culture, experience, immigration, learning, motivation, self help, survival, Uncategorized

How to survive in a new culture

Working with American teens made me think about useful tips I can share with new teachers.

The culture I found myself in is a mix of Latino and African-American youth with a minority of whites and Asians. Just for your information I came from Ukraine where the population is very homogeneous.

The school environment is not usually conducive to making friends with students but I keep trying anyway.

  1. Listen to their music. God only knows how much I hate rap but this is what they love. I make myself listen to the lyrics, it’s quite weird for strangers like me.
  2. Eat their food. Teens love junk food, it never looks or tastes great. But you should be brave enough to try it. I also go to cafeteria once in a while to experience the agony they have to endure every day.
  3. Don’t ignore the things that matter. Two of them are mentioned above but figuring out the rest can be tough. One thing that I noticed is you have to pronounce their name right.
  4. Ask questions showing genuine interest. When doing this you should be ready to deal with their answers which are not always easy. Reflect on them.
  5. Be a good student. Take notes to remember new words and concepts, learning new language / dialect is always fun. You will be tried and tested a lot.
  6. Mind your body language more than anything else. Respect yourself and the people around you.
  7. Stay positive and keep learning despite making mistakes.

This list is not all encompassing but gives you a general idea. Good luck!

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immigration, job, Uncategorized

Doing the right thing

Why is leaving your comfort zone so damn hard? job, home or your gadget… They say that this is what we need for growth. Doing the right thing is tough even when you know exactly what it is, emotions are always in the way and I have no idea how to cope with them.

Life gets absurd because this what we make it. So many attachments to useless things, I wish I could change it. How often do you ask yourself  what really matters, setting priorities, putting important stuff first? I can tell quite honestly I don’t do it often enough. To do that you have to be smart and strong and most of us want to be weak and blonde.

Someone says the first forty years of childhood are the hardest. I totally agree with that. I feel like I am still six years old looking at the world with my eyes wide open.  This is something about me you either love or hate, can you pretend well enough to be someone else leaving your true self behind?