The title of this blog sounds “DOPE” like the name of the Hip Hop album. However, the blog doesn’t have any relation to music. In this blog, I want to discuss the education and also reflect the difference between two societies. [This is my experiences and what I understand after many surveys with my lab mates and my mentor – Fred]
During this week, LaKia sent me a picture on Tweeter which showed a father putting his son in a plastic bag to cross the river. You will wonder, “Why would they do that.” The answer is the father helped his son to cross the river every day, so he could go to school. There are so many similar cases like this every day in Vietnam. In the picture, you see the river is not easy to cross. However, they decide to cross because they know the importance of education. I’m not sure if the father and the son are scared of crossing the river because it can take their lives away. In my experiences, I am afraid to cross the river like this because I don’t know how to swim. However, if it is the only thing I can do for my education, I would do the same. The picture reminded me of how lucky I am because I can have a higher education in America. America is described as a land of opportunities and I believe in it. The fact that I can go to community college, university, and to apply to graduate school shows that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.
Can you find opportunities in Taiwan easily? The answer is “that depends.” For example, students get financial support in America to help them reach higher education, especially low income students. In Taiwan, students might get support from the government but it’s not always like that. Parents pay college tuition to help their children. I think my lab mates don’t understand my background since they never immigrated to different countries before. In my family, I am a first-generation student to attends university in the U.S. Sometimes, it is hard for me to explain my situation to my parents because they can’t understand it. It doesn’t mean they don’t support and motivate me to pursue my career. I think this is a unique experience that only first-generation immigrants can have. The fact that many first-generation immigrants are successful in their careers, show they have motivation to try hard every day.
Do students in Taiwan have any kind of funding to help them pay for their tuition? The answer is yes! However, there are very few of them, and they’re usually for students who are super poor. It means that most of students in Taiwan are supported by their parents. Their parents pay everything for their education. It can lead to some issues. First, parents can predetermine their children’s career since they pay for their tuition. Second, their children will depend on their parents’ support, which can cause their children to lack independent skills or money management.
Does passion really exist in Taiwan society and other countries in Asia? I think it does. I asked this question to many Graduate students in KMU and even Fred (our mentor) to see what they think about passion. They agree that Taiwan is in transition because new generation think differently from past generations. They start to think about their passion and what they love to do in life. In the last generations, children had to do whatever their parents wanted because their parents paid the tuition. This is something that we think is normal in the U.S., but it is something new in Taiwan.
I’m still working on my methods since it is very important to my project. I can’t make a mistake with my methods because I will work with older adults in Taiwan. Moreover, I’m working on my introduction, as well because I want to speed up my project a little bit. So far, I’m half way through the introduction and half way through the methods. I haven’t collected any data so far. I’m not sure how I should analyze the data. Another issue is the force plate. I haven’t seen the force plate yet, which affects my project progress. I need to figure out how to use that properly because I only have one day to collect all the data from older adults. This week, I have three more undergraduate students (two Freshman students and one Sophomore student). Everything is starting to make sense now, since those undergraduate students show up in the lab. They wanted to combine MHIRT students and their undergraduate students together.