The Stare Down
Coming to China was an easy decision for me, as I have other resources to fall back on if this journey failed. I don't call this a teaching job or a job in general; I call it an journey. This journey has taken me to places that I knew was there, but never imagined that I would be apart of. Having to hear that “ African-Americans aren't taken seriously in a teaching positions, especially in China” , made me think long and hard about coming to do such a thing. I was sick of hearing that African-Americans are inferior to White-Americans when it comes to education. I knew that I could be that person of color to point the “ You should be ashamed ” finger; when returning to Los Angeles. This is not about race this is about education. Moreover, being the spontaneous, I don't care what the world thinks of me self. I decided to go on with the process, while continuing to prove people wrong. Hence, Ameson Education & Cultural Exchange/ Ameson Year in China was the perfect place to start.
Making the move to China was the easy part in my eyes. However, coming from Los Angeles and having to actually live in China was the hard part, especially dealing with the rancid air conditions. Having to go places and all you get are “ Stares of wonder” not only tested my patience but my well-being as well. Everyday, I feel like I'm at the zoo; but only I'm the exhibit. Having to deal with photo bombs and taking pictures with babies, really did test me. Where I come from staring to long at a person means “ You have a problem with them”, leaving that situation to end badly. No one in America will hand a complete stranger their baby, it won't happen. Being here for almost five month's, I'm slowly but surely coming to accept that these people have never seen someone like me before. The stares are only in awe and curiosity. I have come to accept it's their way of life. I'm in another foreign country that's totally different from America, so I have to keep telling myself “ This is not America”.
Aside from the everyday stare down, I have learned many meaningful things while continuing my journey here in China. During an province wide speech competition, many of my students participated. After having a pep talk on how they should use what we talked about in class on speaking. They went in and rocked it out. After the competition they told me that by having my class helped them in the competition. Even though, in class most of them seemed like it was the end of the world having to do speaking exercises; but, it showed that they did retain the information. It was nice to know that they took me seriously and put forth the effort to display that. These students want to learn, and I will continue to help them anyway that I can. This journey will only continue to get better in time,and I wouldn't trade this journey for any other.