Thursday, December 08, 2005

Culture Lessons Part 2

This is most likely an ongoing subject. The director of the school came in today and spoke with our class. She told us several things about the beliefs of Russians that I took notes on:

*American students have to be entertained.

Traditionally Russian schools are teacher centered. There is a lecture and a test; you either get it or you don't. It is your responsibility to 'get it' not the teachers.

*Criticism is a major motivator.
*They don't believe in encouragement.
*Public praise is embarassing.
*Americans are being watched for their reactions. (why should we cry at school? we have money, we have nice things, we have our families here! what reason to we have to be depressed?)
*Adults should be self motivated. (why should a teacher have to motivate us to learn?)
*They don't believe in dehydration. (normally students are not allowed to drink or eat during school)
*They don't believe in mold making people sick. (one family just discovered mold in the walls of their apartment)
*They believe you can get sick from eating ice cream. (they did an experiment where an American and a Russian girl ate a bowl of ice cream and the Russian girl got sick)
*Mercy is not everybody's gift.(we must remember that God does not give everyone the same gifts)

If you say that you are a Christian here it means only that you are not a Buddhist or Muslim. Everyone here is a Christian. This is a Christian nation.

It is would be more impactful to say you are a believer.

It is interesting to ask questions and hear the answers put from a Russian perspective. Tania does a great job of helping us understand the mindset and she tells us about the culture shock her teachers have to face from us on a daily basis! She also told us about a student she has up near the Alaskan border that is 72. She has spent the last twelve years of her life learning Russian. So, there is hope for us young ones!

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