Friday, April 17, 2009

Some things I´ve discussed with my teacher

-the origin of the term Chicano
-Latin American chauvanism
-Rafael Correa and his relation to other world leaders (both contemporary and historically) My teacher actually compared him to Pinochet and Hitler, amongst others. She later said that she´s somewhat conservative.
-Catholocism and it´s hold on Latin America, both spiritually, politically, and socially. We discussed the sexism that exists in the doctrine of the church, and how that sexism many times manifests itself in machismo, chauvanism, and even domestic violence. She also told me the story of a priest in Ecuador who, after years as a priest, was running for a government post. He had been accused of having affairs outside of his priestly promises, and indeed had borne a child with a mistress. Evidently, during the campaign, the secret came out, and the priest admitted his indisgression. However, he was running on a largely moral platform that found its roots in Catholic thought. A young man, during a public debate or meeting, raised his hand and asked the priest how in the world he expected the public to vote with their morals for a person who had violated, in such a grave way, the morals to which he had devoted his life and his very soul. The priest commented that the child he had borne was the biggest mistake of his life, and indeed a manifestation of the devil´s power of influence. The young man, seemingly a stranger, replied with the following question: "Would you have preferred that my mother aborted me?" Incidentally, the priest was forgiven by enough voters to win a seat in the Assembly.
-We talked about the public education system in the states. I tried to explain my view of the hidden curriculum of schooling, commenting that traditional schooling breeds competition, a departure from critical thinking, preparation for the workforce, and others. My teacher Isabel strongly disagreed, commenting that the public school system (of the United States, where she had previously lived during her college years) was less of a factor than the parents in the development of ideals in children. We had to agree to disagree.
-She also was of the opinion that African Americans were the most racist citizens of the United States, going back to here experience as a Latina in California.
-We discussed OJ Simpson, and what might have occurred had he been convicted criminally in the murder trial of the bizarro century. Her feeling was that OJ had been acquitted largely because the jury felt sorry for the poor black man, and that the US Justice System has some sort of a pity for black people. I couldn´t have disagreed more, I said. I said I thought (based on conversations I´ve had with all different types of people) that moreso than OJ Simpson´s actual guilt or innocence was the idea that black people, if they were famous, beloved, rich, etc...could have the same rights as famous, beloved, rich white folks. The right to get off regardless of the facts. The right to use affluence to melt tip the scales of justice, just as has been the norm for whites for centuries.
-veganism, and Ecuador´s obsession with rice and meat
-the lack of tortillas (flour and corn) in Ecuador and the food you get when you order a tortilla, which is a sucky, eggy, omelety thing
-the structure of the traditional Cuencan household, including space for horsies, guest area, two patios, a small garden, space for house workers (maids, cooks, etc...)

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