Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I do not think that students take learning about others culture seriously. Most of the people (not talking about exceptions) I meet everyday does not show any respect to others culture even if they have higher educational certificates. It proves that they might have studied for class about others culture, but did not learn in actual sense. Specially in America, I found that some people have an attitude that they are Americans so they do not need to learn about other cultures. Students should learn about others culture. Having knowledge of others culture lets one not to hurt others feelings also it helps people not to be surprised when someone acts differently than them. If I do not shake hand with an American, how would that person feel? Obviously insulted if he does not have knowledge about my culture where it is not alright for any women to shake hand with men. Fortunately, I know some of American culture ( I have to as I live in America) and I respect the culture so unless the person knows about my culture I shake hand with him. I do not let others to feel insulted by just having knowledge of their culture. Though I should admit that still I have a lot to learn about others culture because at this point my knowledge about others culture is like a drop of water comparing to ocean.

Who else could be a good example than myself for how a person’s attitude and behavior define his or her chances for success? I always pretend that I am C graded or below in every aspect. I do this because somewhat of it is real and somewhat of it is because of my culture which taught me never to admit one’s own positive qualities. Talking of one’s own quality is considered bragging not confidence according to my culture. Although in my mind I know, and I strongly let myself know my actual quality because I believe that our thoughts have impact in our life. As I do not admit any of my quality (even if I have) people takes me as naive and good for nothing. This happens because most people do not have knowledge about my culture. However, this pretending of not having any quality attitude is actually not good for success in life, specially in professional life in America. On the other hand it is good because I may show an A grade quality and surprise people, and might get extra appreciation because it was unexpected to others. I think fruits of a tree is enough to advertise for the tree itself. Having positive attitude in heart ( whether one shows or not) is the key of success.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

"The Teacher Who Changed My Life" by Nicholas Gage, is very interesting and inspiring. I am from Bangladesh and I wish I could meet someone like Miss Hurd. This is my first semester so there is enough chance to meet someone in the next four years. Not life changing type, but I already met some very good-hearted people. Aico Abercrombe, my advisor; Veronica Rangel, my Eng. 101 classmate; and Katrina (forgot the last name), my phi 101 classmate; helped me to think that I am not in a desert of people. In addition, the teachers (of all three subjects) are helpful, and caring. I might not continue the semester if it was not for the teachers. I feel lucky and blessed for meeting such good people within this short time.
Every student of my class is different from me. I was ready to adjust, learn, and respect their customs, yet I was shocked whenever I had conversations with any of my classmates. In my culture, talking without smiling means the person is angry with the other person. In my class, no one talks to me with a smile, later I found that this is their way of talking, not that they are angry with me. Veronica explained it to me, and by the way, all the persons I named above including my teachers, they all talk with a smile. I learned, and adjusted to non-smile talking, but still I feel uncomfortable.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

