A Co-incidental Reminder & An Interesting piece of Info from class.

Columbus landing in the New World and 'discovering' the native 'Indians'

Columbus landing in the New World and ‘discovering’ the native ‘Indians’

Today was, without a doubt, a great day for me! First we had Physics Lecture, in which we had the weekly MCQ quiz… which I GOT RIGHT! (Like most of the people, mind you… I’m not genius yet) The first quiz (last week) was split 50-50, and unfortunately I was on the wrong side, but due to some technical error in the online grading system, they decided NOT to count the grade of the first quiz! So, I’m in the clear for now! But the best moment of the day happened in the afternoon. I was walking to my second class of the day:Minorities in a Majority Culture (African American Studies Course, which will come up in the second part of this post as well.) and on the way I happened upon German Shepherd in a predatory pose facing a tree. In a few moments, I realised that he was stalking a little squirrel about 10 feet ahead of him. I could feel the smile take over my face as I was reminded of the dog who is at my home (I don’t feel it is right to call it “my dog”, because she is quite literally a part of the family..) who would do the exact same thing in the exact same manner. I was able to predict the German Shepherd’s upcoming steps based on my recollection of what she used to do. It was comical and quite relieving to be bequeathed with some familiar stuff from back home in a way. The Alsatian (another term for German Shepherd, but refers to the same breed) then pounced on the squirrel (to no avail, by the way) and chased it (I can’t pretend to know the squirrel’s gender, but I want to note here that I am not using the term “it” in ignorance.) around the lawn with a bunch of onlookers gazing at the pursuit. For me, it was a great way to get to class.

This is where I get a little intellectual-ish. I am might be wrong in assuming that simply talking about academic ‘stuff’ makes one intellectual, so I’ll rephrase: I get a little ‘nerdy’. There, now the masses will know exactly what I mean; Using this term that is almost always used in a derogatory context. (self-deprecation is what I’m about-ish…) In today’s African American class, we were talking about Columbus’ “discovery” of The New World (hence the origin of the new slang/term, ‘Columbusing’:when a White guy finds something that is a first for him, but not for most other people, and claims to have ‘discovered’ it.) The featured image of this post should be used in reference to what I further talk about. Columbus, on discovering the natives, thinks that ‘they have no soul’ [The Log of Christopher Columbus, International Marine Publishing] and upon His Majesty’s request, can bring 6 of them for a trial of sorts. The natives on the other hand did not know what their fate was to be in due time, and treated Columbus as a welcome guest, and offered jewellery and other artefacts. This was, without a doubt, one of the greatest misunderstandings in modern history! This event itself was the trigger point for all the racial categorisation that was to follow. It all started with Columbus ‘Columbusing’ America and killing of the real Americans. That piece of info had such a daunting effect on me! I was just thinking about what if Columbus never found the New World? (Of course, there is some evidence that his intention was to find America, that he never was trying to find East Asia and even lied to his Queen in his letters) America would not be what it is now, and arguably there would be no racism in the world? (Unlikely, but consider this hypothetically.) This reinvigorated my interest in history which, as most of my friends know, I used to have a lot of back in the days of 10th grade, where knowing each and every fact in the textbook was totally my thing!

Overall, it was a great day. I was reminded of my friend back home (yes, I AM referring to the dog living at my actual home in India!!!) and I learnt of one of history’s greatest events, ever…. Now I’m going to do some more reading. See you tomorrow!

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