aKDPhi Junior Active Spring 2018 Semester

The photos shown above were taken when I became an active member of my Asian-interest sorority, alpha Kappa Delta Phi (aKDPhi). Although we did not get a class this semester, our pictures are still really nice! While in my sorority, I have made sisterly connections with nearly every member. They inspire me to be more creative and to be more than I can be. Although I devote a lot of my time towards them, I am also finding a part of who I am. This sisterhood has provided me with friends that go out and eat Asian food with me. 🙂 We have worked hard to fundraise for our philanthropy and to promote our sisterhood to others. I am proud to be a member of alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority.

AASA Asian Food Fair

The Asian American Student Association of the University of Oklahoma hosted its annual Asian Food Fair that featured different types of food from Asian cultures. From thai curry to lo mein, the Asian Food Fair offered a variety of different tastes to accommodate to those with food allergies or varying diets. When I was at the Asian Food Fair, I was also volunteering by serving the food and cleaning up. While the food fair was a great success to raise awareness about the types of Asian foods and the culture of those Asian countries, the students running the operation diligently showed their passion for raising awareness about the different types of ethnicity under the category of Asians. Although none of the food was homemade, they were donations from neighboring restaurants that supported the cause of the Asian American Student Association. In the picture shown, I am serving a noodle salad dish from China. Despite the small percentage of Asians on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. We all banded together to raise awareness for our own cultures.

Water Sustainability

The resources that the Earth has generously given to living creatures are wasted and diminished as generations pass by. Sustainability is a crucial factor in determining the success of future generations because without proper resources, the world can not create the essential materials for life. Most people believe that sustainability is limited to recycling, reducing, and reusing, but sustainability expands to the prevention of situations that can potentially harm the environment and hinder growth of human beings and other living creatures. For example, the crisis of fresh water around the world depicts a world that is gradually losing the drinkable water supply. The amount of fresh water hardly suffices enough to last past a century at the rate that water is being misused and mistreated. With multiple situations such as pollution, eutrophication, and the remarkable growth of the human population, clean water will be scarcely available. California, for instance, ran out of water and must obtain drinking water for its residents from other states. People can prevent water from becoming contaminated by proper disposal of wastes that do not include dumping waste into water resources. There are steps to follow for beneficial sustainability if only people were willing to cooperate together as a collaborative group instead of small groups attempting to save the resources that we have overused. Sustainability will keep my children alive and well; it will ease my mind, knowing that the world my children will grow up in will not be infested with waste and lack of necessary nutrients and resources.

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Problems Regarding the Education System in the United States and China

Without a shadow of a doubt, the education system affects everyone in the world. Imagine a place where no one knew how to do any math or how to connect with foreign countries. Despite the constant complaints of the students and parents in the education system, the government needs to understand the other types of people that education can affect. With the question of the quality and procedure for the effect of education system in play, education has a big impact on not only the students of the United States, but on teachers, professors, government, and foreign countries due to education being detrimental if education was done one way or another.

Professors and teachers have taught students for years, in hopes of allowing students to achieve their potential. However, teachers are generally restricted to how to structure their classes. Unlike the professors, teachers have a strict format in classrooms. According to an anonymous “Professor Daniel Smith” and Professor Ching Wei, they depend on being able to structure their own classes (Wei). Both professors agree that they prefer more independency in their classrooms, however “Professor Smith” argues that standard structure is important in larger universities as that reduces the rate in which students can cheat. Also, having the power to control how to teach the curriculum allows professors to experiment the best way for students to learn (“Smith”).

Why do professors want this independence? Like all human beings, professors each have their own style of accomplishing tasks. Asking a teacher or professor to teach concepts in one way or another restricts the way the information is taught to students. In turn, the students receive less knowledge in those areas. When a large, yet similar group of students needs to take the same type of test, multiple groups of students give into the temptation of cheating. The fear of failure and losing possible job opportunities encourages professors to teach students to the best of their ability, but students feel the pressure of cheating in order to maintain a successful future. The main goal of any educator is to teach the students how to be good people when they are out in the real world and the knowledge to obtain their dream job, but the relationship between teachers and students through the decades has become less and less close.

