Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aqui estoy ... en clases

Just in case you thought I spend all my time gallivanting around Peru, here's some things I'm doing and learning in my classes:

- Studying racial categorization and definition in Peru and how that had affected the history and current state of the country. Did you know that up until about the 40s and the aftermath of WWII it was generally acceptable to suggest things like killing off the indigenous population to get rid of the 'problem' and replacing them with white Europeans who were inteligent and hard workers?

- Learning vocabulary words like consuetudinaro (customary/unwritten law), gremio (guild, not gremlin which would've been more fun), trigo (wheat), cebada (barley), robafocos (joking nickname for tall person, literally lightbulb-robber)

- Discovering that if you ask a question in the Ashaninca language you must suggest a response or the question is considered absurd. For example, "Who did it?" wouldn't work, it would have to be "Who did it? Your grandmother?" This is especially interesting to me because we were talking about bilingual education and how this language feature affects it. Imagine writing test questions in the Ashaninca language. Or being a primarily-Ashaninca-speaking student trying to take a test in Spanish.

- Learning the 3 different types of columns of Greek architecture in history of art, which leads to a new micro past-time...identifying columns on buildings we pass. (They're mostly jonico if you want to know. Which means they have little spirals called volutas on top. The Arequipa plaza cathedral columns were jonico too)

- Writing a paper on the reasons for the indigenous rebellion in 1742 led by Juan Santos Atahualpa against the Spanish. (It was mostly because of the horrible behavior of the Spanish toward the natives. Juan Santos was the perfect leader because he had both Ashaninca and Inca blood)

- Seeing the andenes that were mentioned in 3 of my 4 classes. Andenes are terraces used for agriculture on the sides of mountains (or canyons). Many from the Inca period and before still exist but are no longer in use. I saw a LOT on the way to Colca Canyon and even walked on some that were being used for corn.

And now I'm off to study for my control de lectura tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Hasta la proxima

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