So as expected things went down Wednesday of last week at the university and at universities all over Colombia. Students marched, threw paint, and other generally protest-related activities. Some got violent and others spray painted angry slogans on whatever was handy, which are now visible through much of the city. Here is an article from Colombia Reports for some real journalism. How this really affects me is only that my class has been cancelled since Wednesday as UN goes on paro.
This is an indefinite pause in classes, supposedly until the reform law fails. The reason for the protests starting now was that we are more than half-way through the semester so the semester can’t be cancelled (which would force everyone to repeat it, including payment). Unfortunately the medical students who were already on strike did have their semester cancelled. The paro is kind of because during the protests students go in and mess up classrooms, so the university would rather just shut down buildings. However some of Manu’s teachers are still holding classes, they just have to find buildings that aren’t shut or get them opened, so I am not really sure how the paro helps anything. I know this protest is serious business—some of the reform ideas really are bad ones—but I can’t help but not take some of these mamertos, and their tactics, seriously. Why do they smoke weed to be rebellious if one of the major problems in their country is the drug trade? Or when looking at one particular piece of graffiti on campus depicting students entering as sheep to study and leaving as crash-test dummies to work I can’t help but think, “isn’t that symptomatic of the society, not of the school?” Also at the university, along with Plaza Che, there is a Plaza Lenin. Sometimes I just want to shake people because I am not sure they are actually thinking.
Still, I am just an outsider and it is easy to judge things we aren’t a part of. Regardless, I am secretly glad to be free of my less-than-enjoyable new teacher, even if only temporarily, and it is kind of nice to do things during the week with Manu (#lonelyhousewifeproblems). It’s kind of like what I imagine waiting for a snow day is like: everyday I wait and check the school website—who knows what’s in store for tomorrow!