Georgetown forum; As others see us
As others see us the topic for the eleven hundred and fifty seventh consecutive broadcast of the Georgetown University radio forum. Another in a series of educational and informative programs from Washington D.C. The Georgetown forum was founded in 1946. This is Wallace Manning speaking to you by transcription from the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of Georgetown University historic Jesuit seat of learning in the nation's capital. Today's discussion will be as others see us participating are the Reverend Gerard FVH Society of Jesus director of international student programs at Georgetown University and three Georgetown University graduate students. Mr. Olga Domingo is from Brazil. Mr. cretin honest us up with us from Greece and Mr. Sekou Toure a good name whose uncle incidentally of the same name is
president of Guinea. If Robert Burns were writing in modern prose he might have said oh would some power give us the gift to see ourselves as others see us. Today we find it helpful once in a while as individuals to hear what other people think about us. This way of acquiring self knowledge is often painful but nevertheless salutary. As with individuals so with nations especially in an era when world understanding is of such overriding importance. Therefore we have invited graduate students from three of the eighty five foreign countries currently represented at Georgetown. We've asked these students one from Europe one from Africa and one from Latin America to give us their impressions of the United States and of its people. We've also asked them to forego the usual complements and to substitute complete candor for superficial politeness. The students appear with the Reverend
Gerard FVH Society of Jesus who for many years has welcomed and guided students from other nations through their academic work. At Georgetown we're going to ask Father Yates to begin the discussion. Thank you Ali. I think one of the most important characteristics of our age is the. Wonderful mobility that people have only 20 or 25 years ago it would be very very difficult to expect to have representatives from three such diverse areas and cultures as to those represented by our students here today. People move around they move rapidly over vast spaces and the different cultures interpenetrate to a degree that we've never witnessed before in history. I think also another feature of our time is the disquiet that affects every area of human life political social
educational religious. You can name any one of them. I think in that context if the United States ever had any illusions about its stability and its immunity to disturbances these allusions now should be gone. That's why I think that it will be interesting to hear from our students and ask them to give us their impressions of the American people. Something of the American educational system something perhaps of our politics. We could be here of course for a week if we were really to get into this but I'll stop now and ask the students to pick it up. Perhaps cretin you would. Say something about your observations or the way in which you view this problem of communicating your views on the United States. The main problem I thing is that each one of us here in this discussion represents many things he represents
himself he represents his country he represents also his age. He said you geisha in his field of study it is pretty hard to state something and try afterwards to define which of all those elements that go into making yourself is the one that has been the decisive one in your judgment only in that statement. This is not my first time in the United States I've been here before when I was 17 years old. I'm now 28. There has been a great change in my first visit to the United States was a fabulous country which impressed me with its case great Percy it's terrific achievements in science and all that. Today I see the country from a different point of view. My impressions are quite different. Possibly if I come here after 10 years I may also see the country from another point of view. I'm now in Georgetown University
the first time I was in an American high school and I'm also living in America of 1969 which is much farm different from America 1957 58. Therefore I think that our opinions would have to be judged from this point of view. The point of view that there are quite relative that actually they are the observations simple observations and simple judgments of people who come to this country and try in a candid and sincere way to understand it and also go back to their countries with their impressions and explain what America is and he help in promoting friendship understanding goodwill among nations which maybe is the most important cause that one should be working for in our times. So who perhaps you'd like to add to that. Yes about this point I think it. Return
does bring some kind of changes and the judgement of any man. But there's an individual from any country we can move here. You do have some kind of ideas some kind of thoughts about this you know these things and when you do go home you anyway no matter what happens you are representing some part of this is going to be in of course a big culture. Maybe just to bring you to have a different judgment this is quite a trip I remember for instance when I was in Africa at all but I could be just to have it as ideas about the United States was the biggest the country the largest the country which is the country again here and this was not I would just say negated by the fact because I was here all boys are true. But also you have to see as I came I did see
