One of the biggest data centers in the world is situated in Camp Williams just above Lake Utah. It has more than 1 million square feet and it has cost more than 2 billion dollars to build. The data center is home to the many servers of the National Security Agency (NSA). The agency uses them to store the data they collect on a daily basis with a collection of programs under the codename PRISM. It basically means they collect everything on everyone who uses the internet.
Do you like it? It’s the most banal and often-asked question about America, that I got asked by many of my friends, and colleagues, during this fellowship. It’s tough to answer objectively. It’s the same as asking if I like Europe after trip to Italy and Germany. I don't want to generalize my impressions based on one nine-week experience. But one thing has changed for sure during this particular trip - the myths about living in this country have been bust, often rather sharply.
I am sitting here in my apartment at the University of St. Thomas wondering where time went. It feels like only yesterday that I got to campus, and somehow we are nearly at the end. Nine cities, and eight and a half weeks later, the one question the fellows repeatedly get asked is – What has surprised you about America so far? Our usual response is to stand there with blank faces, scratching our heads for a decent answer – a response that will do justice to the experience. We usually mumble something about the Minnesota state fair, or Ely, or San Francisco and quickly change the subject.
Definition: The intense fear of missing out on experiences, places or events.
Usage: An expression of the state of anxiety generally caused by having hit a wall of exhaustion and being unable to join in a particular group activity as a result. For instance, “Guys, I have extreme FOMO that you’re all going to this awesome-sounding place and doing this awesome-sounding thing, but I need to sleep / pack my suitcase / write my blog.” And then you miss something like this:
Even though all the WPI fellows are used to figure out hard questions in a couple of seconds, none of us has been able to give a suitable answer to a very simple one: What did you like the most of this trip? Tons of memories come back and forth and most of us claim that we haven’t had time enough to process and organize the lessons we have learned in this journey. For my last blog, I offer you an overview on some of the remarkable moments and stories that I’m planning to share with colleagues and friends when I return back to Venezuela.
Journalists are supposed to be able to write easily and smoothly, without any forced effort, even when we don't have much to say. Yeah right! That’s only the way it’s supposed to be. Here I am, almost at the end of one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I should be writing for the blog like every other fellow on tprogram, but my mind is empty. It should be just the opposite.