Saturday, September 22, 2007

international development vs. ME

my food course is driving me bonkers. it's got way too many young, save-the-world white people in it and it seems like the class discussions end up inevitably de-volving into modified versions of impassioned, grade 10 ethics class "debates" (but replace "euthanasia" and "schma-schmortion" with "GMO's" "transnational corporations" and "capitalism"). everyone is sooo typical! i shouldn't say that, there's a few peeps in there who interjected some worthwhile business. but they're vastly out-numbered by people who say "capitalism does this" "capitalism takes away people's choices" "the peasants (!!!) have no choices" blah blah blah. then the teacher does something really lame by taking down a speaker's list. so by the time you want to respond to something, it's like 10 people removed from where you are and conversation ends up being really stilted and stiff (more like singular orations than a dialogue). way to go u of t with your freakishly large grad seminars, way to go.

the only word(s) i got to pipe in was when some kid who was trying to take the "i'm a poor student card". i was like *funny voice* "you're privileged, buddy" and he goes "what! how am i privileged? if it wasn't for a loan i wouldn't be able to go to school" and i was like, "you're STILL privileged" at which point the professor told me that it was so and so's turn to talk. lame!

this one girl (pure parkdale, indie-loving, faux-mullet, vintage swathed) made the following statement (in a breathy voice fecund with naive befuddlement) (about GMO's and food production): "i. just. don't. understand. we have LAND. and we grow VEGETABLES on that land. and then we FEED. THE. VEGETABLES. TO. ANIMALS. and then we eat the animals?!? that seems so wrong to me, i mean, we have LAND."

at this point, my eyes are about to roll on out of my head and i'm looking around the class trying desperately to see if anyone else is HEARING this crap. there were a couple of people who had maybe a glimmer of awareness of the absurdity, but they were doing a better job of hiding it. like, lady...WHAT ARE YOU GETTING AT? what's the problem here? i have absolutely NO issues with vegetarianism, but c'mon. like seriously, c'mon.

at another point in the class, this other woman was trampling all over the agency and rights of people in developing nations (without knowing it, and under the guise of benevolent liberal pap) when a car pulled up outside the classroom (we're at bloor and spadina) and was blasting that ludacris and pharell tune (right at the chorus):

Shake your money maker
Like somebody boutta pay ya
I see you on my radar
Don't you act like you dont hear
You know I got it
If you want it, come get it
Stand next to this money
Like - ey ey ey

effin catchy as all hell. i hear that song, and i wanna get down. this girl, stops abruptly while the lyrics boom through the classroom and then as the car drives away, says, "i'm sorry, i forget what i was saying because of that rap [disparaging to the MAX] music" wow. that's all i gots to say. wow.

anyway, there's a lot of trampling all over the agency of people in developing nations. this one girl who's amazing, is in an international development program at u of t and she responded to this other girl who was saying that gmo's are disgusting and despicable and the scum of the earth by saying, "well, i agree with you to a certain extent, but if that's what a developing country chooses to do in order to feed their people and get them up to par with the developed world, then it's their right." which i totally agreed with. it's a matter of who gets to say, if it comes from the people of india versus monsanto, i'm all for it. there was another dude who piped in (who is my kindred spirit in the class, although i think he's just auditing it) and said we couldn't continue the discussion until we adequately defined the actors. that a famer's needs in canada is very different from a farmer's needs in india and you can't just subsume them all under the title of "farmer". i should be more forgiving though because i was 100% that to a T when i was in undergrad, so it's probably that i'm at a different age, experience-level, and stage of my life than some of the other kids. they're well-intentioned.

blah blah blah. last night me and the roomie ended up going for drinks and visiting with my doppelganger and her bf, who very much acts like a counterbalance to her me-ness in the same way the dotytron acts as a counterbalance to my me-ness. we're like a doppelganger couple. i really really really like them both and they just got an apartment on the danny so we checked it out. it's sweet! i love having friends in the neighbourhood. then, because the roomie grew up in this hood, we rendezvoused with another old friends of hers who alsolives on the danny, and coincidentally ran into yet another old friend who used to live in riverdale and now lives in taiwan. it was a fun night, but i'm exhausted.

today i'm going to visit hamilton with dr. rei. her mummy is making me a persian feast! i'm soooo excited. i've never eaten persian food before. i made a fig and walnut tart and those cocoa-and-orange love cookies the boy made me that time as gifts. the fig walnut tart looks beautiful but it's the first time i've made the recipe so i don't know how it'll taste. i also overworked the cookie dough a bit so the cookies are tougher than when the dotytron made them, but they're still very tasty, just not as delicate and sandy as i would like.


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