Tertulia in D.C.

Posted: November 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm, Last Updated: November 9, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Google translates “tertulia” as “salon,” but this doesn’t quite capture what it means.  A tertulia is a group of people who meet regularly, over coffee, drinks or a meal, to have a relaxed, open-ended discussion about the issues of the day.  More often than not, there is no agenda.  And if there is one, it is loose at best and is generally ignored anyway.  Any topic goes, big (world peace) or small (unpaved potholes).  There’s no specific goal to be accomplished, no agreement to be reached, no resolution to be voted on.  The discussion is the end in and of itself.  And when it works, it is surprisingly and inexplicably therapeutic.

I was delighted to learn that Taberna del Alabardero, Washington’s oldest Spanish restaurant, has kept this tradition going with a group of Spanish business leaders.  It was great to be invited this past week, for a tertulia mostly centered around higher education.  Before the tertulia, I was interviewed by a tertuliano, Alberto Avendaño, who writes for El Tiempo Latino, Washington Post’s newspaper in Spanish.  Below are the video and the print version of the interview (both in Spanish).


Mantener un espíritu abierto a las oportunidades y trabajar para retirar obstáculos del camino educativo son dos elementos recurrentes en la conversación con el rector —o presidente como se le llama en Estados Unidos— de la George Mason University. El rector Ángel Cabrera es, además, hispano lo cual le convierte en una feliz “anomalía” en este tipo de cargo.

“Es un desafío increíble y para alguien como yo a quien le apasiona la educación es una oportunidad única”, dijo Cabrera a El Tiempo Latino, el 30 de octubre, unos minutos antes de participar, como invitado de honor, en la tertulia mensual que organiza la comunidad española de Washington en el restaurante Taberna del Alabardero.

(See more at: http://eltiempolatino.com/news/2014/nov/07/angel-cabrera-abre-oportunidades/#sthash.8fYQiDCh.dpuf)

Write to Ángel Cabrera at president@gmu.edu

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