21 March 2006

Asian students

The Asian school system work ethic never ceases to amaze me. I sat in a room tonight with a group of adults that I’ve been teaching and watched them stress over a simple English test. The questions were on the easier side and I’m not sure that the results are really important to them in any way. But as soon as Taiwanese sit down for something called an “exam” or “test” it’s a big deal. I really appreciate their work ethic and their desire to do their best but their inability to lighten up will always boggle me. I can’t imagine how life would be if we were all wound so tightly. They stared at the pages with frustrated brows and competition in their eyes. That’s another thing…they all want to be #1 in the class. On a week-to-week basis the class has been pretty laid back and dare I say fun but as soon as there is a grade on the line the stakes change. I wish we could all just appreciate the satisfaction that comes with the acquisition of knowledge rather than worrying about how it compares to others and their level of knowledge. Some people will always be better at certain things, some will be smarter in different areas, some will learn more or remember more but in the end it’s important that we all simply seek out knowledge so that we don’t stay intellectually stagnant and ignorant.


SarahJ said...

First of all, let me say I like the new look of the blog. Second of all, I know exactly what you are talking about. Engineering is very similar. Many of my school peers won't even help you with questions on assignments for fear that you will do better than them...its pretty ridiculous!

ali said...

i dont agree with you at all...what fun is there in learning anything unless you are NUMBER 1. after all, that's the only point of life, isnt it?? :)-