Update from Dubrovnik
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I have now met the students in my class at Dubrovnik International University, all bright and well-informed. They have strong impressions of the United States – that people are task oriented and lack soul (one student even used the word robotic), are insular but also open minded, and are litigious. (The comments about lack of soul seem to emanate from their observation that America does not have a cafe culture – no disagreement there.) Several of the students have lived in the US and have first-hand knowledge, but others formed an impression of America from its TV shows – Friends, Two and a Half Men, Jay Leno and the Kardashians.
Despite their TV watching habits, the students are remarkably knowledgeable about the US. Some have already read the US Constitution and understand its premises such as separation of powers and checks and balances. By the end of this week, all will have read and discussed the Constitution and its fundamentals. And now, this American is off to a cafe for the rest of the day.