Is the number of years you spend in school determine how much you KNOW?

Philippines
February 9, 2012 9:40pm CST
Let's say you're having a conversation with someone from a different country who was educated through a different curriculum (another country's curriculum), and she says that they go to school for 16 years (6yrs-middle school, 3yrs-junior high, 3yrs-senior high, then 4yrs-college) yet you've only gone for 14 years according to your own country's educational curriculum (6yrs-elementary, 4yrs-high school, 4yrs-college), would you have come to a conclusion that the former surely knows MORE than the latter? This is because yesterday, my language teacher said something really irksome and quite insulting. I may be someone who wants to learn their language, but I AM STILL A FILIPINO. I couldn't possibly tolerate being talked down like that, especially since I have done my best when I was still at school, and also for the simple reason that one shouldn't make a person feel stupid in any way. It started when we were at this page in the book where there were words like "bride-groom", "older sister-older brother", "grandmother-grandfather", and she was asking us what category those words should be in. I was thinking they're all male and female counterparts so my answer was "gender". Maybe she didn't hear me through all the various answers being said, but after a while, with a disappointed look on her face, she said, "Antonym. Don't you know what antonym is?" Of course, we know what antonym is! But in my mind, c'mon, it's more like "gender". And then she proceeded with asking us how many years we usually spend studying in school, you know, the details I mentioned earlier, and she compared it with their educational system they have in Korea. At first, I thought she was just curious, but when she started saying, "Well I can't blame you, blah blah blah" my blood was suddenly boiling up with rage. If only she wasn't our teacher, I would've stared daggers at her right then. But I remained expressionless; the smile was totally wiped out of my face. I was thinking, "So what are you trying to say? Don't you know that most of us can learn quite fast, that we don't need to spend money on tutors or cram school or stay at school till 12 midnight to learn a certain topic that you can just research at home through other resources? Being in an environment where frugality is a must, we've learned how to be resourceful and hardworking. You have no right to look down on our hard work." For gosh sakes, don't tell us that we don't have the ability to perfect your language when we have already perfected English, the language which is not even included in your educational curriculum! Grrr... If only I was already fluent in her language, I would've engaged her in a debate right then and there. Of all the things I hate, I hate being mistaken as a dumb girl the most. When I told my brother about it, he said, "So, are you still gonna attend?" I replied, "Of course! She needs to realize that we're not stupid." We're going to have a quiz on Monday, and I am really going to study HARD. You want some serious studying? I'll give it to you. Sigh... sorry for the negative first post of the day. I just need to let out all the pent up frustration of not being able to say all those things to her. 'Cause she'd definitely insist to say all of it in Korean, but I'm still on level 2 (out of 6), so yeah. :( After this I'll be okay, and I'll be focusing on proving my point to her. If I can't in words, then I will in actions... It may be just a huge misunderstanding or a case wherein she chose the wrong words, but I'm still gonna prove it so that she won't be able to say anything close to that, ever. And to think that I was glad 'cause she was a competent teacher, only to be let down by her attitude... I hope she changes her attitude when we're done with this. I'm not saying that all Koreans are like that. It may be just her (and a few people). In fact, all nationalities have those kinds of characters, good and bad. What I said here is what I wanted to say to HER only, and no one else. It's just sad that I had to hear something like that. If someone said those things to you, would you have felt the same?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@marguicha (90800)
• Chile
10 Feb 12
By all means, knowledge comes from many sources, and not only by going to school. To think otherwise is to be quite ignorant about what knowledge really is. I have more school knowledge than many, but many of the more importatnt things I learnt in life were not taught to mee at school or at the university. Don´t be mad, though, people like that ar everywhere and they will not change.. I agree with you about your answer. The word "antonym " is more general than the answer you gave. But maybe her answer was better if she was teaching grammar. Still, neither answer had to turn into an offensive speech about education in different countries. Was this korean teacher teaching in Korea or in your country?
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
She's teaching here in the Philippines, and she should at least think twice before saying such things in a foreign country right? Makes me think that if only we were able to take a video and it got posted on Facebook or YouTube, she'd get a hell of a lashing from Filipinos around the world... *shakes head* Yep, even if she's trying to make a point, it doesn't have to be as negative as that. It would have been so much better if she tried encouraging us to be serious in learning the language in a positive way. Right after that, I couldn't even bring myself to listen to Korean songs on my player. I was so pissed.
@marguicha (90800)
• Chile
10 Feb 12
I think that that "teacher" is rude and ignorant, even if she does know what an antonym is. She is totally unfit to be teaching. I was a university professor for several years and, believe me, my knowledge of my native language (that´s what I taught) was not as important as other values you show while teaching.
• Philippines
15 Feb 12
I agree. Because your pure intentions of imparting the knowledge is more important than anything else. It makes me feel that she's quite unwilling to teach us the subject, and that really spoils whatever enthusiasm we had in learning. :(
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
13 Feb 12
Sadly to say I think they have that kind of attitude towards a third developing country's citizen. I think it is related to how the country is now beginning to get into account in the western world. I experienced this kind of attitude myself, several times. Ugh, still I am trying to learn their language...
