Brenda with SMU-in-Paris

Brenda is a junior majoring in journalism and French who is studying with SMU-in-Paris this fall.

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An American in Paris

As a journalism student studying here in Paris, I will admit to myself and anyone else reading this blog that I have been absolutely horrible at keeping up with the news, not only from back home, but from around the world.

CNN.com is my homepage, and I am ashamed to say that I have barely glanced at the top news (or any news, FYI), since I’ve been here. Last week marked the 6-year anniversary of September 11 and I barely saw an article, and I heard nothing about it on the French news. But as American students, we remembered. We all recalled where we were and what we did that day, as vividly as it if had just taken place yesterday.

But yesterday, I happened to be paying attention to CNN when I saw the words “France” and “war” and I immediately perked up. Yesterday, the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, announced that we should prepare for war if Iran does not stop its uranium enrichment program. OOO la la la la la la! Here I am, in PARIS (granted, an American student who has heard about war, Iraq, Iran, Osama, etc for the past six years)…preparing for what could possibly be the next step in international “relations.” Threats against Iran and its uranium enrichment program are not new, and neither are UN sanctions against the country, but for some reason this time it actually hit home. Well, rather, I’m not at home, and I think that’s my main point…I am so far from home, and yet I am closer to the problem. I am not in MY HOME (USA)…I am in France (which is very beautiful, I might add), but all of a sudden I do not feel the comfort and protection that I do at home. I am no longer surrounded by vast oceans, Canada, and Mexico, but rather by dozens of other countries with foreign laws that probably dont apply to me anyway.

So today, jokingly, we all talked about “we’re going to get nuked,” but the reality is this: Mom and dad are not here anymore, I am not on my own soil, and frankly, well, I think it’s time I started paying attention to what’s going on around me. All of a sudden, the problem doesnt seem so distant…in a country far, far away. I cannot crawl back into the bubble around me, and pretend like the world’s problems are far bigger than me, because sooner, rather than later, they could be on my doorstep.

So thank you, CNN.com, because I have finally heard you and I have finally seen you.

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