Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In a somber mood...

Kind of a thoughtful post for me tonight. Instead of a regular Spanish class tonight, the professor had us watch La Fiesta del Chivo...

...translated to "The Feast of the Goat." I won't go into any detail about the movie...you can click on the link above if you want to know more about it. In a nutshell, it's a very realistic portrayal about the Dominican Republic back in the late 50s and the dictatorial and ruthless rule by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, a corrupt and womanizing tyrant.

My professor is from the Dominican Republic and is about 63 years old, so he experienced those times. You could tell he was very emotional about it and it put me in kind of a somber mood.

Our class normally runs from 5:00 to 6:20. When he's lecturing, 6:15 will roll around and everyone starts shutting their books, shuffling papers, grabbing their bookbags...it's time to quit, no matter if he is right in the middle of explaining something. Class is OVER. The movie went over class time tonight until 7:00. Most of the students left before it was over. (I don't think I've mentioned before that I am the ONLY person (other than the teacher) who is over 20 years old in the class.) So, anyway, there were only a handful of students left by the time the movie was over, and most of them were text messaging on their cell phones or checking their watches. Only three of us stayed behind to talk about the film and thank him for having us watch it.

Which brings me to why I'm a little somber tonight. Having the unique opportunity to work amongst the "future of America," I am very concerned about what this country has to offer in the years to come. I have had numerous conversations with teachers and professors on the half-ass attitudes of students, the lack of ethics, the laziness and particularly the general opinion that they want good grades without having to do any work. Granted, this university is average at best, and you might get a much different work ethic if you went to a more prestigious school, but the general feel is that these kids have gotten pretty much everything they've wanted all of their lives and think that's the way it should be for the rest of their lives. They all have top-of-the-line cell phones, I-Pods, I-Phones, flat screen TVs, and a lot of them drive brand new cars or SUVs that their parents have bought for them. Plus, most of them are living in very nice apartments, also provided for by their parents. There are those who are holding down two or more jobs to pay for their own education, or are receiving loans and financial aid...and I'll guarantee you, those are the nicer, more respectful and appreciative students...and will probably be more successful in life.

After watching this movie tonight, it made me realize that probably none of these kids have been through ANYTHING remotely disturbing in their lives to make them feel grateful for what they have...it's just a way of life they automatically expect now. Although I've never been through anything like a dictatorship, I can still remember in my youth when we went through the Cuban Missile Crisis and President Kennedy was suggesting that people build fallout shelters on their property in case of an atomic attack. Does anyone remember that?? We lived out in the country and my dad had a tractor and he actually started digging out a hill to build one! Crazy! Kind of like this...

I got this picture off the net, but this is probably what it would have looked like inside. (From that checkered tablecloth, it almost makes you feel like Ward and June Cleaver are going to come through the door followed by Wally and the Beav!)

That was a very weird time and I can still remember my parents being very worried...which made all of us kids very worried.


Anyway, this is a totally off-the-wall post, but some movies can kind of do that to you.

8 comments:

barry said...

Remember those days too.. We has a Fall-out shelter,,complete with a generator , 200 ft well and lead doors,,, made a heck of a necking place,,,"Wanna see my Fallout shelter?"....There is another movie about DR and Trujillo called the "Time of the Butterflies" based on three sister's who were activists that he murdered. Regarding staying past class, I guess that's another difference in the "60's&70's generation,,I would stay as a courtesy to a teacher if for no other reason this was a painful time in his life that he was willing to share with us..Get the other movie if you can, think you will enjoy it,

Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, I definitely remember the Cuban missile crisis. A friend up the street's father bought the whole fallout shelter package, complete with everything you see in the photo. We used it as a playhouse. Needless to say, it was a small redneck town in Kansas and her father became kind of a laughing stock over that fallout shelter. When she refers to it now, she calls it the tornado shelter.

I see the phenomena you're talking about around here in this neighborhood, only it's homeowners in their late 20's. A lot of them are the foreclosures. They bought way over their heads, have two brand new cars in the garage (usually at least one Hummer or Mercedes), huge diamonds and fake boobs, etc.... A life of extreme excess. The chickens are coming home to roost with a lot of them. I watched a young couple down the street moving out last week. Many just seem to think that they deserve that life whether they can afford it or not.

gil garcia said...

I remember the penguins scaring all the kids at school at the time telling them Russia is going to bomb us and "the Yellow people will inherit the Earth".

Isla Deb said...

Barry - Thanks for the tip about the other movie. I will check it out!

Beck - I know what you mean...seems like everyone has to have the best of everything whether they can afford it or not.

Gil - "Penguins"...hahaha! I've never heard that...but then, again, I wasn't raised Catholic in Chicago!

Anonymous said...

I remember the "fallout drills" in school. we all had to get along a wall and crouch down, with our hands clasped over our heads, with our heads facing our laps. haha. now there was some planning eh??
Remember we had Civil Defence? And we still have the "break into the radio station" this is only a test thing. And it was never used during the 911 attacks.hmmm
carl/debbie

Isla Deb said...

Carl - I totally forgot about the fallout drills...and the radio tests. Yeah...good planning standing against the walls. Haha!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they had us line up along the wall so it would be easier to find our bodies?..:-))
carl/debbie

Isla Deb said...

What a pleasant thought, Carl! Haha!