Monday, November 15, 2010

a recursive conversation

Today I had a few minutes alone with a student before or after class, and he asked why I wasn't coming back next year. I explained how I have all my communities and friends back home; sort of futile, since, as far as I can tell, the students do not know what "community" means. (Literally: I was there when my co-teacher Marcela was explaining it at some point earlier in the year, and of course their retention averages about zero since they divert their attention elsewhere as soon as a teacher starts talking.)

Then I was talking about how Chile is a high-context culture, so people don't listen to the specific words that are said, since it's not necessary. Unfortunately, if you're a foreigner and you don't have that context, it means that no one listens to what you're saying.

His responses had very little to do with what I was saying. He wasn't listening to me.

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