By: Clarence Ndabahwerize, SFU Student
There are times during the pursuit of my international studies degree where I am genuinely excited to get out there and be a functioning member of a major security organ, for the sake of the world. These moments are overwhelmingly overshadowed by my fear that maybe the world is not at all like an SFU Zoom box, and the following reasons elaborate on why I worry that I may become the worst international studies major out there.
I fear I may lack basic diplomatic etiquette
This shouldn’t be too hard to learn, right? Although as an aide, I’d have to sermon all my ancestors from far and beyond to help me not be too silly. But what if I’m with the Prime Minister at Balmoral Castle or Buckingham Palace and go looking for the bathroom and then wander into Her Majesty’s office? What if one of those red briefcases she gets every day is right there, slightly open? I’m not a big fan of spilt tea but, my, oh my, spilt geopolitical state tea may be hard to resist. This is also known as an awfully bad thing called espionage. I’d have to walk away because the consequences would involve an international incident and a press gathering outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square.
Returning to diplomatic etiquette, I worry about what a trip to the White House would entail. I’d be eyeing the nuclear football and itching to ask questions. How much does it weigh? Is there an actual big red button? Does the carrier have a higher sense of patriotism given their role? Are they rather terrified of dropping it and accidentally unleashing nuclear Armageddon on all of us?
Europe is a daunting entity
First, I’m going to get lost in the German Intelligence Service’s very expansive headquarters. As if that’s not enough, I’d be rather sad about going to the World Economic Forum in Davos and missing out on going tobogganing nearby with some world leaders. You know that saying; all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! However, could you just imagine a picture of Vice President Harris, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland (what a time we’re living in) joyously going down some pristine powder on a toboggan for four? What would likely be most amusing would be the large swathe of respective security details following them down trying to maintain composed and neutral faces while snow covers their stereotypical sunglasses.
I’d write it all in Shakespearean English! This would be a serious issue because of course, no one will be performing “Foreign Policy: The Perils of Structural Adjustment” at Bard on the Beach! This would also make it not easily digestible for anyone who needs to read or apply it. However, it’d be a nice way to cause a hubbub especially during TV interviews which will leave viewers and hosts alike confused when asked, “Doth thee has’t any opinions on the c’rrelation between populism and economic strife?”