Enjoy and Embrace Learning

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For several years, no matter how high tuitions rose, a steady stream of students passed through the gate of a liberal art college. A majority of these students and their families involves considerable expense, time and effort. Was it worth it? I got several reliable answers which suggest that it was. From the discussion in the honor courses, they really got a great insight into what they are looking for in college and got answer that it is worth to fertilize the soul of themselves through a growing knowledge. Some people may insist that they gain more material things from learning such as that it is useful to prepare them for a job. However, students have been blinded by those visible material things and they neglect the transformation of the human characters. While to an extent "seeing is believing", quite often it is what you don’t see that makes the difference. Receiving liberal art education, students are able to have many kinds of perspectives and use them appropriately. For these reasons, I believe learning just like Tangram which is a square divided into seven pieces that can be arranged in many ways. People hold on consistently and persistently to find the possibility of the world and themselves. This journey is permanent and people should enjoy it and embrace it. And students should see invisible changing when they are learning. Fortunately, at Drew University, I did see students were eager to embrace the process of learning from my observation of Chinese classes.
In the class I observed, I found my notion of freedom, a key to embrace learning, was confirmed. More interestingly, there were plenty of ways for the pursuit of freedom. When I observed Chinese class, I saw the classroom had blue wall which differs from the yellow chairs in other class and evoked tranquility, freedom and esteem. To my surprise, the placing of tables and chairs was very special. Four tables, on either side of the classroom, formed a long table. In the middle, each of the four tables was perpendicular to the long tables. And three black boards were on the three sides of this classroom. Every student enjoyed this open environment and lived in this environment for a long time.

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According to an example by the professor, they tried all kinds of ways to write. Regardless most sentences they created were wrong. Their free spirits forced them to keep trying. However, excessive freedom also leads to an infamous result. After 10 minutes of starting, a girl came without alarm and chatted with her classmates. Although breaking general rules is a way to pursue freedom in some way. In the article, Making Sparks Fly, Mike Rose also encourages people to “disrupt our biases and binaries and be more creative in fusing book and workshop for those who go to school to fashion a better life.”(Rose 7) When people lose control of their ability, they hardly enjoy their learning life. Students should seek a balance between freedom and self-control. For free people, they need self-control to avoid mistakes. But conventional minds cannot always actively participate in discussions.
In the process of learning, students learn an invisible keeping balance skill. As a Chinese student, I made a wise decision to observe a Chinese class which is both familiar and odd for me. It provides a rare opportunity to reconsider from an entirely different aspect. It makes me realize that culture is more essential than language in some cases. Language lets us use different ways to express ourselves. However, culture leads people think in different way. Although American classmates and I facing a same article,we may have a totally different argument. At this point I would like to raise some objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me. Fan Shen feels that I have been ignoring his way that to build a new identity in new language and insist native identity when write Chinese. He points out that "in a sense, creating an English self is a way of reconciling my old cultural values with the new values required by English writing,without losing the formal."(Fan Shen 462) However, people are accustomed to receive preconceived notions first. Such as American students would like to apply their grammar in Chinese. So for students, they may be able to speak two or even three languages fluently, they only have one identity which is a new integrated identity. The Chinese professor told me that she took her students to Chinatown in New York City last weekend and speak Chinese in Chinatown. They were able to speak Chinese in the real world. Learning culture is a key to communicate with people who speak a different language. Speaking with native speaker is a fastest way to learn a language and its culture.
Learning is a subtle cultural influence that should not be neglected. However, friendships between classmates are equally important,and should not be forgotten. From my observation of the Chinese class, I am more convinced that studying together is a best reason to establish a wonderful friendship. Before the bell rang ,some of them were dealing with their homework together. Some boys were talking about Sport New about the soccer teams. During the class, most of them shared their textbook with their neighbor. They also finished the professor's assigned task. In teamwork, every team member must find their coworker’s advantages and to take advantage of each talent of teammates. For instance, Students had to find ways according to the map and questions. In this part, I found that some boys who good at direction direct the way to another girl who are good at writing. Therefore, they finished the task first. Class activity was the best way to understand classmates deeply. For students who are going about society. They should have a strong friendship and wide circle of friends. So that they can finish tasks quickly and continue in their lazy pursuits. Don’t miss a precise chance to build a wonderful circle of friendship.
In conclusion, students should pay more attention to what is invisible things such as to know how to use their skill, the culture behind the language and friendship. Because knowledge is a way to get those precise invisible things. Most students are easily in the trouble to distinguish them. What’s more, when you have what you need, you still need to use them just like jigsaw puzzles to build yourself. That is the the real goal of learning.


Works Cited

Mike Rose, Making Sparks Fly, The American Scholar, Summer 2011
Fan Shen, The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition. College Composition and Communication Vol.40. No4 (Dec 1989). PP459-466



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