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
Yeah, the better for us to be aware of what they are saying and correct those stupid misconceptions if they have any more of it. And then totally explain it in flawless English. ;P Maybe. I guess it also comes with how they are now going head-to-head with Japan. My other friend even mentioned that they really had that kind of tendency (to believe that they are above others). Maybe there's something in their culture that makes them that way. But thinking into it, it's a foolish notion especially with the fact that they are trying to learn English from us. ('cause they can't afford to go to the US to study) However, I've met other really nice Koreans (my dance teacher and my previous language instructor) so I don't want to generalize them for the sake of those very nice people. Maybe it's just that particular person. ^^
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
16 Feb 12
You are right, they think themselves better than others, once I got into a debate with a Korean about this. He even admitted that they look down on others as they were looked down by others before. Yes, I met some nice Koreans, too... who appreciate that I speak better English than they are...
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
10 Feb 12
Of course not ! To me, that would be stupid since there are people who actually graduate from high school AND college and really don't know anything. Knowledge has to be USEFUL, and just spending YEARS in a classroom is no indication that any person has gained any useful information that they actually can put into practice to enrich their lives. If you can't tell, I am not the biggest supporter of 'traditional education' and the huge costs that go along with it. I think it is better for people to acquire knowledge in ways that don't cost them a ton of money OR a lot of time, and often the education gained by learning things on the job or through actual experience is BETTER than sitting in a classroom and passing a test and getting a piece of paper. Classrooms are notorious for being NOTHING LIKE real life and tests are also NOTHING LIKE a real job situation. I've seen people do really well in college and then practically BOMB real life, being unable to get or keep a job, being unable to get or keep a place to live.... being book smart and having a 1400 SAT score doesn't mean anything when it comes to life beyond that chapter. BTW... when looking at those words, my first guess for category would be 'titles', not antonyms, since those are titles for people. Brother, sister, grandfather, husband, bride... all titles. I don't see gender at all. Some teachers just drop the ball...I'm not worried that you won't get your worth out of this class and maybe the teacher will realize she made a mistake somewhere along the line lol!
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
I think she's starting to feel that I've become a bit cold during class. I answer her and all whenever she drops a question on me, but other than that, I don't show her much ardor. I even feel that she's kinda waiting for me to make a mistake during discussions so that she could jump at the chance. But no way, I won't give her that. For me, it's enough if she was able to feel that I'm very unhappy with what she did. Maybe after this, I'm gonna give her another chance to at least redeem herself, and forgive her. But regardless of whether she likes me or not, I'll learn and give it my best. 'Cause by doing so, I win. :) And btw, I completely agree with you with the time-consuming and pocket-emptying nature of it. That's why even though my parents were pushing me to get a master's degree, I refused to since I won't be able to use it anyway in building my own business. (That's the goal. ;)) Experience is really the BEST teacher. :)
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
That's a bit too much words for me to read. Sorry about that. But I will answer to your discussion title. In my opinion, no. Sometimes it's about experience. Specially in my chosen profession which is being a chef. In the kitchen, you do have to know the basics on how to do stuff but you'll need to learn the skills on your own. No matter how much someone teaches you, it's up to you to master the techniques. My point is, there some things that can't be taught in school. Sometimes experience is the best teacher. Hope I helped.. :)
• Philippines
15 Feb 12
I agree. It doesn't matter how much time you spent in school. Judging by just that is downright insulting and it reflects more on the one who's judging.
@Mashnn (4503)
10 Feb 12
You can spend 30 years in school yet your action and reasoning is of someone who have not attended any formal education. I think there is so much more to learn outside school or through real life experience that the level of education attainment does not matter in most cases. Your teachers seems to have fallen far away from the reality of the modern world. Was she teaching in Korean or English?
• Philippines
15 Feb 12
She's teaching Korean (it's a Korean language class) but I think she knows English (don't know how much). However, she shouldn't be saying that to a class that has lived with English for their whole life. *shakes head* I mean, her Korean class is only Elementary level 2, and we're pretty much like toddlers in learning her language, so she should at least help us in this learning process rather than put us down.
@rocky111 (15)
• Croatia (Hrvatska)
10 Feb 12
The anwser is no. Acquiring knowledge is on going proccess that last the whole liftime. The years you spent at school can only determine in which areas of your interest you are going to continue learning. This is my humble opinion. Cheers!
• Philippines
15 Feb 12
Exactly! You can't judge someone by how many years he's spent in school. It was really out-of-line when she said that. But I was determined to have a positive outcome from it so I studied hard for her test (even though it was just a minor exam). And I will continue to study hard and show her she shouldn't be thinking that way.
@heartbit (237)
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
definitely the number of years in school will not determine how much you know. there are a lot of things that can be learned outside the four walls of the classroom. your teacher may have spent a lot of school years in korea but sad to say, she had forgotten good manners and right conduct. i would feel like you do, and will definitely prove to her my worth.
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
Thank you for affirming that what I felt wasn't wrong. I was thinking if I was too hard on her since she probably couldn't express herself clearly in English. I will definitely prove to her that we're worth loads more than that. If she only wanted to emphasize that we should take her class seriously, she didn't have to say all that.
@hunibani (720)
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
Nope. But most of the company matter years and experience. Too sad........
• Philippines
10 Feb 12
The number of years spent on school does not reflect on how much you know. I know you got hurt on what she said to you, but if you know that you are right and you also knew that the person in front of you is not worth of any debate, then you should take a grip of yourself.