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!

job, Uncategorized

Pizza Love

Working at the pizza joint was real fun. It was awesome mostly because of our clientele. Or maybe because I was a cute foreigner who always got special treatment.  Majority of our customers were working middle class men aged 30 to 45 approximately.  They loved me just because I am. We joked around and had fun especially when the POS wasn’t off. Working a physical job was quite unusual for an educated person like me. There was a lot to learn I have to say but I aced it pretty quick.

The worst part of my job was taking phone calls, for some reason it was mostly women giving me a hard time. Don’t ask me why. The best part was the tips I will admit. People here tip like I haven’t seen anywhere else before. I also loved the start of each day as I would come early to open the store and get ready for the day. I felt so important.

I loved my job and hated it at the same time. I was definitely irreplacable, this is what I believed anyway. I worked hard and got a raise twice. But still was sure that I deserve a better position.