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Re-uploaded reaction #3

Sikun Zhang

                During my first visit to the all-girls, private school, Cherrywood ,there was a tremendous pressure that was felt as I entered the school building. The inside of the main foyer was wide and spacious with an aged, yet elegant sofa in the center. Beside the sofa was a fireplace with an aged chimney, displaying a bright fire. A grand set of stairs was near the administrator’s office. Without even meeting my hosting teacher and her students yet, I was incredibly nervous. This environment was abnormal and discomforting for a person of my background. I was raised in a suburban, middle-income township with a wide variety of people; from those who made less than 40,000 dollars to those who made over half a million annually. Although our incomes were varied, our school was modestly built and funded. This prominent school was foreign and almost threatening for me with the way it held itself. There was an obvious sense of pride and elegance that the building and administration promoted. Aside from the environment, the children continued to emphasize the school’s ethos. In the dress code, students are required from a young age (as young as pre-kindergarten) to maintain their clothing in “neat, clean, and in good repair” (Cherrywood, Lower School Dress Code). This kind of responsibility evolves from the parent’s into the student’s responsibility when the students reach sixth grade, where they will be reprimanded for their own dress code issues. 

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Paper #2

Sikun “Lamei” Zhang

                In school, it’s easy to tell the dividing lines for those who are “gifted” and those who are not with special classes for both the extremes (advanced classes for the “gifted” and additional classes for those who are below par). Just as Annette Lareau expresses in her book “Unequal Childhoods”, schooling is based on different kinds of capital. There is capital which is based on how much the family makes, and this capital is then invested into the children to give them cultural capital, which in turn, should come back as capital for the children. This ideology is overtly taught throughout most schools as what should be done for a child to be successful. Even I cannot escape from such logic because of how this educative world is run and taught. We are taught that those who are not only intelligent, but also talented in many other ways are the ones that have the “right stuff” to get them into law or medical school, or even the president’s chair. Just like the Tallinger’s Lareau interviewed, we have some discontent for this ideology, but we are in a continuous circle; we wish the system to be changed, but we are too afraid of failure to escape this flawed bureaucracy.

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Educational Influence

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