Yanelys Nuñez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES, Jan 25 — If I had to define what the university has meant to me, I’d say that it has awakened a deep sensitivity in me, in addition to stimulating an infinite hunger for knowledge.
Given the constant degeneration of moral values that we’re presently confronting, it’s a place that has become a valuable spiritual refuge. Although many issues exist affecting higher education in Cuba, at the university one can find a pathway, an escape valve.
The fact that my specialty is art history constitutes the most important link in this chain of meanings since the profile of this major presents a wide scope of action. Its interest in artistic memory, in the re-construction of human history and in the ennoblement of civilizations that established basic guidelines; these are nuances that enrich the flow of information of this degree.
I’ll never forget the passion with which Professor Yolanda Wood conveyed to us her impressions and research on Caribbean art, thus reclaiming the artistic work of a large number of creators constantly marginalized for their being part of the “Third World.”
Then too, there was the dynamism with which the Professor Enerdo Martinez spoke to us about colonial and neo-colonial Cuba through several practical classes in which toured half of Havana on foot. The buildings — from their ruins — expressed memories at the point of being lost.
The lectures by Maria de los Angeles Pereira made a great impression on me because in them the energy and character of Latin American art flowed masterfully through her sympathy and the quality of her teaching.
And what else can I say about the three semesters I enjoyed with Professor Mario Piedra, where I came to understand the meaning of artistic promotion, where I learned of the mysteries of public relations and learned to appreciate the impact of Cuban cinema more deeply?
But not everything has been memorable. Some of the younger teachers are guilty of being unresponsive to the problems of their students, tripping a short circuit in the pupil-teacher relationship.
On other occasions, those educators’ inexperience has been the cause of a certain degree of artificiality in teaching development.
But there are many and all types of educators who have shaped my growth as a student, and from all of them I’ve managed to obtain a fragment of their professionalism, which will help me — now in my fifth year of studies — to soon be a capable cultural specialist and worker.