The unnoticed assumption

I joined an Arabic music club last semester. I did not plan to do so. My original plan was to learn some music stuff. And in the meantime, my advisor was in that club called Itraab. Then I thought, why not? I started to play hand drums with time and learn how to sing Arabic songs. I didn’t expect the Arabic culture is so romantic until I understand those lyrics. I learned Chinese poems as I grow up. I read Jane Eyre when I was in high school. My experience with Arabic culture was limited. Then when I went to Itraab, I finally realized that love is also a great part of Arabic culture. It seems obvious when you think about it. But the thing was that I had not thought about it before this year. This reminds me of the podcast called “How ‘The Hidden Brain’ Does The Thinking For Us.” I live with many assumptions. I don’t even know many of them exist and they are guiding my behavior. They are there like air. I depend on them and I do not feel them.
Internationalization is unstoppable in the current era. Our education should prepare this generation and the following generations for the tide of global communication. When we encounter something that is beyond our understanding, we may want to revisit the basics and figure if we have some assumptions that are obviously wrong.

Teaching like cooking

From my understanding, a good cook must enjoy eating food; from my understanding, a good teacher must have his/her own way to master learning. Today I just realized that teaching is similar to making food.

I think anyone can make good food as long as there is enough care. I remember in one of the episodes in the anime series The best in Chinese (food), the young chef figured out one of the secret ingredients in his mom’s famous dish is love, the care of food and the customers. As is written in Shara Deel’s article, there is no universal method that can be applied by any educators for any situations. Enough care and devotedness can make much more difference than any teaching methods being used carelessly. I see many teachers and have been taught by many of them. I felt surprised when I knew that there are so many theories and techniques in pedagogy. Most of the teachers were professionally trained as teachers and they supposed to know these pedagogies. How Come many of them sucked in teaching? Then I realized that teaching is not like solving an engineering problem where, with enough proficiency, one can solve the problem in an autopilot mode. All great work includes full care. In the real world, not everything needs to be great. Good work in most cases can work fine. To make great food, the cook needs to devote all his/her attention to the food. There is a dish made of tofu. In that dish, a silk tofu was cut into slices and then further cut into shreds. The silk tofu is something that can be broken with a single touch. One can imagine how much effort should be put into making this dish. Are people amazed by the taste of this dish? Or maybe they feel the taste by feeling the care of the cook.



Like every cook has his/her own flavor, every educator has his/her own teaching style. It may take a while to figure out what the favorite food is and what the best food the cook can make. I taught a class which was recorded for students reviewing. I watched that video and found out that I did not have a deep voice and sounded like an experienced knowledgeable elder professor. I’m a young man. Why should I act as an elder professor? I gave a lecture last week and I asked one of my friends who was sitting in the class about how I did. He said you looked achievable and seemed knowing what you were talking about so we felt confident in you. It seems the feedback is OK. Maybe I should just reinforce what I am good at and try to fix or avoid what could cause problems.