Sunday, 30 March 2008

Yoga, nothing to do with the physical exercise!

I've been told since when I started University!
"You should be able to assess yourself."

I'm not! Or, at least, not without great effort! But I perfectly agree that is important to know how to assess your personal ability in order to reach new goals!
To assess my personal intercultural competence was particularly difficult, because there are many things that work in our mind without we are conscious of. Schemes, stereotypes, help you to comprehend the world around you, and they are not always a negative thing, but we are not always conscious of how much they influence our perception.

So, to assess my awareness of negative reactions to differences was quite a problem, how can I be sure that I do not think my reactions are due to the cultural differences when it is so?
Our mind sometime reacts in a very particular way (take an exam of social psychology if you don't believe me!) and we cannot be aware of that.

Anyway, I really reckon it is useful to value these different things (Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude, Language Proficiency and Skills), to stop and think about it let you know that these kind of mechanisms exist, and then maybe next time you'll be able to suspend judgement, or just to be aware that your judgement is due only to the cultural difference!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

About technology

There is only a thing...

Today I've been talking for an hour with a girl who lives in the USA, thanks to an exchange organized by my Language course at the University.

This morning I had to take a train To go to Padua to pick up a piece of paper to do my Easter homework for my Language course at the University.

Technology is a strange thing!

Hello, are you there?

There? Where?
I don't know, but that was the first thing that came into my mind to be sure that our phone call started! at the beginning it was...awkward! Because we do not know each other, but we were supposed to talk about several things!

We started in English, so that Elena could feel at ease, and talking about University, and why she decided to study Italian, I understood that her family (or rather part of it) live in a city very near to my Rovigo!

Then we went on talking about the new topic: terrorism and immigrants. I learnt a lot of things!For example, I thought that the"typical" immigrant in US came from Europe, or China, but now there are a lot of people coming from Mexico!
I appreciate the opportunity to ask her how did she feel about 9/11, because in Italy we saw it was a tragedy, but probably we felt it as a thing very far from us. I think she was a bit disappointed for my answer about terrorism, but she asked me about an "experience" (my own or my parents') that I could not tell her. It is quite strange but these are events so recent that we didn't study at school, and we are too young, so we didn't experienced it!
We talked a bit about election too, because Iraq is an important point in the candidates' programs, and it is time for election in US.

It was a nice experience! Really I was worried to succeed (technology problems of any kind could emerge!), but everything was all right!
I enjoyed it.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Padova-Dickinson: task 3

Ok group,
our task for Monday is to come up as a group with an interesting question about American Culture, looking at the answers they've given to the questionnaire!

We can start from my blog, where I'll suspend "moderazione dei commenti" for this week, and then we will post to our course-blog the question!

Looking at the wiki, I read that two topics we were interested in are politics and immigrants, and those two are the more different visions between Italy and America.
Then, there is another interesting observation written by Alberto about the idea of individualism...

The thing is Sarah pointed out we should come up with a question that could provoke interesting discussion, not that easy eh?
So, start making comments to say what you think could be an interesting topic!
I'll be waiting for your answers!