Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The University of Havana and Me

Photo: Claudio Fuentes Madan, taken during the Rotilla Festival of Electronic Music

I have never lost the desire to study, I have a certain illusion that studying will keep me young; clearly my body does not support my theory, but we manage.  When I started this blog in 2008 I was taking a course in Social-Cultural Studies at the University of Havana, having decided to start over with the materials, assignments, and exams, a year earlier.

I liked studying at a distance, doing my homework alone at home even though the program was archaic; the Philosophy and Society course was really Marxism, the psychology ignored by Freud, and on the exams there were questions about the Battle of Ideas and the Five Heroes – in prison in the United States for spying – which were not of course included in the program. I managed to study jumping over obstacles, zigzagging, and being the queen of ambiguity in my answers.

But after a year I was tired, I lost interest: it wasn’t fun any more to hear the Philosophy professor say in the lectures that Marxism entered into a crisis because of “some tactical errors by Stalin,” nor to hear the Psychology professor using examples taken from Brazilian soap operas.  I left, or one might say, as my mother did: I gave up.

I knew I would miss school, but I am optimistic.  There is more time in life and I still dream of graduating in Philosophy from the University of Havana… when it recovers its autonomy.  Meanwhile, at the home of Yoani Sanchez, Professor Vallin and Dagoberto Valdes offered a lecture that one never heard in the mediocre University Venue; maybe one day higher learning will regain its intellectual status.

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