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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Apart from my effort to be able to understand the soul of teenagers (and I use my sixteen-year-old daughter as the main idea) so that I can keep in touch well with my teenaged students, I recognize that I will enjoy much better when teaching a class consisting of students whose age is not much different from mine.  The main reason, in my opinion of course, is because I like discussing life and its values seriously. My teenage students apparently get difficulties to follow the course of my mind. I am too serious for them? I cannot have fun? Or my sense of humor is so high that my teenaged students do not understand? :)

In fact my reason to discuss life and its values is to encourage (not provoke LOL) my students to think more deeply and seriously. This is for sure. Nevertheless, I know many of them come to the English course where I work to study English, to be able to speak English more fluently, mostly; and to be able to write in English better. So, perhaps they find me boring when discussing a topic—let’s say about autistic children, indigo, sophisticated gadget, etc—beyond what is stated in the book.

However, when discussing similar things with Angie, my only daughter, she seems to be able to understand what I talk about and enjoy it too. Perhaps it is because she is accustomed to me and my way of thinking since we talk a lot. :)

When comparing (we cannot avoid comparing in our life, can we?) my teenaged students’ way of thinking and their counterpart in other countries—that I gather from movies, blogs, novels—sadly I must say that teenagers in Indonesia are less mature than those from other countries. Should we blame them? Of course not. They grow up following the way their older generations—let’s say parents, teachers, religious or national leaders—treat them.

Should I adapt myself with my teenaged students’ way of thinking or I force them to adapt themselves to me? :) No wonder if I refer to Phyllis Chesler’s thesis about woman madness—women who do not conform to stereotypes of patriarchal culture—it is very possible for my students to view me as weird creature. One good friend’s husband—a Dutch—said, “Nana has been westernized by her readings.”

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