What stereotype people have about my race and nationality? Actually most of the people do not have any idea where Bangladesh is, they all think that I am hispanic. Therefore, they do not have any stereotype about my real race or nationality. When they learn that I am from Bangladesh, and I am Asian-American, they still do not understand anything. I need to talk about my country, where it is, about the culture, and everything. Most of my culture seems weired to them. When they learn that my religion is Islam and I am a muslim then I get some reaction. The common steroetype about muslims they know from TV news, and programs that muslims wear borkha, they have four wives, they are too conservative etc. They do not know that there are many sects in Islam and not everyone follows the same religious law. The law also varies among country to country, society to society, above all, religion is not to make someone weired, not to torture people, so if there is such a paractice, it has to be man made, not real religion. I wish to educate people about all these.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I grew up in Dhaka, which is the Capital of Bangladesh. The major discrimination that bothered me everyday was the poor treatment to the servants in Dhaka or in whole Bangladesh. Servants were available for minimum wages because Bangladesh is a poor country. There never was nor are enough jobs, even for the university graduates. For poverty, and poor system, poor people are mostly illiterate, and they end up being servants for survival. The servants worked 24 hours in peoples house; they stayed there, got low quality food, two to four sets of dresses per year, and lowest wages. They were allowed for one-week leave in whole year to go to their villages to be with their family. Household work never ends, and so did never ended servants work hours. Some poor servants who had no families to go back to, sometimes were abused by their employers (the owners of the houses they worked), and were treated like slaves. I learned from my parents to treat the servants as our family members, therefore when I first realized that most of the people of our society did not treat servants equally, I was shocked. After my marriage when I started my own family, I had two or three servants all the time. I tried to treat them as good as possible, and gave them equal facilities like family members. This normal humanity was not acceptable to most of the people of our society, and they criticized me badly. Most people of the society considered me as a very weak administrator of the servants.
Now, the situation has changed somewhat because of the garments business, where there is a great demand of workers. Most of the servants now a day work in garment factories. There they have at least one day off in every week, have opportunity to shop their own clothes, choose their own food, and live in freedom. Although this workers are often verbally abused in garment factories by their employers, but not as much as they used to be as servants. As there is shortage of servants, now the house owners bad treatment has changed. Owners treat well, so that the servants would not quit and go for factory jobs. I would like to see people treat their employees as helpers, as human beings, not as machine like slaves, and value their help properly.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Where do we stand, the essay by Lisa Davis is an eye opener to me, it helped me ease my troubles by answering many unanswered questions. In college, everyday in every class, every teacher, most students, and their behavior seemed confusing to me. I cannot imagine to talk to someone without smile, no matter whoever it is, unless I am in severe pain, or angry with that person. To me, and to our Bangladeshi culture, we think if a person is angry, or mean then he talks without a smile. We do not look straight while talking to those whom we respect and honor, like teachers, and parents. We do not sit until the respected person sits, and always stand up while they leave the room, this is a way to show respect for us. Therefore, in class I had to swallow the everyday things that were new to me. Another thing is different, we women never shake hand with any man, it is not forbidden culturally, but not well accepted. So whenever a man (whether my doctor, or insurance agent) proceeds to shake hand, I feel uncomfortable. As I know they do not know my culture so I shake hand and if there is any possibility to talk about culture I mention the ‘no hand shaking’ topic first.
In my future carrier, it would be very beneficial to be keenly aware about cultural diversity. The awareness would give me the acceptability of different behavior of different cultural people without being hurt. It will also help me not to hurt others feelings. To me the greatest sin is to hurt any soul intentionally, and by learning more and more about others space barrier, it would be easy to avoid committing that sin.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Unique about my culture is family cycle and unity; we call it joint family system. It is Bangladeshi culture, regardless of religion it is been thousand of years, we have a great family heritage and pride. For example, when a kid is born in a family, instantly the kid gets his parents, grandparents, uncle, and aunts under the same roof. It is everyones responsibility to take care of the child, his childhood. Until the child completes his education, and enters into the professional life, it is parents duty to take care of him everyway, including financially. When he starts earning, he contributes to his joint family, even after his marriage, when he still lives with the joint family. In course of time, parents get old and retire. Then this kid, now fully grown up, takes care of his parents, which includes medical care, food, housing, other social and family requirements of them, as they did while he was a kid. One day he becomes parent, grandparent himself, and the same way his children who are grown up, take care of him as he did for his parents, on and on this family cycle goes. Of course, there are few exceptions and micro families, but they are considered inconsiderate, irresponsible, and society does not think of them highly. However, Mexican culture is similar to the culture of mine, but others in my class probably are from micro family, and joint family culture is not usual to them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

How do I like the class so far? I somewhat like it. If I knew whether I am writing better or not, might motivate me more to do better or to improve, and that would increase my interest. I am studying, writing but not knowing if I am reaching somewhere. It might be my understanding problem, inconfident attitude which is not giving me satisfaction. I do not have any idea how I am doing. Without concrete result I am never sure about anything, specially when it comes to my quality or ability. I am optimistic and I believe Iwill do my best, and I will know more to compare what I know now.
About SMCC I liked almost everything. The view is superb. The teachers are excellent. Without such teachers I might not continue studying. In educational institutes the educators are the main factor than anyone or anything else. Here in SMCC I am satisfied so far that it has real good teachers. Teachers create the future generation, and the generation that will run the world tomorrow basically depends on what they learn from their teachers. On that aspect, SMCC is doing an excellent job by having such wonderful, knowladgeable and dedicated teachers.

