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!

learning, meditation, Uncategorized

Looking back

Looking back at my life I try to learn from my mistakes because the moment you stop learning they will throw dirt in your face.

This morning I am listening to Sade and I can’t believe her music has been with me for the last 25 years or so. I think it does make me look old, kind of. My sweetest taboo is not music though, not books, not even Internet for crying out loud. It is definitely something else. Maybe it’s living in the past…

Maybe it’s living in the future… Can’t be quite sure but definitely not here and now. Escaping the reality is a conscious decision of mine, this is why I started doing all kind of arts and crafts. It’s like creating your own little world where you can always be yourself

It’s been a month since I quit my last job. Time flies when you have fun. The good thing about it all is that I have time and energy now to work on my art business: classes, social media and blogging. You should never regret choosing a change for the better especially if you already made a choice. I am positive you have to stick with what you’ve decided to do never looking back. Some days will be less optimistic than others but you can go through.