In the literacy class, we were not learning about grammar or rules but instead, we started off the year with the American history. Since most of our students want to continue university in the United States, our literacy facilitator wanted us to have a little bit knowledge on the American history before going there. We used Commonlit, an online website, to enhance our knowledge while also use it as our classroom. Every week we get a new article; we need to read and answer some multiple choice question while also writing a 1-2 paragraph response to the article. We also did something call vocabulary exploration where we need to list down the word we don’t know and try to find the part of speech then use the words in our own sentence. So far we had read many articles such as, give me liberty or give me death speech, Thomas Jefferson and the American Indians, causes of American civil war, America’s immigration, How American industry won war II, etc.
In literacy class, we had a project to write an article about any topic relating to gender equity. My article is about why is it a wrong thing to teach boys not to cry.
Emotion is an astonishing ability that nature has given to us, that made us superior to other animals and organisms. They allow us to understand other and other to understand us. So, why should we teach boys not to cry? We allow ourselves and our people to lose this wonderful connection, to enclose ourselves in our own little worlds where we forget, or chose not to feel those emotions, not appreciating all those gifts that make us human.
Boys and girls cry the same amount when they’re babies and toddlers, research shows. “It’s around age 5 that boys get the message that anger is acceptable, but that they’re not supposed to show other feelings, like vulnerability.” said Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call to Men.
In Cambodia, as well as many parts of the world, elders often teach boys not to cry. They believe that crying is a representation of weakness. They also believe that boys need to be strong and tough; therefore, the perfect way to do it is by not letting boys cry.
One common phrase that Cambodia elders always told to the boys is “ធ្វេីជាកូនប្រុសសូ៑បង្ហូរ ឈាមមិនបង្ហូរទឹកភ្នេក” which translated as, “Be a son rather bleed than tearing”.
We allow our daughters to be human beings where we allow them to show their emotions, but do we really want to teach our sons to be robots and bury their emotions? Absolutely not.
Cara Shelton, a literacy teacher at the Liger Leadership Academy, believes that it is unfair and could end up very dangerous for not letting boys to express their emotions. She stated “I think it’s unfair because all people feel things and all people have emotions. But it bothers me that only women seem as emotional. It’s a privilege sometimes that women can express their emotions without being criticized, however, I think emotion has been seen as weak. So when you express your emotion you are often are seen as weak and you aren’t taking seriously.” She continued, “ When boys are taught not to cry and be tough it can allow violence and bullying to happen. It seen as more appropriate for the boy to make fun of each other, to bully each other, and to hit each other.”
When they are not expressing their emotions, it seen that the problem is getting bigger and bigger and soon they can’t hold on to it. This can cause them to get depression, and can lead men to suicide. Research showed, globally death by suicide occurred about 1.8 times more often among males than among females in 2008, and 1.7 times in 2015. In the western world, males die three to four times more often by means of suicide than do females.
Historically, we taught the boys to not cry and show emotion to avoid appearing weak. After all, this phrase repeated in every generation and everywhere in the world. Depression can be a serious problem if emotion can’t be expressed. We can’t just bury our emotions and instead we should appreciate all those gifts that make us humans. Men need to start getting over that stereotype or that expectation that they always need to be tough because in the long run it could really hurt them.
As you know that in literacy we’ve been learning a lot about advanced writing. Our teacher taught us how to write an essay, write a response using evidence and using quote sandwich. She had picked a play for us to read, and it called Pygmalion, My Fair Lady. So after we finish the play our teacher told us to do anything that talking about the play. Some people were making games, some were making animation and some were making a poster. So I decide to do something that difference then them and it was poetry. So I decide to write a poetry that talking about how the main character (Eliza) characteristics change. One of my challenge to write this poem is the rhyme words because I want to write my poem in Khmer style and Khmer poem style is require lots and lots of rhyme words, so I need to find a lot of rhyme word that match with the sentence. So here I my beautiful Khmer style poem.
Living on earth we need rights
You have to fight for your choice
Find freedom should not avoid
Express your voice to the world.
Eliza was a poor girl
Who’s just like pearl not yet shine
Who needs others to be kind
So she feels fine moving on.
She needs support and comfort
Like baby bird that’s missing
It’s own Mama that could bring
Them love and things for their lives.
Now Eliza is different
She’s determined for her life
Eliza solves her own strife
Living free life with merriment.
She’s brave to talk to others
And she never talks poorly
Cause she’d been taught as a lady
To live freely and independent.
For the past few weeks, in literacy, we’ve been learning a lot about advanced writing. Our teacher taught us how to write an essay, write a response using evidence and using quote sandwich. She had picked a play for us to read, and it called Pygmalion, My Fair Lady. She would tell to read a section and then she would ask questions by using the text-dependent questions, we would write a summarize/main idea using quote sandwich. Right now, we’ve already finish the play and we’ve write an argument essay about the characters.
This class include a lot of hard work then last year. Mainly, we focus on improving our writing skills. For this past few weeks, what I see for my improvement is that when I write a response, I always cite the evidence and explain my evidence really well. What I need to work on is my grammar and to that I need to practice writing more and more.
I go to an unusual school. This school is called Liger Learning Center. This school is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We have 40 staff and 50 students. We have six core values such as; Integrity, Stewardship, Appreciation, Determination, Optimism and Ingenuity. We have something called, “explorations”. An exploration is where a group of students work with a teacher for seven weeks. We have different topics of exploration and some of them are Forest Ecology, Entrepreneurship, Animal Guide and others explorations.