Sunday, May 24, 2009

8,000: How Will It Change Our Lives?

Currently Listening To: "A Goodnight's Sleep" by The Starting Line

You know what's the great thing about taking classes at UOG?

Once in awhile, you meet awesome people.

So this past semester, I took EN310: Creative Writing. There's a handful of awesome writers in that class, including Charissa Aguon. She was one of the handful of familiar faces amongst the crowd at yesterday's Reclaim Guahan Rally. Anyway, I emailed her to request more information for these upcoming event I discovered via a flyer.

8000, How Will it Change Our Lives: Community Conversations on the US Military Buildup on Guam is an event presented by the Guam Humanities Council. According to the flyer, the project will be using the civic reflection model to stimulate small group discussions. The conversations would be responses to films, poems, readings, or other text within a hospitable environment. When I get some solid dates and times, I will most definately add it on here.

Personally, I think this is an awesome. Currently, the military buildup is one of the many concerns island residents have because of the dramatic changes that will accompany this move; our population will increase drastically over the next couple of years, our economy may experience a financial boost, and there may be some federal job openings for our island residents. However, the Chamorro culture, may not fare as well as the other aspects of our island living.

The military buildup will have a tremendous impact on our island, but does anyone have an idea of how astronomical this event will be? The buildup also calls into mind our colonial status; did anyone ask the People of Guam first "would you like a couple of Marines in a couple of years?" Was there a poll to see whether we wanted it or not? No one asked, but gave an order, and they are coming whether we like it or not.

Now, I'm not anti-military or what have you; I've just been kicking back and observing this for awhile, so don't shoot out those comments. But, let's think about some situations for a second:

Ever get annoyed when you want to watch something on a website's player, but you couldn't view whatever you were watching because you weren't in a state? How about trying to order something, or get into a sweepstakes, or how about entering a contest? Wait, you're not one of the 50 U.S. there may be a chance you weren't able to do any of those things if you were on Guam, and depending on the contest's rules.

One time, I tried signing up for more information from an online school's website; the information I sought for was in regards to transferrable credits, and whether their degree would be applicable in my area. Anyway, Guam wasn't listed. After nearly 10 years of dealing with restricted access because I wasn't living in some stateside land, I emailed the webmaster, explaining that Guam was a U.S. Territory and that I would like to view more information. What was his response?

"We don't cater to international institutions."

Ahh. International. So, we're a part of this thing, but not really.

So I guess Guam's kind of like the new kid in school; he's sort of part of the school (transcript-wise), but socially he isn't. So what do we do about it?

No comments: