In The Way

The life of a student

I feel like right now I am studying Spanish more than I have studied anything ever. Yes, I have researched many things but the study of another language is challenging on so many levels more than other subjects. Everything is different because I have a lot to learn. I am trying to learn a lifetime of a language in as little time as possible. Because I have been studying so much I have not been writing very much in English. Yes, I still have many thoughts but these days my thoughts are in Spanish most of the time, and not in English. It’s easy to neglect a blog when this is the case.

However, blogging I believe is a very important form of modern communication. To be able to blog and to be able to blog well is a skill that I believe will help me in the future when it comes to some sort of job or career opportunity. Even if I am not a fantastic writer or story-teller in comparison to Valerie, the fact that I am able to maintain a blog and that my main focus is studying and learning says a lot.

I’ve got many thoughts since being here in Guatemela so if this post is too random and sporadic for you, I apologize. I thought about making a bullet-point type of post but decided against it because I would not be able to convey the variety of thoughts that I have been thinking about.

First off, education here is drastically different than the United States. Most people attend “Escuela Secundaria”, or Secondary School but do not get an education much past that because if you have that you are already among a minority in the nation. Graduating from Secondary School here is equivelent to completing 9th or 10th grade in the US. And the US, in comparison to other developed nations, doesn’t exactly have the best education system. Since I have been many loans to go to school lately, I would say that it is one of the worst.

That being said, the fact that I am able to study at a University, even if I am thousands of dollars in debt, advances me to a level that exceeds far more than the majority of the world’s standards. This is rather life-rocking, since often in the US these days you hear that a Bachelor’s Degree doesn’t matter any more, you really need some sort of more advanced education that is more all-encompassing than a simple 4-year major from a liberal arts school.

I desire more advanced education. I am completely and totally hookcd on learning. I’m not sure if this education will be “formal”, but I think that after I finish my undergrad that more will certainly be necessary.

Today we have a new house-mate. His name is pronounced “Jon” in English, “Jan (Yan)” in Norwegian, and “Juan” in Espanol. He is from Norway and he is a professor of economics and political negotiations. I told him that a dream of mine would be to be some sort of similar professor in Economics.

But back to Guatemala.

I have started learning about the past tense imperfect, which is to say something like “Before I was thinking _____” as opposed to past tense preterite, which would be like “I thought ______”. Or something like that. Before this trip I was thinking of all of the general economic and political disabilities that Guatemala has in relations to the United States and the global economy and how unfortunate it was that there was not more education in Guatemala or in the United States or this problem might be able to be potentially changed. But this is not the case!

I have found out by talking to Elder, our host father, as well as my teacher at school, as well as other teenage students, as well as reading a childhood textbook, that they are well aware of the inequality that exists in their nation in comparison to other developed nations. I bought a book yesterday that is a geography book on Central America that is geared towards elementary students. The book features a map that depicts how much money per day the average worker in the United States works in comparison to the nations in Central America. The diagram is staggering. This is a book geared towards elementary students and they are learning at an early age that life is not fair. I just wish that there was more information regarding this in American textbooks. I don’t remember learning about the US’s role in the underdevelopment of Latin American nations and other nations in my US history class. Why not?

This epiphany is real. Oh, God, how can there be such inequality and injustice in the world? And how do we go about working to fix this?

After all, it’s not “them” and “their” problems. These are shared problems.

I believe change is possible, but in what form?



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One thought on “The life of a student

  1. Good thoughts, David. I, too, think about the inequality all the time. Most days, we in America can’t even comprehend it all … we can go to another country, and “see it,” but I don’t know if we can ever get it, because … well, we were born here and our “middle class mentality” tells us that ANYONE can make ANYTHING of themselves if they just work hard enough. In some places of the world, that’s just not true.
    I am so thankful you are having this experience! I am so excited to see where it all takes you … and what you do with that which you’ve been given.
    Keep up the studying! Keep up the blogging when you get the chance!

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