The Times on saving energy and travel for women

A career educator in nearby Changwon discussed management styles of energy conservation in today’s Korea Times.  At one college, the owner/president decreed that all employees should do all in their power to reduce energy use.   Later, at a private university, individual rooms were proctored by students who made sure the lights and electronics were turned off when the room was not in use.  The student also kept the rooms clean and the white- or black- boards were clear.  Finally, at a national university, no one seemed to care about energy use and lights were often left on in empty classrooms

In the final situation, the teacher would typically turn lights off as he passed vacant rooms. 

“For my part, I like the last one with the students and the teachers taking care of things around us on their own.  That is, after all, the real aim of education.”

I agree with his philosophical point; that we should care for things around us.  I wonder who should be teaching this, and when, though.

A simple activity that anyone at university can do, that will make everyone much more comfortable and will also save energy is to ensure that the access doors to the building are closed when not in use.  I see this as win, win, win, win.  The fourth ‘win’ is that fewer access doors to buildings will be locked if people learn to close them properly. 

Also in the Times was the article “Solo travels offers unique perspective for women”.  I expect that the titles claim is correct but article is interesting for two other reasons.

The first is that the online version of the paper has no awareness of the article.  MSNBC offers the article and notes that it is copyrighted with the Associated Press.  Okay, in the corner in small print of the Time, I can see (AP).

The second reason I find it interesting is a travel story included in the article that matches very closely the experience a friend had and it also relates to language awareness.

Safety is also an important consideration for Warkentin. After being robbed of her camera at knifepoint while traveling alone in Chile in 1992, she downsized her camera and routinely uses windows or other reflective surfaces to see who’s behind her.

A female friend traveled to Brazil some time ago and spent a day at a beach.  While on the beach, vendors repeatedly spoke to her, asking her to buy their product.  At the end of the day, she was tired of this and when a man near a bus stop stood in front of her and yelled, “cuchillo…[something, something..]”, she ignored him and told him, “No!”.  Then she went to her hotel and learned “cuchillo” means knife*and the man had probably been trying to rob her.

If she had spoken better Portuguese, she could have been robbed.  I think she was lucky and don’t recommend this, but not knowing the language saved her a lot of trouble.

*I think “cuchillo” is knife in Spanish and Portuguese, but could be off. Also, I heard the story long ago.

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