American Culture

Apr 29, 2015
by: wilsont18

After reading an article that said americans do not make eye contact and, if possible avoid it, I tried to make eye contact and hold it through a conversation. My result- IT’S HARD! Nobody ever told us to not make eye contact or that is bad,but somehow we feel awkward, self conscious, and weird when we do. If I wasn’t the person to first move my eyes away or stare off, they did. I also read that in brazil people can hold hour long conversations and almost never break eye contact, they will sometimes consider it rude if people break it. Which makes tourists from america feel odd.

Another article was talking about how people don’t talk to other people on trains, buses, and other public transportation, or in public places. Last summer I went to chicago by train and the train car was packed and except for the occasional cough or buzz of a text it was silent. There was obvious families and couples that stayed quiet for hours. I don’t know if a good 30 people just didn’t feel like talking or that they thought it was socially wrong to talk.

I think a issue with not talking to people is because of school. Even though school is filled with people our age with shared interest and common goals we are told by the time we are five that talking is bad.Neil deGrasse Tyson’s quote “we spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit dow. There’s something wrong there”. When we get punished when we talk we are subconsciously getting told that it is bad to talk, and that is very hindering to the school, community and country.

We are afraid that if we speak out bad thing will happen. What Edward Snowden did was brave and daring. He spoke out against something he thought was wrong and was punished. People have always been fighting for things and people always should. When African Americans wanted rights they where attacked, when women tried to get the vote they where put in prison. Not many great things happened by not talking, so why are we teaching kids to not talk.

We love fear. Weird right! We voluntarily go to horror films and Cedar Point. Fear can be fun, enjoyable, and good, in moderation and in appropriate situations. Fear is important to our culture for many reasons some good and some bad. Ever since 7th grade I have noticed teachers using fear, at first it unfazed me and didn't bother me. But now it just annoys me so much, I loved learning when I was younger I would watch educational shows when others watched cartoons. It would bring me joy when I would read a new fun book, like harry potter. But now, well, I loath it. We get forced to learn thing that will serve no purpose in our life. The last book I enjoyed reading for school was “The hot zone” and it was because we got a choice of what book we read. We all got the same educational value but we got to choose and change what book we read.

“I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.” Stanley Kubrick

Humans are curious beings. We love knowledge and facts and we want to learn. Unfortunately we get that pushed out of us and we don’t see it as an opportunity to learn but as something we have to do. We need to make school a place to learn about things we want to learn about. If I could I would take many history classes and I would love it. But I know some people HATE social studies but would love to be doctor, so they should take classes to help get them to their goal. Everyone needs some of history, science, language arts, and math, but do we need to learn Romeo and Juliet?
As David Sedaris says in his book Me Talk Pretty One Day “when asked ‘What do we need to learn this for?’ any high school teacher can con