Archive for sociology

Two Continents in One Building

Posted in Extracurriculars, Field Trips, Friends, Out of Town, School with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Jeremy


Today, the Sociology students of Belleville High School embarked on the most anticipated field trip of the year—the trip to Old Tappan. We were just so excited to be immersed in a different environment and to form our own judgments of the conditions at Old Tappan that differ from ours.

I didn’t get to take many pictures because I was too busy taking videos.  I wanted to compile them in a sort of documentary about my experience.   With this picture, I tried to highlight how the school accommodates the students with up-to-date technology, something my school sort of fails at doing.

The most “controversial” or “intriguing” aspect of the high school was the cafeteria.  Cafeterias, rather.   You see, there are two lunchrooms at this high school.  Most white students have lunch at the north cafeteria, appropriately dubbed “North America,” while the South Koreans (and other Asians) frequent the south cafeteria, dubbed “South Korea.”  Many see it as segregation, something negative, but I was assured by some of the students that there is no animosity between the people from each cafeteria, which is nice to know.

A couple of my teachers did comment on this notorious fact, questioning why this separation exists in this high school.  I didn’t think it was that bad that students chose to group themselves like so.  However, once my teachers mentioned the word “segregation” rather than mere “separation,” my mind immediately traveled back to the time before the Civil Rights Movement.  Such a comparison certainly evoked negative thoughts in my mind.  Then, I told myself, “Surely, this segregation at this high school isn’t like segregation between the whites and the blacks.”

When I then heard the statement that there are no hard feelings between the white kids and the Asians, I was assured that the situation at Old Tappan isn’t anything bad.  The separation isn’t enforced, and I justified this division with preferences.  These students just prefer to mingle with students who are like them, as anyone would.  The South Koreans, for example, like to be among students who speak their language, as one of the students said to us.  Indeed, as I passed by a couple of tables in “South Korea,” I heard many speaking Korean to each other.  Also, since I did mention that people tend to gravitate towards others who are like them, I’m going to assume that the South Koreans eat together because of their culture.  Although we should not allow stereotypes to dominate our judgment of a person, we can’t deny that, for the most part, people do tend to follow the stereotypes associated with them.  That serves as a link that pulls Asians towards each other.  Of course, all these apply to the North Americans as well.

One can’t say that these students should get out of their comfort zones to meet new people.  I mean, come on.  Lunch is a relaxing time of the day.  You sit down.  You eat.  You tell your friends anything interesting that happened.  With whom would you want to share this time?  Of course, with people that make you feel at ease, people who are like you.

Besides, outside the cafeteria, everyone mingles with each other.  I saw no racial discrimination of any sort.

Thus, I conclude that the South Koreans and the whites divide themselves accordingly during lunch in order to be with people who are like them, not to avoid the other group, which would constitute a sort of discrimination.

In other news, I got to sit in a Japanese class!  We watched the original version of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back!

Sociology Project

Posted in Belleville, Friends, School with tags , on November 8, 2009 by Jeremy
Nov 8


A Show-and-Tell post would be appropriate, but I’m too lazy and too busy to make one up.

Hopefully, we did the project correctly.

S-A-T! Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Posted in Belleville, College, Friends, School with tags , , on November 8, 2009 by Jeremy
Nov 6


I initially wanted to conduct the experiment for a project for Sociology, but my partner sort of backed out today, so I went to Plan B—study for the SATs.

It wasn’t some extensive study session.  It just consisted of last minute brush-ups, especially with the critical reading sections.  We discovered that the study guide that I’ve been using by the Princeton Review presented critical reading questions that were much more difficult than those of the CollegeBoard study guide.  I’ve been subjecting myself to much torture with my study guide!

So, when I tried out the questions from the CollegeBoard book that my friends had, it was a boost of confidence.  Still, we didn’t know how the real SATs would really be.  But I’m fine with the confidence boost.

This is perhaps going to be the last day I study for the SATs.  Ever.  (For the Reasoning Test at least)

Uniforms Cannot Eliminate Individuality!

Posted in Belleville, Friends, School with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2009 by Jeremy


That was one of the biggest concerns when uniforms became mandatory for our district; students were afraid that they couldn’t show off their individuality.  Nevertheless, I did find many students who have taken the liberties of accesorizing their shirts to make themselves more distinguishable.  Or at least more fashionable.

Anyway, this has been the best first day ever.  I just feel like all my classes are going to be fine, even though I didn’t get the art class that I wanted.  I hope I’ll feel this way for the rest of the year.

Here are my first impressions of my classes:

  1. Sociology H – This was the alternative to the art class that I wanted, which had a conflict with another class that was more of a priority.  Many of my friends are in this class, and I do think this is an interesting subject, so I like it.  The teacher seems cheerful, and I think the class will make you think.
  2. AP Calculus* – Ah, this was the ultimate goal of my mathematical career in high school.  I’m looking forward to learning in this class, difficult or not.
  3. Lunch – Not a class, I know.  My lunch period is the earliest of the day, and I sit with many people that I know, but many of my closer friends have a lunch period later in the day.  It’d be cooler if I were there.
  4. AP Biology – This class is packed with work, especially from all the summer work that I had to do.  I don’t know if it’s going to be too difficult, since I think it’s just mere memorization, but I know it’ll probably demand the most work.  I’ve always favored chemistry and physics over biology, so I’m hoping that I’ll gain interest in this subject soon.  The teacher is funny.
  5. English 4 Honors* – Every English class I’ve had seemed to have become progressively harder.  Since my classmates and I are seniors now, we all expect that this will be the most difficult one, especially since last year’s English class was quite challenging.  We can only imagine how hard this one is going to be.  But this English teacher made the class sound so simple, as if it were going to be a breeze.  I believed her during that time, but, of course, my classmates and I aren’t going to buy it all the way.  We’ll see.
  6. Business Law 1* – This class probably has the most kids out of my schedule.    I was falling asleep during the introduction, so I don’t know how I’m going to fare in the class.   Hopefully, it’ll get better.  We get to participate in mock trials in class.  I’m not really sure how to feel about that.  However, I do like the fact that I have the class with people I don’t normally have classes with.
  7. AP Italian – Ah, I know this is going to be a fun class.  Many of my friends are in here, and the teacher is so cool.  Our previous Italian classes have always been pretty laidback.  That’s why my friend and I found it humorous when we realized that this class is actually going to be AP-level.  Our teacher talked about speaking in Italian in class as if we had already mastered it!  That’s crazy.

*air-conditioned class.  No one should underestimate the power of the air-conditioner.  I can’t believe how many classes I have that have an A/C.