singular.
and you are so right about the discussion: i think that is why i have been having trouble with the discussions in college. because even if what people say is not so particularly intelligent, when they say it from such a different perspective, it's newer and fresher. but here they are all just fucking americans.
i love you.

Shane said...

ps after all this all i think about is "when will i have enough money for a plane ticket to the uk?" WHATEVS.

Sofie said...

we will converse and discuss and drink beer in the merry month of may.