Friday, May 20, 2005

Volunteer 9

Today, I was practically the only volunteer there which gave me an opportunity to talk to more kids. I decided to do 2 hours today, so I can see how the other class is doing. With plain observation, i could see more multi-racial interaction in this class. The kids were more split by gender rather than race. All the girls sat in one side, and all the boys the other. All of the students talked to each other(those of the same sex) and seemed like pretty good friends regardless of race.

side note: I foudn out that the first class was going on a field trip next thursday to lion king!! for only 20 buxx!! so lucky, I wanted to see it.

well we just had people read their point of view stories so I wasn't able to talk to the kids much. THe story was interesting tho, it was about a Japanese man helping Jews write visas to avoid the Nazis.

The second period was more eventful. I talked to Justin again about Dave Chapelle. I guess thats what we have in common. It seems that Chappelle is crazy now or sumthing and went to the mental hospital. We then talked about what he would be doing in the summer. He said hes gonna stay in Davis and do nothing. good boy! and from before, he was gonna go back to Korea in December.

The kids didn't really need help this time. So I went over to the kid that always finishes way ahead of everyone. Kevin, also Korean, and also came from Korea 3-4 months ago was a very talkative boy. He seems to get along with everyone and fit in well because he is not afraid to speak up. His mother is a researcher and got a one year job in Davis, that is why he is here.

I asked him how school was like in Korea, because I was surprised he knew English and spoke English so well despite the fact that he only came here a couple of montsh ago. He said it was like a prison, where You have to study day and night. 18 hours on the weekend he said. He said the pressure was so intense that 2 of his friends committed suicide. SUICIDE! i was shocked to hear that, and shocked to hear it from such a calm voice. It seemed like suicide happened a lot because of hte intense pressure of education in Korea. It reflects the topic of education in the perspective of Asian families we had talked about in class. In Korea, education is pretty much life or death. Job or no job. I couldn't believe how much more the kids have to go through. Kevin said he had to take 5 languages includig Korean. He said that he would rather stay here in America, and I could see why. Korean education is insane!! there is way too much pressure.

He told me how he stayed up 4 days to study for a test, then come home, sleep 2 hours and study for a test the following day. I can see why some can't handle the pressure. I felt uneasy after I left class, thinking about the kids who commit suicide. If education was THAT important in their home countries, it is not surprising that Asian Americans value education so much. Also, being able to study that much on a daily basis provides immigrant children a good foundation for education here. They have already been through the worst, i think many excel in America because of the extra effort that they are able to put in. Even if they seemingly study excessively, it must be easier than if they were in Korea.

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