Monday, June 27, 2005

Europe on my mind

I was giving this white guy a ride the other day from campus. His roomate is a friend of mine in my department, so that's how we had met and we were on our way to the beach to go kayaking with our mutual friend. I told him that I came from Guam. He asked a few nervous questions, and then admitted to not knowing very much about Guam. I told him that I'm from a colony, and the benefit of that is that you get to feel whatever you want about us, we are supposed to be at the disposal of your desire or disinterest.

He asked me how far Guam was from the US. I told him, several thousands miles. "It must be pretty isolated then, huh?" he asked. I told him, not really. West of Hawai'i there are actually lots of islands, Guam is the largest in a chain of volcanic islands in the Marianas, and its surrounded by hundreds of others in Micronesia.

He apologized saying, "Well I guess I can always blame this on my geography classes." We both laughed. He continued, "But I do know lots about Europe, though."

The laugh intended to come out of my mouth, instead got caught as I realized something. Given the makeup of the school system on Guam, today and my own experiences in education, one could easily call it a colonial school system. The emphasis is most definitely not local and not regional. We do not connect to Asia or the other islands the way we do to the United States (and its disowned parent Europe).

Without laughing, I depressedly replied, "So do I."

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