US Journal V

This is just a journal with no topic. I like this kind of writing better because it feels free…
Friends are always asking me what kind of life do I have in the United States? After having a “great time” living and studying in China, I should be nothing to me. Apart from the language learning, studying here is actually like paradise… And I mean - paradise. It is pretty comfortable to study here, as you don’t need to take your books everywhere. All you need for your entire school life including when you come home is your binder and your internet access. All textbooks you need are posted online; all the paragraphs you have to turn in are written in the cloud so that you can simply share it with your teacher within one click. (That’s actually what I like about here: technologies are fully used in education. We have Chromebooks that we can use during classes to do research, and we can also use the computer lab at any time).
But!
Homework is not as little as you think it would be in the United States. You have to afford lots of essays in one day sometimes, as teachers do not know each other, so they will never know whether another teacher has assigned essays or not. So if you are “lucky” enough, you might get about 5 essays in a single day as your homework (like what I had yesterday…). This might be a lack of arrangement inside the entire system, but in general, this system is nice, while giving us a low pressure.
People in China have always been hearing about how weak the Americans are on math. I really experienced this after joining an algebra class: people cannot count without a calculator! Sometimes I have to ask them: which question indeed in this sheet requires you to use a calculator? But they are really slow, or even cannot do calculating in their mind. This should not be a problem of talent, but a problem of how they started this subject.
Let’s talk about GPAs. Sometimes it is really hard for me to maintain a 4.0 GPA as SOME of the teachers are grading us very strictly. Different from the grading system in China, every homework you turn in, every day you go to school, counts in your final grade. Therefore, you have to be really serious about the homework. I actually found out a fact: the lower your current grades are, the faster it increases when you get a better grade. For example, I used to get a 95.5 on Health Education, but however, as I did really bad on a summative test, the grade decreased to 83 after the grade has been entered. I was very concerned at that time, but after a couple of full credit homework, it came up to 91.5 rapidly. See? Homework can help you a lot on grades, yet they can also kill you if you did not treat them well.
All for today!


Mingjie Jiang

Maryland, United States
https://www.mingjie.info

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