myself but did not hear them anymore. So I would just to see if we do take for African people. I would represent the intellectual African as commonly it is they would have but I would like to represent my own point of view. Let's take one sample moment and disabuse of Africans for us as this big beast called the dignity of discovery is well it was a wonderful experiment to be American did give over to public notion in establishing some kind of friendship between the people of America and the people of Africa or as you know the whole notion and also when I came here to be it I would just say it is very interesting but I didn't hear many points of view. I would see some distortion as about some problems is quite normal
in the north county. I would see is quite perfect. We just take for instance the Russia problem and these United States I do not want to be representing any view of a view of any particular war but I am just an observer as I do see it because I know I am not going to be staying or leaving in this country and I do not want to represent the point of view of the government of gaming where I am citizen. And also I have to see to Personally I do hang over my point of judgement right now why don't you tell us what it is I mean is there any way in which you feel that the United States has not lived up to expectations and in some senses yes I would see first for the people of the United States. I did find that you have or to make
differences between with people of the United States in a government of the United States which is very common in every country. It's quite normal here. I did find that people of the United States very sympathetic and very friendly but laid to all. I did realize also that you haven't seen enough reporting both of it. But here we do have a great deal of creases in the horse it is a very shocking point of myself because if I do take my African context it for additional life of Africa. I just thought wonder what they are living in. And the second point was I'm involved with technological civilization we do have in the United States it is a very interesting point. Every man is expecting a great
deal from the progress of humanity. But one of the point is is it the way that humanity is going to be living when it gets into progress. Oh this is it a particular characteristic of the United States which is what I am wondering about the problem of communication is that I would just to see a problem now that the past century. You think then that the our aspirations toward progress is somehow rather unreal or that the kind of progress that we're concerned about isn't really the most valuable kind of progress and we should make the My point is that in Africa for us there's being as I do not know if I was or have any
idea about it. I do find myself or if it is very interesting and very nice to have your light just the lightning from the electricity would take some parts of Africa where some people do not know where. Let's dig some of this to the splasher program or the space program as we could just to see these very interesting and very marvelous discern men do with Moon or this big piece of mine where you can just broadcast all that you wore to dozens of people millions of people very easily the case is not like that in Africa much contingent I would just to see to progress is the human being in peace progress. So what I want just saying is it the way the word if it gets into a special level of progress is going to be living or is it
something big big dick you're very characteristic to it. American way of life and I think this is what I am I think now myself. How about some comments from you you've been very quiet and I don't think you are through security. Thank you. Well I have never been in United States before. This is the first time and I've been here for one a year and a half almost and I'm getting ready to go back and I'll be leaving within a month. And of course before I came I had many many ideas about this country and I should say I was a little scared of facing this big suicide in the. But I know that when I look back to this year and a half that I spend here I think it just went by so fast and it was so. I have learned a lot. It has been a wonderful experience and I'm not talking only about my field of studies and
or concerning my studies at Georgetown but to all the experiences I've had here in this country and I think I could have chosen a better location to him. I have seen a lot and I think I've benefited from many things and I wish many other people from let America from my country would have the chance to come here and experienced. You know when they won't even treat you had you've traveled a good deal during your vacations and you've seen a great deal of the country. Let me ask you the same question that I think could use a coup and that is do you feel let down in any way do you feel that there is some failure in our society that it's rather basic that you were disappointed in some of your experience some of your some of your anticipations. Could you give me an opinion on that.
