For the first two weeks the students tended to use the journals to flatter my ego. Entire entries were written about how beautiful, friendly and kind I was. (This is always nice to hear, but it’s not exactly what I had in mind!) Several students took this a step further and admitted that they were very afraid to have a native speaker teacher but that my friendly manner put them at ease and my body language helped them understand what I was trying to say even if they didn’t understand all my words. Some even confessed that they thought Cross Cultural Understanding was going to be a boring class, but now they think it’s very interesting and even inspiring. How wonderful to hear!
Now that we’ve finished week 3, more and more questions are starting to appear in their entries: “What is the better choice between individualism and collectivism?”; “Can you tell about human right in America?”; “How about the respect from children to the parents?”; “I just want to ask to you about the religion and education, are they different? And which one is most important of them?”; “Is Americans also learn Indonesian values or other country?”; and “How American parents to protect their children from bad thing like free sex and drugs?”
Oh yes, “free sex” is a concept of much interest to my students, as pre-marital sex is pretty much taboo in this country. Last week, when we made lists of their positive and negative impressions of Americans, this particular item never failed to make the list of negative impressions. So, we have some rather interesting discussions!
Here’s a picture of me with some students from my CCU B class:
The next two pictures were taken in front of our building, “Faculty of Literature and Culture”:
And finally, here’s a shot of my office, where I spend many hours planning lessons, commenting on journal entries and using the Internet: