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I've talked a little about American high schools with the students here, and I've had some interesting reactions. The kids at my school work really hard. School is six days a week with long days and a bone crushing work load. There is no time for fun. During the holidays they do homework and study for monthly exams. It's the top school in the city and they are competing to be the top students.
Some of them would like to have a life more like American teens. Who wouldn't? At least the ones who don't live in inner city Baltimore, or Chicago. I mean the pampered, middle and upper middle class teens with cars, dates, underage drinking, dances and extra curricular activities. Small class rooms, lots of freedom, and FREE TIME. The ones with cell phones and ipods. Real internet with lots of games and porn! They get to wear cool clothes to school!
What can I tell them? I could tell them that they are a bunch of spoiled, whiny, angst ridden, drug addicted, hedonistic, self centered layabouts who will never come to anything, but I don't since that really is only true in some cases. I tell them that just because someone is having fun in high school, it does not mean that they will be happy in the future. By working hard now, they are laying down a good foundation that will enable them to get a good education and a good career that they enjoy in the future. They are ensuring a better chance at happiness as adults.
However, I think some of them would rather have the car and cool clothes.