Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Don’t know much about history

So, I almost got through college without taking a history class.  That was actually one of the (less important) reasons for me going to Brown:  that I wouldn’t have to take any of the things that I hated in high school…like history.  But at some point over the past four years I got over my memories of a certain boring ninth-grade world history teacher droning on about the Ottoman Empire and decided that knowing a little bit about the world wouldn’t be horrible.  So I’m taking “Historia Universal Contemporanea” during the Peru study abroad program…and I’m loving it.

I think what makes it different from my history classes in the past is that it’s from a different perspective, or at least seems to be.  In high school we learned about all the major stuff, but always with the filter of being from the United States, and generally the stuff that didn’t involve the US we didn’t spend much time on.  But in my Peru study abroad class I’m learning about whole wars I didn´t even know happened (I know…shame on me) and hearing things from the perspective of a different country.  (I’m not actually sure which country because my professor is from Puerto Rico but lives in Perú.)  It´s non-US perspective that’s interesting and refreshing.  Sometimes it makes me a little uncomfortable, like when the professor says something critical of the US and then looks right at me like he expects a reaction.  He knows I’m the only foreign student in the class and that I’m from the United States.  But he doesn’t demand any reaction from me, and I’m certainly not going to say anything.  Also, I generally agree with what he’s saying.

The other reason I like the class is the professor himself.  He’s small and probably 50 years old and, like I said, from Puerto Rico.  This last fact apparently means that he must speak at 100 miles per hour minimum at all times, and even faster when he’s excited or telling a joke, which is happens frequently.  He´s really entertaining to listen to, even when I don’t understand (or can’t even make out) every word he’s saying, but lately I’ve started to catch on and occasionally even understand a joke or two every class (yay!).  So that’s fun.  And the fast pace keeps me on my toes.   I look forward to going to class twice a week, and I’m disappointed when it’s cancelled or cut short, which happens more than occasionally here.

The only downside is that the class meets from 3-4 on Thursday, and then I have to wait around for 4 hours until rugby practice at 8pm.  Today I’m writing this and then I’m going to  reread some stuff that I have to present tomorrow in one of my classes, and then hopefully it will be rugby time!


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