This is the weekend I have my classes at the university, in pursuit of my MA degree. 4 classes every 2 weeks, not a terribly demanding schedule, but there's a lot of reading. Anyway, 2 of the classes are lectures, in the true sense - the prof speaks, we write it down. No interaction, no discussion, a lot of "let's write it" and a slow repetition of the same thing 5 times so we can get it word-for-word.
Anyway, in my applied linguistics lecture the prof was talking about linguistic imperialism, specifically English. Apparently, the reason it's so difficult for me to learn Polish is because I view my culture (American) as dominant to Polish culture. It's easier for Poles to learn English because their culture is submissive. This was stated as a true fact, supposedly supported by research, though she didn't get too specific on that point.
But wait, there's more. She went on to talk about the attitude behind the British Council, which views itself as a savior of other countries, swooping in to share the English language and culture, and then mentioned Peace Corps in the same breath, completely omitting the major difference between the two organizations - Peace Corps was INVITED BY THE POLISH GOVERNMENT.
I managed to hold my tongue through the lecture, manily because I just wanted it to end, but I did go up & speak with the prof afterward, just to be sure she was aware of the difference. Turns out, she was, she just wanted to wake up the students & get them interested in pursuing the topic. Which would be great if we weren't dealing with Polish students, who write down everything they're told & memorize it. Sadly, the majority of students in this country don't know how to think for themselves & reason things out, they only know how to remember what they've been told & regurgitate it on the exam.
But now she knows I'm there - she had been unaware there was a foreigner in her class. I'm interested to find out what she says next time. And I'm actually kind of glad she didn't know about me before - it's interesting to hear what people say when they don't know you're one of the imperialists.