Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 4

Went to my first couchsurfing event for day four, a dinner discussion type deal on what should be taught in college but isn't to help a fellow couchsurfer/general badass writing a book on the topic.

couchsurfing version of me =

The most interesting thing said at the dinner discussion thing about what should be taught in college when a women talked about the idea of unlearning, and how that should be taught. It’s v. true – shaking off something you’ve already absorbed is so hard. Makes me think of politics and the way narratives of politicians remain true to the public even when they’ve been proven false. Reminds me of my dad complaining about ‘iran is a tiny country’ obama. I’ve shown him the quote in context. He knows what it means. He actually AGREES with obama’s stance on Iran. But he still can’t, I mean literally CAN NOT, shake the instinct and accompanied righteous indignation that obama said iran is a tiny threat and it proves he doesn’t understand foreign policy. It’s almost scary.

There was also an unrelated funny moment, when the guy who organized the talk spoke about how kids today grow up in a culture of fear. I asked him how he raised his kids to try to avoid that, and he talked about how he raised his kids not to fear people by having them go up to tables at restaurants and tell jokes to the patrons, and then ask for a joke from them. Another woman asked what the end result was, if his kids grew up to be really outgoing and confident. He said that no, they were shy (but tried to compensate by saying that at least they weren’t afraid). He sounded awfully disappointed.

Perhaps he felt like he failed them. Or perhaps felt like they failed him, with their reticence to become the uber-extroverted cultural exchanging super people he wanted them to be. Or perhaps he feels fine about it and everything else is all in my head.

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