Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maybe I am in the wrong area studies

I think I must be in the wrong area studies.

Because for the last four classes, we have talked about Russia.

NONE of us are going to Russia. NOT ONE.

Remember I told you about how our instructor ridiculed State for "forcing all the countries of the former Soviet Union to report through the Russia desk"? And how I told you that this actually isn't true, and that some of the countries aren't even in EUR anymore because we recognize that it makes more sense for them to be in SCA?

And how this same instructor persists in examining all of our countries through a Russian lens?

It continues. Today, he brought in an instructor to talk about organized crime and corruption.

RUSSIAN organized crime and corruption.

And he left, saying he had two other places FSI needed him to be today (really? He is a replacement for the instructor who retired. He teaches ONLY our class. And FSI has double-booked him? Really?)

So we are left with this guy who didn't seem to know where we were going. He talked about Russia, and to a degree, AFRICA. And offered to talk about Central America.

How about central Europe? That'd be fun.

And when we did try to get him to talk about our countries, he knew very little, told us to ask our regular instructor, and got defensive.

At our break, most of the class bailed. I stayed (Catholic guilt). One friend said he would start taking area studies seriously when FSI started taking it seriously. I get it.

Yes, Russia is a HUGE current and historic influence on our countries. Yes, we need to know about Russia. But this is NOT Russia's area studies. We would like to know some about the countries we are going to. It matters.

But it seems to be too much to ask.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

The blogger potluck is ON! 2/26, 4-6 p.m. Please email me or check out Paul's blog for more details. Please feel free to mention in an upcoming post :).
Paul Benjamin: Writer, Editor, Supermodel