As a recent graduate of high school, I can attest to the views of most high school students. For many high school students, going to high school is a job, but instead of the option to quit, school is a requirement. Regulated by the government, every student is required to go to school, whether public, private, or home-schooled. A majority of high school students care more about the clothes they wear and the sports they play in contrast to their education. A friend of mine had over 100 unexcused absences, so she was put on probation. That is how students treat the education system, as a joke. Even if the students disagreed with district rules, their voices are never heard because in the mindset of adults, students have no thoughts about how their education system should be.

The students are the most directly affected by the education system, yet they have hardly any say in their education. For instance, a student’s voice about why more funding should go into the education system carries no weight in the eyes of the government. Government officials often hope to get reelected, but by doing so, they ignore the future voters. Students are future voters, future politicians, and future businessmen. Students determine the future. Regardless if their education is great or not, those children will grow up and take over the society. If the education system is advance, students are more likely to make smarter decisions and enhance the global economy. With the regulation set by the government that states all children must go to school, as stated by the No Child Left Behind Act, upcoming citizens of the United States have a higher probability of succeeding in life (Phillips). Although the United States attempts to crowd students into education, students continue to have negative perspectives on education and in turn rebel against anything associated with education.

Government officials determine the types of regulations that filtrates through the education system. With the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act, an act that enforced students to attend school through high school, required students to not miss school (Phillips). However, the government placed mandates, rules that the states must follow without the funding to do so, on enforcing students to go to school. By doing this, the government limits a state’s ability to follow through on the mandate. Without the government interfering with the education system, as some would argue would be preferable, the government needs to provide funding for schools to continue to function, but without the results that the government wants, the government will discontinue the amount of money that is spent at a certain school. When a school does better on standardized testing, it is chosen to be funded despite other schools that need the money to rebuild part of their school building.

How the government runs the funding and regulation of the education system is based upon its voters. Government officials’ main goal is to get reelected in order to stay in office. Voters must continue to vote for these government officials, but they vote for officials that follow their ideals. In the past couple of decades, citizens of the United States have often complained about how the government officials only cared about getting reelected instead of caring about the policies that need to be fixed. Private schools were designed to be disassociated with the government, yet their students have accomplished more than public schools. How does that occur? Private schools are structured to challenge their students and have the money to hire teachers, buy textbooks, and other resources to help the students function. If voters wanted to spend more money on the government, the officials can and will let more funding go towards education, but voters care more about the popular policies such as gay rights and abortions.

Whether or not the government decides on increasing funds on the education system or implement further policies, foreign countries must adjust to the United States education. Due to globalization and trade of information, students from varying countries may attend universities or colleges in the United States. Professor Wei confesses that the course load in Taiwan and in any Asian country was more excessive than that of the United States; the United States does not even compare to the amount of studying Asian students have to endure (Wei). International students such as Ruth Wen experience two different school systems, one in China and one at the University of Oklahoma. Based on her experiences of the two systems, Wen had a tougher time with time management due to the excessive amount of work required by her teachers. Wen views education as a chance to be competitive and forces her to be better than herself (Wen).

More of the academic difficulties come from the societal and internal pressures of friends and family in Asian culture. In an Asian student organization, female students were asked what they would like to accomplish in life. They responded that their main goal in life is to never disappoint their parents and to support their parents financially so that their parents do not have to work at an older age. Being part of an Asian family means that the academic expectations are a lot higher than an American family’s. For example, an Asian family expects straight A’s and competition between “friends.” American societies have the social expectation of a passing grade. In fact, classmates encourage passing grades, but Asian classmates look down on classmates that have lesser scores then their own. Competition drives the students to more after hour studying, more stress related activities, and dysfunctional emotions. Asian students do not trust one another; there is no such thing as helping one another. The academic society pressures students to fend for themselves, which correlates to a higher rate of distrust towards other students.

