Tag Archives: society

Multiculturalism Or Integration?

But can the similarity overcome the difference?

We had an interesting debate in my Philosophy class the other day: we were discussing, amongst other curious ideas, whether the British government’s philosophy of multi-culture was a good thing. Our teacher mentioned that a lot of the conflicting feelings over it came from the fact that, back in the 50s and 60s, immigrants to Britain would assimilate into the culture. However, in recent years, that hasn’t been happening because of a push for multi-culture, and now there are people living in Britain who want nothing to do with the British and cling to their own culture, refusing the society they live in.

Do you think this is right? Which do you think is better: multiculturalism or integration?

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The Problem With Teachers

Positivity Link: Neighbour Saves Child from Fire

You, the only one at the back not with a hand up.

There is a problem with teachers. No, not that one. The problem with some teachers is one which is rather similar to the problem with students; they become too used to the standard role expected of them and dislike the learning and change that is also part of the job. There is the expectancy by the teachers that in a group of students, at least one will be a “bad apple”, and this always occurs. There is an expectancy in the new student body that somewhere in the maze of corridors and other teenagers, there will be a teacher who is laughably poor at their job. Lo and behold, we are never disappointed.

Most teachers are not like this. I am in college, which is Year 12 – 13 over here in England, and four out of five of my teachers are capable at their jobs. Good at lesson planning, good at getting to the point, even good at evoking interest from tired teenagers at 8:30 in the morning. They make you want to learn, which makes it easier to learn.

But there is the last teacher. The one who never plans a lesson, forgets that we are sixteen and not six, and wants to believe that they are always correct. The one ready to raise hell if they perceive even the slightest doubt as to the validity of their teaching method, not far removed from the pastor ready to lambast his population at the first doubt shown towards his interpretations. The one who, on the rare times they are able to connect to one student, spends the rest of the lesson re-attempting to relight that single spark of interest to the detriment of the rest of the class and the lesson.

You all remember that teacher.

The worst thing about them, though, is that they don’t stay in high school. You find them in your parents, your older siblings or relatives. They pop-up in university, and then in your workplace under the guise of your boss or colleague or that guy constantly standing at the water cooler who you aren’t even sure works there. Sometimes they become a nagging partner or precocious child. Either way it is the eternal teacher problem, where they must be right and you must be wrong, where it’s their way or the high way. The best way to combat it is to smile, nod, listen, and then dash away and learn an opinion unbiased by their or your own inexperience.

My teacher problem won’t solve itself. I’ve simply taken to reading ahead of topics and around the subject to make up for what we’re not being taught. I like the teacher. They try to be nice, and they’re generally harmless in their one-outfit wardrobe. They’re fascinated with the idea of my “exotic” family background and we generally get along well. However, when it comes to their job they’re not the best. We students recognise this. Other teachers have recognised this too, warning us that this particular teacher is an acquired taste. I’m afraid to say that with exams already looming after so short a period of teaching, that this taste is not likely to be acquired any time soon.

Are We Still the Good Guys?

Man, I really love-hate this novel.

Four days without a post; that’s quite a feat. 😉 Anyway, I’m back with a little post about goodness. And the lack of it. But also the abundance.

September has almost drawn to a close, and it’s almost the end of a pretty depressing month. There have been riots across the world which have left many dead, in the midst of those riots Syria’s plight has been momentarily ignored, an avalanche killed climbers in Nepal, and in lesser news, the world paid attention to Paris Hilton. I hate opening newspapers sometimes, because some articles can almost leave you with your faith lost in humanity. Murder. Rape. Child abuse. Worst of all, the fact that these things are becoming so common as to be banal.

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The Illusion of Freedom

I’m not American, but I think we all know what this symbolises.

Freedom is dead. In actuality, it never existed.

A staple of Western society, regardless of whether you are British, American, Australian, etcetera, is that there is the commonly held belief that our society gives us far more freedoms than in other societies. We are not members of small, overtly religious, developing societies, and are thus we see ourselves as free from the many violations of freedom that plague them: religious persecution, persecution on the basis of sexuality, race, or ethnicity, the restriction of free speech or whatever else.

Except there are many freedoms we’ve given up, living in a Western world. As highlighted in a blog post by everwriting, it is difficult to speak freely in a world where every defence of your beliefs is read as an attack, and where the media jumps at the opportunity to create political sh*tstorms for money. Perhaps people are not usually killed, but they are socially devastated in attempting to exercise this freedom, from Anita Bryant to Aiden Burley to Peter Norman. It shouldn’t matter that you disagree because speech should, in a society that prides itself on freedom, be free. And quite often, it isn’t. Because of the media, because of political correctness (any English person will understand exactly what I mean there), because of human nature.

Moving away from speech, often freedom is bypassed even in democratic governments; racial profiling is blatant even in supposedly multicultural countries;  and companies spy on you with or without your consent. Gays cannot join certain societies, blacks cannot join certain societies, gender-exclusive societies and clubs prohibit the unwanted sex from joining. Those born with silver-spoons in their mouth or in the right families, are able to join societies and experience things others of a “lower class” never can or will. This may seem a problem of equality to some, but there is a fine line between freedom and equality in my book. And this world has neither. Governments will tell us that we do, we may convince ourselves in the day-to-day running of our lives, but the truth is freedom has never been ours. Along with the growth of society, we may have developed new levels of tolerance and been moved to feats of greater audacity, but our freedom is still as restricted as in other cultures of the world. As we progress we’ve become victims of modern incursions on our liberty, and things have really only stayed the same: we’re victims to the illusion of freedom.

If you agree or disagree, or have any other points to make, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll reply.