Sunday, September 5, 2010


So I've already talked a little bit about the University of Buenos Aires, but I think it's hard to fully describe just how crazy this school actually is. I'm dying to take pictures, but I think it could be a little awkward if someone found me walking around the hallways snapping pictures...BUT maybe the following anecdote will paint a better picture of the university.

Last Thursday class was canceled because the the teachers went on strike protesting salaries or something of the sort. While the major teacher union did go on strike a few of the teachers did not participate, so I, unfortunately, still had to go to class--even worse: I usually go to the 4PM class, but since that teacher was striking I had to pull myself out of bed at 7AM in order to make the 9AM class in the same subject taught by a different teacher.

This past Thursday the UBA student body "tomaron la univesidad," they "took over the university." There was not a single class in the building where I study--students removed desks from the classrooms, shoved them out into the hallways and walked around the hallways chanting. From what I understand they were protesting the poor quality of the university buildings and the lack of central heating.

I still don't really get the point of a student strike since the students are the "customers" in the transaction, they are the ones receiving the benefits. By striking and not having class the students are only hurting themselves. It's a day off of work for the teachers. It's a weird concept to me, but apparently it's not all that uncommon.

Oh, and this student strike is not the only strike that effected my day on Thursday--the subway workers on two of the six subway lines were also striking--so even if I had wanted to go to class it would have been quite difficult.

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