Well you know I think in general I I was not disappointed at all. I think that people the American people are very friendly. Yes it's different and I like to say they used to usually say that Latins arm or C are very warm people and and they really are friendly and they welcome you. And a different way. Well that's right. But I have had many chances of proving that to the American people they are very friendly to him and they try to make you very much at ease and welcome you know. And I feel very much at ease and very much. I like being with them and I don't think that I've had any say. And I think a lot about in these these disturbances that
you've witnessed in the great disillusion that many Americans themselves seem to have with their own society how are you affected by this. Maybe Crito perhaps cretonne would you like to speak. You were going to make it all go. Yes I would like to see the funding coming to this country which is considered the greatest country the richest the most powerful. Hey miracle of the present world. Every foreigner is extremely interested in examining as much as he can and passing a judgment on everything that he sees. And it is quite difficult because he is such an extensive thing. You know we have studied and we also witnessed this growth of America and it's becoming now the world power the leader of the free world and all that. Now as America has grown up we have also observed that. Into the system there have been built or created some drawbacks. Some
mistakes some gaps or problems have been left unsolved and the the present picture of America is the picture of a great country with many problems and some of them great problems. And the thing that I myself have asked is are those problems temporary problems to the present represent something that can be easily corrected. Is this the way of going about in letting the country grow moving forward without solving everything leaving it back and letting time correct everything. Is America a country that has can play the role of the leader of the free world for many years to come. Is America a country that is stable enough safe enough strong enough or easy to giant that has weaknesses that may very easily tumble him down.
I cannot really say that I have answered this question but I must say that there are many things that make me skeptical. There are many problems that I cannot understand why this great country has not solved. There are many things that I am surprised why is such a great country hasn't had the appropriate leaders and the appropriate people to deal with. I must say that it is something that I have seen that America lacks is enough leadership not that there is not leadership. But there is not enough in my judgment and that there are many fields in America that Americans have not grasped them very well. There are things that when I was younger and I came here I was not in a position to examine now that they can also study American history and I have done it very meticulously. I can trace back how those things have developed. I'm surprised that a country that has never had a war scenes its independence
except for that civil war. Has so many internal difficulties. There are so many internal problems. I'm not talking about external entanglements of the United States problems of foreign policy every country can make mistakes or the world situation can put it into into a very complicated cases. After all the United States cannot solve the problems of everybody and she cannot straighten everything out. But as far as the problems of the country itself internally are concerned. I'm amazed at some of them have grown to such tremendous dimensions. That's a very good observation I think in that. After all as far as foreign policy is concerned no state no good even a great power even a superpower has the full power to control its involvements. But at home one should be able to of course the problem of leadership as a
problem a universal problem isn't it. And there's never enough good leaders. We don't need to look at different countries and name names but it does not seem to be a great abundance of of great leadership which perhaps one could have said this is true in the night in the 19th century you can go through 19th century history and rattle off. Quite a list of wonderful political leaders in different countries. Well that that's a discussion far away from this particular area. Suppose we talk for a bit about about American education Oh you've all studied here at Georgetown. You've all had an opportunity to meet students from other universities and of course to read about events in the American educational world. How do you feel about it all good. What do you think now. Are you satisfied with your own experience. Do you think that the American university system is has got something positive
to offer and you would like others to have the experience that you've had. Definitely. I've met I I'm very much satisfied and of course I I found a little encounter little trouble at the beginning because the systems are so different. Like I got my college degree back home in my hometown sent an idea in the state of he went into Seoul Brazil and we don't have Brazilian universities don't have many of this past graduation programs and usually if you want to go on a master's degree or any past graduation present you usually have to leave the country and go to study in another country like I did. And well especially I wanted to improve my English because I want to teach it after I go back. So I had to come to this country or another country where the language is spoken. And then at my first semester at Georgetown I am a famous was well a little hard.
