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Focus n Education

Everything is DIY at CTTB - - Do it yourself

高桂貞 16歲 培德女中11年級 講於8月16日 萬佛聖城大殿
By Jennifer Kao, 16 years old, 11th grade Developing Virtue Girls School August 16 at the Buddha Hall CTTB






在(萬佛城)培德女中這兒,我得學習獨立,自己照顧自己;以前在(臺灣)家裡,父母很疼愛我們,都是茶來伸手,飯來張口;吃完飯也不洗碗,地也是只有在學校清潔掃除時才掃的。但是現在來到這兒,不只要打掃自己的環境,也要打掃學校和幫忙道場,洗碗更是不必說。年紀小時有學姊照顧我們,現在長大了也要幫忙老師照顧學妹;很多事,都要我們 DIY(Do it yourself)--自己動手做,如釘桌子、刷油漆、鋪地毯這些事。雖然做時很痛苦,久了也成為自己的一項技藝,磨鍊得我們更堅強,更有用。



The Venerable Master, all Good Knowing Advisors:

My topic tonight is my personal views of education. Please correct any mistake I make during my speech.

I don't consider myself a very patient person. For example, I used to tutor my brother in math. When he didn't get it, I would fly into a rage and hit him. Now that I think about it, I feel very guilty about what I did to my brother. Nowadays we no longer encourage physical punishment or verbal abuse, especially in Western countries. I remember when I was a second grader in Taiwan, teachers would give us a survey to bring home for our parents to fill out. Nearly every parent requested, "Please beat our kids if they misbehave."

An organization behavior class at the University of California in Berkeley once conducted an experiment whereby the professor hid a rubber band in the center of the room and asked three students to find the rubber band using three types of clues. When the first student searched the room, other students would cheer for him whenever he came closer to the rubber band. When that student walked away from the rubber band, the others would remain silent. The opposite happened for the second student. When the second student came around the center where the rubber band was, the other students were quiet; however, when he moved farther away from the center, the others booed him. Finally it was the third student's turn. When this person approached the center, the rest of the class cheered. When this person was away from the center, people booed him. As a result, the third student found the rubber band first. This experiment showed us the importance of appropriate reward and punishment. When someone does something wrong, we should try to help him or her out. When someone does something right, we should praise him or her so as to encourage him or her be more confident.

Education isn't just about passing on information found in books; it includes character development too. If someone is knowledgeable but lacks virtue, then not only will people disrespect that person, they will spew condemnations at this hypocrite. A virtuous individual will naturally gain everyone's admiration because he or she is a sage. For instance, the good man Mr. Wang Feng-Yi couldn't read a single word, but he had a good heart; everyone approved of and praised him.

I am very active and frequently participate in various extracurricular activities. In the planning process, I inevitably need classmates' input and help. Sometimes other students and I will have conflicts. Even though I wasn't to blame, I still learn to be tolerant and open-minded. At home, I was pampered by my parents, so I was very snobby and thought I was great. However, students in school and the dorm are nothing like my family; their levels of tolerance vary, so they react to my attitude differently. From my failures time and again, I realize that I must change my harsh personality and soften my temper.

At Developing Virtue Girls School, I have to learned to be independent (I am still learning, as a matter of fact), and to take better care of myself. Back in Taiwan, my parents took very good care of me and spoiled me. I didn't have to wash dishes after meals. I only swept the floor at school during cleaning. Now that I am here, other students and I not only have to clean our own little areas but also the school and the Way-place, not to mention dishwashing. When I was younger, older classmates took care of me. Now that I am older, it's my turn to take care of them. A lot of things are DIY--"Do It Yourself," such as building tables, painting walls, and putting in carpet. While the work was arduous when we were doing it, after some time, it became an art form. Training such as this makes us stronger and more useful.

I appreciate the chance to come up and speak tonight. Usually when I am listening to the sutras from down below, I always feel as if this podium is so high it's unreachable. I am grateful to everyone for giving me the opportunity to share my limited knowledge today.

The End


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