Essay:Way Back Into Life
I sat in the classroom, a freshman, listening to the postgraduate students talking about their successful experience, sometimes even took notes, longing to copy their steps so that possibly, I could become as successful as them. But after hearing such sharing sessions for a dozen times, I suddenly realized that it didn™t make any sense to me. And what they talk was nearly the same. Even though, during my school life, I was told thousand times that I should ask those scholarship boys who got high marks and won many prizes for advice. Ironically, every time I go home, my parents™ friends and relatives would ask me to share my so-called successful experience with their children because I have gone to a famous university with a good grade. It seems that good scores and academic prizes are the symbol of a good student. Thus, students devote their school life to achieve them while inevitably, at the same time, leaving the family behind. Thinking of my education life, the questions occur to me: is that getting good marks and wining more prizes the aim of education? What can we get from education? Can we really become the one that we want to be through education?
It seems that we are trying to get education just for education, for a cultural identity, which makes us different from others. But as Richard Rodriguez says, a scholarship boy is the great mimic; a collector of thoughts, not a thinker; the very last person in class who ever feels obliged to have an opinion of his own. He tries to be different but still is not a good student. However, education is not to make us separate from ordinary life, rather, to fit people for the social life and the world.
As Rodriguez states, schooling has also irretrievably changed my familys life. Like most kids, I used to believe that parents were the most powerful people in the world and they could help me solve any problems. As a kid, waiting for parents coming home from work was the happiest thing and hanging out with them seemed to be a wonderful gift. Every praise from parents could make me sing. When first started school, I knew nothing about school life, and always asked parents for help when puzzled because they knew everything that I had no idea. We also played games with each other, and of course, they were always the winners who made me admire a lot. They seemed to be superheroes to me. However, when I was a second-grade student, I found that parents were not the only people who knew a lot, there were others—teachers. Later, I realized that teachers seemed to know much more than my parents. Gradually, I was more eager to get the praise from school than parents. The school was completely a new world to me, with much fun and novelty. I was trying to be a good student, to distinguish myself from my classmates, or from my parents.
What is this in English My father sometimes came to my room, looking at me and pointing at a word randomly, then asked me to speak it in English. What do you need it for? You don™t even know English! Every time I would feel impatient and even annoyed to deal with such conversation, leaving my father staying there, awkwardly. I became unwilling to talk about my school life and gradually, I found that I didn™t know what to talk with my parents. Our conversations were becoming shorter and shorter, and sometimes silent. I entered high school with more books to read and homework to do. Still, I would stay alone, focusing on the world of books. My mother would come to me: What have you learned in school these days I would just show her the books, impatiently pointing at pages, this, this, this…..
What have I learned from school? I have had a lot of lessons and read plenty of books that were recommended by teachers. I could get good grades in exams and I knew a lot more than my parents. I studied in the way my teachers taught me and used what they taught to do well in tests, to get high scores. Yes, I wanted to be a scholarship boy, not so great as Rodriguez though. Apparently, it is impossible to be a scholarship boy only with the help of parents, and by contrast, teachers are more reliable when comes to academic. I began to enjoy staying at school more than at home not only because of the availability of teachers in school but my parents™ lack of education. Like Rodriguez, after years of schooling, I approximate the accents of teachers and classmates and seem to be proud of it when talking to my parents.
Your child really does well in study. Your kid is a good student and will have a bright future. People began to talk to my parents like these when I was in middle school. They said these because I seldom went out to play with other kids and I spent all my spare time on homework as well as reading. I was a good student, from their point of view, but I was a four-eye bookworm in my peers™ eyes. Still, their parents would feel better and safer if their children were playing with me because they believed one takes the behavior of ones company. Once marked as a good student, he has to be more and more alone, if he is going to get on™. As Rodriguez observes, I had to do better. When in elementary school, I was wondering how to get to a better middle school; when in middle school, I had to struggle to enter a nice high school; when in high school, entering a famous university was the aim of my school life. To achieve all these, I had to cut myself off mentally, each night enclosing myself in the silence permitted and required by intense concentration. I cared less about the family life, and became a guest every time I went home after a long semester. I knew little about the operation of household appliances and had no idea of what was new in the family life. Ironically, the conversation between me and parents and neighbors was nearly the same: How is your school life Not bad. Sometimes I felt odd when talking to the elders since we had little in common.
I was once asked to talk about a history problem in class, I retold the origin and listed several views stated by famous professors but I hesitated when asked to talk about my own point. I could talk a lot, but my ideas were borrowed from others. I prefer to use quotations and believe in academic authority. This lack of self-confidence leads me to be silent in discussions with my own thought. Or sometimes I would talk little more if there was someone who owned the same idea with me. Just as Rodriguez says, I am an mimic, a collector of thoughts. I liked to use famous quotes to make me look wise but my writings looked awkward instead. I™m still far away from those whom I learn or get educated form.
During a vacation, I was reading while interrupted by the noisy cousins. Instead of getting annoyed, I stopped reading and watched them play games. I found that I admired this kind of life, noisy but funny. I gestured nostalgically toward the past like Rodriguez, but my past seemed to be so lonely and quiet that I couldn™t think of many impressive things. I began to imagine the life when I was playing games with my little friends in the yard, playing hide-and-seek in the house with my sister and brother, watching cartoons without pressure of homework. I want to make my childhood more noisy and lively if possible.
Certainly, education has changed me a lot but now I would like to spend more time on my family and friends, rather than lock myself in the world of books and so-called academic. According to Rodriguez, his education gives him ways of speaking and caring about the fact that his life is culturally separated from his parents. So does mine. Education is an undeniable factor that help improve me but I would not give up the one I used to be to become a scholar boy. I begin to enjoy little things of my daily life, to hang out with my parents, to talk about my school life with them, to say more I think than they say. Though years of schooling may be continuing, I™m trying to make it different, not different from everybody else but from the past. To make it back into my life, the life I enjoy. After all, the art of education should be the daily life, and its end is fitness for the world. -w