And because especially too to the to the difference of 50 times like I had never heard of the credit system before and I was not prepared for that and I was not prepared for the rhythm of work of the American and American University. But well everything went on all right and and I'm finishing it and I think that it has been worth every minute of my stay in Georgetown. Well Chris it's nice of you to say that we're delighted that you came here. And also I'd say that you're a pretty good recommendation for your own home product because your English has always been excellent. You certainly have shown us a great deal of your capability. But let me ask you you know going outside of Georgetown the American University world everywhere is experiencing strains and they're shown
shown in various ways. Does this strike you as as a worldwide problem or is it specifically an American problem how do you how do you view what do you think that the the let's say the disturbances and riots and strikes and so forth and American institutions. Are these characteristics are they something that we all have to live through. I don't no longer would you like to say something as Sekou would you. Yes the first I would just to save it to there is a great deal of difference is I did find that between a bit of elegance is to look at education and if this is the way I had been I just threw it to him if I had to take my country Africa boy to take to the once again Paris or in France where I had lived. My first observation was a freshly in the universities. When I see or
sense with the students in the universities or they do have to go to classes regularly and to be noted in their own with the system of grading and or services of credit was where some kind of striking. The difference is I did see and I could not understand and also ended classes for birthdays. I did notice one thing the students enjoy instead of being interested in learning or improving or just doing something for himself and the field of knowledge is much more interested in degrading. He would never do anything to get the best grades for what goes. And even some guys from subject to completely irrelevant to the subject discussed for instance in classes
the American students just had to be seen by the teachers would just to raise and just to try to be saying something in relation to the subject or not so good not just any stand vis a vis the board to what we would say off of the disturbances and the universities This is not very particular. I would just to say to America it is a thing we will see in France or in Germany or in England. Yet I would just dissing what we hope for the ease of those youngsters adapting the system. It's fair they have been living in because if you do realise what you call the other sort of world where you have a bit Objectivism and just a don't you have a principle taught you if you come to a word or any just to see that there is a great deal of difference between what you have perceived it as education and what
is really little. So this could be just an endless tour in the sense that you have or something is wrong in their life to me although it might have some changes and this is why it was like the end instead of a disturbance is that if a student is not a rage the percentage of you throughout the world believes that changes are necessary that the changes must begin in the university system rather than in the application by students of what they learn and so on later on. When we only have a couple more minutes and I'd like to hear from Crete on that last point I was preparing to say something in your moments of my own years on the American education if there would be something that I would consider necessary to change an American education that's personal opinions. What I understand is that during high school American students do not learn enough and do not prepare themselves
enough for college as much as in all the other developed countries in the world. There should be a change in American high schools in the following respect. Having parents more interested as well as teachers having more rights too. Ask the students to do much more work than they already do prepare them much better for college. Most students who go through high school seem to have a good time there but do not get the education that students in Germany England or Russia or in other countries get. Therefore a lot of time is spent in college to prepare students and to teach them things that they were supposed to have already studied in high school. This makes studies much more lengthy. College is also quite expensive. Education steel in America is not for everybody. This could be
corrected as well as discipline both at home and in school should be strengthened. Thank you very much for your discussion of as others see us. Our thanks to the reverend Gerard FVH Society of Jesus who led the discussion was director of international student programs at Georgetown University. And two of the three participating Georgetown University graduate students. Mrs. Olga Domingo from Brazil just a cretin on a stop with us from Greece. And Mr. Sekou Toure a from a good night you have attended the weekly discussion program the Georgetown University radio forum broadcast which was transcribed in the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of historic Georgetown University in Washington D.C. next week you will hear discussed student initiative the Free University
- Georgetown forum
- As others see us
- Producing Organization
- Georgetown University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- This program features Reverend Gerard F. Yates, director of international student programs, Georgetown University; and three Georgetown graduate students from Guinea, Brazil, and Greece.
- Moderated by Wallace Fanning, this series presents a panel of guests discussing a variety of topics. The radio series launched in 1946. It also later aired on WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. These programs aired 1968-69.
- Global Affairs
- Media type
Guest: Yates, Gerard F.
Moderator: Fanning, Wallace
Producing Organization: Georgetown University
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-51-644 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Georgetown forum; As others see us,” 1969-01-27, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 20, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-wh2dd98n.
- MLA: “Georgetown forum; As others see us.” 1969-01-27. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 20, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-wh2dd98n>.
- APA: Georgetown forum; As others see us. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-wh2dd98n