Time for a more serious and topical post than usual. Donald Trump is famous world wide, and since he comes to power in a week I thought it’d be interesting to tell you all some anecdotes about him from some of the students and staff members here in China.
For starters, everyone was shocked that he won the election in the first place. It became clear he would at lunchtime, and my boss John really couldn’t believe it. Following the election through the news, it appeared as though Clinton would win, and people were genuinely surprised that he didn’t.
The evening of results day I taught my senior 2 special class. These students are exceptional and are going to study at foreign universities, so they are hyper-aware of the changing political climate. As the students were discussing their future plans and the countries they planned to study in, one student remarked that she was thinking of going to America, but didn’t want to now because of Trump. She was laughing as she said it but it did make me think.
Even more heartbreaking was one of the exam answers I marked around that time. The first question was what is your biggest concern about studying abroad. The Korean girl in class, Olivia, wrote that her biggest concern was dealing with racism in America because she is Asian and Trump will be president. After making corrections to her answer I genuinely had to take a moment to think about her future. She should be feeling so excited to live in the States and be nervous about understanding her lecturers and the work like last years students were, but thanks to Trump and his rhetoric she’s most worried about facing racism amongst her peers.
On a lighter note, his influence is also obvious in the regular senior 1 classes. When playing the game who am I, where students have to guess the name on their forehead, one group started with Hitler then swiftly moved on to Donald Trump and asked me to spell check the name!
Moving forward in time, this weeks lesson is on hypothetical situations. Most classes are surprisingly into it and like discussing various would you rathers and moral dilemmas. What prompted this post was a response to: would you rather live in the USA or the U.K.? 2 separate students in separate classes answered with the U.K., because it is safer and in America it is not safe to walk around at night, you will be shot and die. This is the perception of America that Donald Trump’s campaign has created, and it will be interesting to see what will happen once he actually has control.
Reflecting the serious nature of this post, have a video of exam papers being counted.