Monday, September 08, 2003

The last novel I read was 'Accident' by Danielle Steel. I read her books mainly becasue those are not too hard for me to understand. This book was not an exception. I liked the first ten chapters because there was a flow, curiosity to know, what was next. Then it became obvious what was going to happen and I lost interest. It is a story about a family and how the daughters car accident changed everything, their relationship with each other. Actually the accident uncovered the truth that the couple were not commited to each other as they thought. The man had an extra marital affair, he got caught by his wife becasue of the accident, their only son was shocked, he mentally suffered for his parents seperation, the mother found and fell in love with the right man in the hospital where her daughter was in comma. I was interested to know if the girl recovered from comma, how and what happened to her next. She did recover, and so many things happened in the meantime in her family. I did not dislike it but I did not like it either. Like Danielle Steels other books it is also a best seller becasue it has common story of the society, family, and life that she twisted, and made interesting. There was a messege in the story that everything happens for a reason and every door closes but not before openning a new one. This is a very common story that floted me for a while then as usual droped me in desert, I was still thirsty.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I am lucky. Lucky for many reasons. Getting chance to start college is one of the reasons. I am lucky because I have a wonderful daughter who is my 2nd best friend. I am lucky because I got the opportunity to live in America (those who lived their whole life here, might not understand how lucky they are). I am lucky because every morning I get to see the view of the mountains as they lean back on the sky. Though in late, yet I am lucky that at last I have learned to appreciate everything, every moment of life.

If I could change anything about this class, it would be me. I would change myself to eighteen. At eighteen I was with my parents and never thought of anything much, not especially about the real life. I did not need to think what to cook for dinner on the way back home from school/college. I did not need to wait for the time for me, manage time to get study done, all the time of the world was mine. Parents took care of all other things. But of course I did not value that at that time, either I would not be here at this age. So, again, if I could change anything in this class, it would be me, go back to eighteen, with the practical knowledge of life that I have now.
Sat for a long time, fingers on the key board and thought how to turn the table on Baker and categorize the professors. James T. Baker as a professor, had the opportunity to observe students critically, and he himself once was student. So, it was obviously not as hard as it is to me to categorize the professors. In college I came to know four professors. When I told my professors about my limited knowledge of English, I receieved interesting feedback from each of them. One professor did not say anything, so I had enough doubt whether she understood what my problem was, or if she did not care at all. After one week I dropped her class. Another professor assured me that everything will eventually become easy. Though the subject was confusing yet I loved it. The third professor, everyday after class asked me if I understood the class lessons or not. It seemed the easiest to me. The fourth professor was somewhat reserve to show her reaction but everytime I had problem she helped me. This shows that professors are also various types like students. I wonder if the professors takes teaching job as a job to get paid materialistically, or they know that it is 'the noble' profession, which is priceless. Do they know that it is not only students duty to do good in class, but it is majorly professors duty to help them to do better, to help grow interest for the subject. Till tenth grade final, I had math anxiety because I got two double promotions, and could not make up the math gap. Every grade, every math teacher either ignored or humiliated me for the anxiety. Except the one teacher of tenth grade, who did not mind that I had no idea 'how to divide a straight line equally' in geometry. He taught me from scratch with so patience and care that, my fear and anxiety of math turned into interest. I still find the math as the most interesting subject. So it was neither my fault nor my credit, but it was the teachers quality. Unlike my math teacher, some professors expect readymade students. For some noble professors, study becomes way of gaining knowledge to the students, and for some professors same study becomes a boring, hard and just a certificate thing, to the same students. Some drop out, some struggle, and some love to study and all these depends basically on the type of professors, not students.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Students. Different types of students with different language, different fashion, different attitude, different culture, here in SMCC, really interests me. Even though Arizona has people from different cultures, I have never been able to see them such closely. I observe how a black student talks or dresses different than a white student, or when mexican students get together how they start talking in Spanish. Mostly young students fashion sense is alike. I found that, piercing is populer to them. Young male students are careful about their hair fashion. Those who are not so young or not straight from high school, they are little reluctant about any type of fashion. I am speaking in generally.
While I asked my nine year old, if she could point out what was the hardest part about writing for me. She smiled, and threw me a counter question, 'what is not hard about writing to you?' I got the answer, everything. When I think that someone else would see my writng critically, no matter teacher, or other students, or anyone, it tightens my stomach. I forget what to write or how to start even. Not only grammer or spelling mistakes happen but also my mind goes blank and I don't find exact words to express what I actually want to mean. So, I think the thought of critical judgment of others is the hardest part for my writing.

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