The semester is over, yet the fishtank spilleth over at work these days. A neverending wave of American and international students are here to participate in the plethora of summer programs that are offerred. The groups I notice most of all are the American ones.. boston university, nyu, minnesota… you can’t miss them as their discussions are at a volume louder than everyone else’s, at least according to my ears.
As I tried to get through this final day of work before the Berlin, I took extra notice of their conversations. Each table in the cantina was filled with a different group, who apparently were working on projects related to a class on conflict resolution. The terms kept repeating from table to table.. over and over, “peacekeepers”, “training”, “democracy”, “free elections”, “war crimes”… it was like being in a room full of future Bush speech writers.
Of course they’re much better than that, but after awhile the topics began to annoy me. Each person trying to outdo the other with bigger words and mentioning as many acronyms as possible. They spoke about democracy like a group of doctors collectively dispensing medicine that will heal the world. On and on and on… democracy democracy democracy. The cynic in me wanted to ask if when they were finished, they could find the first world some salvation from the terrible so-called democracies we’re locked into.
But why nag them for wanting to save the world, that at least is a noble wish that even I can support. The truely disturbing part about listening to the great minds of some of the countries top universities, is their obsession with themselves. The deliberate practice of trying to shmooze other professors while one-upping their classmates. I guess it’s practice for the future, when they intend to get into important jobs that could potentially help the world… and then proceed to focus on making themselves real famous and important.
In other news, Trinidad & Tobago deserved to win.