Thursday, October 28, 2010

protestations and protests

It had to happen eventually, I guess. I went to sleep last night without a thought of blogging crossing my mind. Not a single thought. That's odd for two reasons, 1) because I had some really interesting stuff to say and pictures to post about what's going on at the University, and 2) because I even got up after laying down and closing my eyes to go back to my computer and type out a story idea for NaNoWriMo.
So, even though I forgot, here I am, twenty minutes after waking up this morning, blogging. I would say for you, but it's really for me. I don't like failing my commitments, can you tell? So from here on, pretend I wrote this yesterday. Geez.
It seemed like a normal day on campus, albeit one that was a little warmer than it's been recently. The only unusual thing I noticed was the trash. It was everywhere, piled up in corners and blowing across courtyards thanks to the ever-present wind.
pretty much everywhere on campus looked like this
water feature filled with trash
It honestly wasn't until someone mentioned it, that I got the connection between the piles of trash and the janitors' strike. It was a little bit shocking to me, because when I thought about it that way, the pattern of trash dispersal seemed odd. I would expect, that if janitors went on strike, trash cans would fill up and not be emptied, and lots of trash would accumulate around them. Not at AUC. Instead, the littering habits of thousands of students became apparent, as trash and half eaten food piled up on tables, or benches, or anywhere people like to linger. It was just plain gross.

this is where we ate lunch
outside one of the food outlets on campus
Meanwhile, the strike was still going on, and in all of my classes in HUSS that day, I could hear the yelling and chanting and speeches being made my workers and students alike. I wish that I could say I was proud of the solidarity the students had with the workers, but I can't. I'm afraid that most of the students simply saw the strike/sit-in as an opportunity to skip class. Some, I'm sure were sincere in their dedication, but I noticed most of the crowd had left the school by around half past four, when most final classes get out. Here's the crowd standing in the courtyard near HUSS:
gathered people standing around, possibly yelling
a sign that i can't read yet
new vocabulary on the whiteboard in an english classrooom
Post-school, the rest of my day was pretty boring, as possibly evidenced by my complete and total failure to blog. I guess it's still yesterday on the West Coast. Does that count?
[Edit to add: here is a blog post with the demands of the workers on strike. It's hard to believe they have to strike for any of this.]

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