I feel like I loose a lot of experience, especially when I came to the U.S. I don’t talk to my professors; my first two semesters I never talked to my professors even though I had no idea what to do in my class. That hurt my grade a lot, because I see my professor, and you know how in the United States in high school you call them Mr. or Ms. to seem closer? Or, “professor something,” we don’t. We don’t call on first– we called on a last name base because there’s a sign– the teacher is different, they’re not our friend, they’re here to teach you. What people here think of their professors is just being friends. Almost every time I see my professor, I generally just see him as my guard. It’s more like you’re in a prison and you’re seeing your Warden.
I don’t really have favorite subjects probably because all my teachers hit me. I started to resent that. I started to have a huge resentment for the education system, and even now. I don’t really like to talk to my professor, because I feel like they’re not my friend, they’re more of my authority figure and my enemy. You know how sometimes schools require a meeting with your professor? It basically feels like going to trial or something. It’s generally not a good thing to get called to the office.
I was talking to my parents and their plan for me was always to go to America. That’s why they trained me for English. And I like Western culture so much better since I don’t want to be trash. Because, if I stay in Asia, I will be trash forever; I’d be low wages, trash. But in America, they see me as possibility instead of just impossible to save. So as soon as I came to the U.S., I obviously saw something really different. I was like, “Wow.” I mean, when I came here I was really surprised. People here are really– I know a guy, one of my friends– his entire town was 780 people. My school, my high school alone, not just middle school, is more than that. My graduation class was small; it was almost 100 kids, and that’s a small class. My cousin’s was 200 kids. So I thought, “Wow, people are really focused on the individual thing.”
I would say, before I was in middle school I first felt the effects of Westernization. When people try to get their kids to learn English, so they can make a lot of money in the United States, so a bunch of schools brought a bunch of teachers from the United States. Or, parents who work, parents who are like my parents who studied at a college university in the U.S. and fall in love with West culture, they raise their kid on that idea. And that just started a whole trend about Westernization.
“Teach them with love not stick.”
Which is actually their slogan.
And that just turned into the whole, what happened right now. It’s a huge, weird transition because you still have the tiger parents on the Western education, which is not necessarily a good thing because they often clash. Because the teacher wants the students to be free, the parents say, “I have a plan for my kid, and he’s following it perfectly.” So it’s a really awkward moment right now. And me, right now, I just find it hilarious because I’m not part of the that system. Actually, I’m more supportive of teaching them with stick because, I don’t know, I personally feel pretty successful. I still believe that school is not meant to be fun. Teachers are not meant to be your friend, it’s your authority.
I guess I still have the after effect of the education system, so I still believe in the whole, stick thing. You get hit, you respect, because it’s basically like training animals. If you train your dog and tell them not to pee on the carpet, every time it pees you spray water at it as a punishment. Soon it’s going to learn not to do that. But if you see your dog pee on the carpet and it’s like, “Come on, don’t do that,” he’s not going to learn it, because there’s no consequences. So that’s a huge dilemma.
Confidence or consequences, which one is more important.
I’m just glad I’m not in the education system because it’s terrible to be a teacher right now. It’s the worse time to be teacher any place in the world. Literally, this [lightly taps me on the shoulder], is hitting the kid. But you literally can not tell a kid, “you’re stupid.” That’s not just excluded to Asia, just generally to the world. You literally can’t tell a kid they’re stupid anymore. You can’t even say the word ‘retarded,’ according to last year. According to last year retarded is basically like, a “no” word now. I got called retarded multiple times by my teacher when I was in school- elementary to high school.