Pictured L to R: Leah, Maia,
Sasha (actually Russian), and Me
The first scheduled thing post-Russian lesson was a lecture from a leading political scientist in the area about the US and Russia's position in global affairs, and what exactly 'global leadership' meant to each country. We discussed each nation's few of the other, and the trend of anti-Americanism spreading throughout non-Western nations as a result of our foreign policy's focus on spreading democracy, Russia's take on its current position in foreign affairs, and how we could (and must) understand each other and cooperate in the future. In the midst of a ridiculous election cycle like we are right now, where everyone gets caught up in media circuses and party lines, it is refreshing and important (if not daunting) to hear the political perspective of our country from an informed outsider and to be reminded how much our actions affect the world. We talked a lot about how the US is the world power of right now but how many peoples outside of the our borders don't consider that a positive thing; he showed us a recent article from a Russian foreign minister that quoted George Orwell ("All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." -Animal Farm) and went on to explain how the US, though world policeman, is not upholding laws and justice in its interference everywhere, which is a fascinating and jarring opposite view from the many American citizens that believe that it is our Manifest Destiny to bring equality and justice to some conflicted world.
|The Vladimir Water Tower|
Converted to a museum to save it
from destruction under Soviet rule
It did occur to me part of the way through this lecture to question whether the professor was biased; however, immediately after that thought I pictured any American politician/political scientist speaking to any other nationality of students ever, and how ridiculously biased that person would probably be, and decided to keep an open mind. All in all it was a fascinating and incredibly eye-opening lecture.
|Some of the adorable kids at|
|Statue of Sergei Taneyev|
outside of the Vladimir
Symphony Hall; a Russian
composer I don't know and
need to look up; considered
the 'Russian Bach' and was
bff's with Tchaikovsky
We're going to Suzdal tomorrow, a town near here, our first weekend trip. I'm not sure if I'll have wifi but I will of course keep you posted!
Funny Moment of the Day:
|Me and Polina!|