There is a TedTalk from Sal Khan, creator of Khan Academy, that emphasizes the purpose of proficiency. He questions a 75% as a passing grade by explaining how construction workers can build homes. For instance, a construction crew builds upon a base that has a 75% approval rating, meaning that 25% of the base is unsafe or have not cleared standards. What if there was a second floor? The floor above it has a 78% approval rating (Khan). What are the chances that the building collapses? The concept for this low construction quality helps to describe how a student cannot build upon its foundations if his foundation was not up to standards in the first place. It is foolish to hope that students can use gain a wide understanding of something more advanced when he has little knowledge of it to begin with.  Lowering the level of proficiency allows students to believe that they can achieve success by maintaining passing grades instead of encouraging students to get the highest score possible. With that sort of mindset, the United States does not gain students who consistently want to achieve perfection. Like the structure of a house, wooden pillars are necessary to hold the rest of the structure up. Similar to the wooden pillars of a house, teachers/professors, students, parents, government, and foreign affairs all hold the basis of education as having lesser of one would decrease the value of the product as a whole. With the full effort of the five categories of people, the education system is given the opportunity to become better than it was and is currently.

 

 

Works Cited

Khan, Sal. “Let’s Teach for Mastery — Not Test Scores.” TED Ideas Worth Spreading, TedTalk, November 2015.

Phillips, Veronica and Carina Wong. “Tying Together the Common Core of Standards, Instruction, and Assessments.” Kappan, pdkintl.org, February 2010.

Ravitch, Diane. “American Schools in Crisis.” The Saturday Evening Post, The Saturday Evening Post Society, October 2011.

“Smith, Daniel,” Personal Interview, 7 October 2017.

Wei, Ching; Personal Interview, 6 October 2017.

Wen, Ruth; Personal Interview, 11 October 2017.

 

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alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc.

alpha Kappa Delta Phi is an international Asian-Interest sorority with chapters in the United States and Canada. After just being initiated, I am proud to represent alpha Kappa Delta Phi as a member of the Fall 2017 Phi Class. With five other line sisters, we built a sisterhood throughout the past couple of weeks. One of my favorite aspects of being in alpha Kappa Delta Phi is the fact that we have a brotherhood fraternity, meaning I get a big bro and potentially a twin bro. I have a big sis and twin from my sisterhood and a big bro and twin from the brotherhood of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. On November 16, 2017, the Phi Class of alpha Kappa Delta Phi and the Pi Class of Lambda Phi Epsilon co-performed an unveiling/probate that introduced the new class that had been initiated to each Greek organization.

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Confucius Institute Day

Despite being in Chinese Class, our teacher decided to skim the review for the upcoming day test to attend the Confucius Institute Day. After approaching the festival day activities, I saw a Chinese girl dancing to Chinese music, which was really peaceful. The girl dancing and the girl playing the instrument were very graceful and classy with their work.

People trying to learn the famous Dragon Dance.
Girl dancing the Chinese Traditional Dance.

 

In multiple booths, food and customary activities were placed for the audience to interact with the culture. One of the best part of being a different culture is being able to see others interact with your culture. Without a doubt in my mind, it was breathtaking to see how others interpret your own culture. I did not try the food because I knew that I definitely had better when I was in China! The festival reminded me of my culture and how much I missed being able to see or do those things as a kid. Although I was born in the United States, I wonder what life would be like if I was raised in China. One day I hope to dance as gratefully as the girl in blue and to lead the dragon dance because why not!?

 

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About Me

My name is Anna Hong and I attend the University of Oklahoma as part of the Class of 2021. I was born in Los Angeles, California, but for the past decade, I have resided in Colorado Springs, CO. Why did I choose OU? My stepfather and a multitude of his family members are alumnae of the university and encouraged me to go to the University of Oklahoma. Leaving my family and friends in Colorado, I moved to Norman, Oklahoma for a fresh start. Below is a list of things about me and an explanation of where I want to travel and why.

Ethnicity: Chinese

Favorite Food: Noodles/Pasta

 

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