Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The University of Guam

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

We are halfway through our last day on the island of Guam.  Valerie is down on the beach swimming, and I am ensconced in the hotel lobby replying to email and blogging.  I am still lobster red from our trip around the island on Monday, so playing on the beach has lost its appeal.

This morning after breakfast at a nice local cafe we hit the road in search of adventure.  We both wanted to see the University of Guam, and after asking some locals for directions (one of whom did not seem to know that  Guam even had a university), we finally found our objective.  The lady that we rented our car from on Sunday gave us some very helpful advice - "Just keep driving, you can't get lost on Guam!"  And she was correct!

The university is small, with several modern buildings and a beautiful campus.  We went through a couple of the academic buildings, the student center and bookstore, as well as the university library.  I took a bathroom detour while we were in the Social Sciences and Humanities building, and when I came out I found that Valerie, true to her nature, had corralled a social work professor and was busy chatting him up.  Professor Gerhard Schwab is from Austria, but he has been at the University of Guam for over twenty years and loves it.  The professor, who was wearing shorts and flip-flops, said that the Department of Social Work graduates about fifteen students a year.  He also said that last year they had a course on military social work, something that is just coming into fashion in the States.

Professor Schwab said that his wife was home packing for a big "Peace Conference" on Okinawa, and he seemed surprised that we had not heard of it.  I guess that the military base where we work must have inadvertently forgotten to get the word out about a "peace" conference.

(News in English on Okinawa is limited, sanitized, and highly filtered. Much of it comes through Fox - and didn't I hear just yesterday that people who get their news through Fox are less informed on world events than people who basically get no news at all?   Why yes, I did hear that.  It was the result of a survey taken by some college students - no doubt godless humanists - unfair and imbalanced godless  humanists!)

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