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Out of Context

Posted by on Monday, February 7, 2011 in Academics, College Life.

While doing some late night studying, I read a passage in an article that caught my attention.

The author cited Yong Zhao in his discussion about the education changes in Singapore.  Zhao explains that education reform should be approached with caution when comparing their system to other countries.

Ignoring the whole notion of Asian education, his support for this idea can be taken out of context and represent so much more.  With a little creative interpretation, here are some big “life” reminders:

  1. Always learn from others, but don’t forget your own strengths.
  2. It’s easy to focus only on the positives of others and their accomplishments – there are often negatives as well.
  3. Keep in mind the conditions that others were able to achieve; don’t forget the circumstances.
  4. We look at other’s experiences from our own perspectives.  Because of this, we often have misinterpretations.
  5. Don’t forget life’s events are not isolated.  Everything interacts.

I can relate to these ideas as a student at a competitive school surrounded by successful peers.  After all, this is no longer the “big-fish-in-a small-pond environment” that I had in high school.

But these are good ideas to remember in general.  So often people make assumptions or reach unjustified conclusions.  Don’t forget to be objective.

So while I finish reading my article about Asian education reform, my roommate is reading for her class on the history of New Orleans.  Did you know that during the Civil War, Confederate soldiers stationed in southern Louisiana were often bored, so boxing up alligators to keep as pets was a common trend?

Who knew tonight’s assignments would be so interesting.

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