The Perfect Student Eming Shyu TEDxTaipeiAmericanSchool

the perfect student This is a topic that many people are looking for. star-trek-voyager.net is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, star-trek-voyager.net would like to introduce to you The Perfect Student Eming Shyu TEDxTaipeiAmericanSchool. Following along are instructions in the video below:

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My mic is not on it s on okay okay okay so before i dive into my speech. Today. I want to ask all of a question.

What do you think. This is thank you thank you oh okay so as some of you have already voiced it exactly this is the notorious gpa grade point average as most of us here. Probably already know the grade point average is the mathematical mean value of all of our final grades in one semester. And in our school that value ranges from zero to four point eight three three ensure the gpa seems to give each and every single one of us a value and the current problematic understanding of a good.

Student is that a good student is someone with a gpa above 43. Now let s look at this sports. Arts. Internship and music.

All of those are the so called extracurricular activities. Now. Let s think about a real life scenario. Let s say that i m an art student that have won multiple art awards in painting competitions several times in the past and i am known throughout the school for my achievements in.

Our but my gpa is a 29. Maybe it s because i didn t take enough honors classes maybe it s because i didn t manage to maintain my grades in my core classes while investing time in arts whatever reason. It is if i choose to compromise my investment of the time to pursue my passion in arts. But has a different gpa a lower gpa as viewed by many and like a student.

This is my topic for today in a perfect world. What is a good student. Now when i actually started think about this topic. What is a good student.

It s really hard for me not to flashback to my memories from my past experiences in my formal schooling shanghai so just a little bit of background on myself although i spent the first few years living in california. My primary education was primarily done in shanghai due to my father s job movement and let me describe to you what kind of an academic environment is there this ladies and gentlemen is a picture that one of my classmates took how many problem sets and works. She s she did for one year in middle school. Unfortunately.

I didn t take a picture like that for my own work. She s and problem sets. But if i pile them up in this manner. You can imagine they re going to be the same amount now those problems as in worksheets are not like princeton s or barons ap and sat study guides.

Which has pure pages of their pages of reading those problems as in worksheets are pure pages. After pages of problems now every single day..


When i go home. I need to do three sets of mandarin problem sets three sets of english problem sets two sets of math problems as in two more of either history geography or sciences. And on average every single problem set takes approximately half an hour to 45 minutes. So three plus two plus two plus two equals to ten of them gives me approximately five to six hours of individual working time on my own problem sets.

Now i say those are my own problems that s an individual working because they re not assigned by a new teacher those are not homework. But if we do talk about assigned problem sets and assign homework let me tell you that in a 45 minute class period. We spend the first 15 to 20 minutes talking about new materials or going over old materials and then the rest of the period is again problem set working time. But this time the problem sets are assigned homework.

So when i got home. I need to take about one to two hours to finish up those problem sets. Assigned by the teachers that i started in the classes. And then i need to move on to my five to six hours of individual working.

Now you re probably looking at me as if i m crazy. That s like six to seven hours every day working on problem sets. Why would you you re probably questioning. Why i would ask for such trouble.

Why would ask to do those extra work you re probably categorizing. Me as a crazy trihard well maybe i am the crazy trying. But i m definitely not crazy. This process is known throughout shanghai.

Doing such extraordinary amount of problems is a famous process in shanghai education called swati literal. Translation is brushing questions question here means a question or a problem on a problem set and brushing means that you re just going through. And doing so many of them that you re brushing through pages. After pages of problems now in shanghai.

Barely anyone would cut would question the legitimacy of this process or or maybe my sanity. Because every single person literally every single person and every single student is doing it myself everyone in my class. Everyone in my grade everyone in my school everyone beyond my school all of us do it just to get it better great now how do we get a better grade from this process cotton. It sounds insane.

But it works by the end of the unit for example. I would have done more than 20 problem sets on this unit. Specifically. And what that means is i ll be able to have identified every single type of question and i will be able to instantly identify any trap or any trick in a question.

So the reality is that when i see a question on a test my hands in swing starts moving and i instantly know what to do now how many steps and what kind of steps. I need to take to get me to the final answer..


Now. The ai. Alphago can be human and go because it crunches every single possibility int itself. So once the human makes a move it instantly knows what to do just because it has seen it so many times same thing here in china.

You know what to do just because you ve seen it so. Many times. Now. There s still a possibility of me completely messing up.

There s still a possibility that i just did not see that one specific type of question or just did not spot that one deadliest trap in a question so i could still completely myself. But the fear ladies and gentlemen of completely messing up further drives the process of the brushing of questions now. This is only what we do at home by ourselves individual work. But if we actually look at the academic environment amongst.

Our peers in shanghai. It is never so clearly felt when a test rolls around and the results are being distributed and people start to compare grades. So here s an example of a normal daily conversation in that scenario well this is just one of the most normal daily examples of a conversation that will happen when a tester was around because normally when a tester was around people s grades tend to be really close to each other and when the comparison happens. The one was the higher grade usually feels extremely good about themselves.

And the one was a lower grade usually feels pretty bad. But the one was a lower grade also feels an urge to do better next time in order to laugh at the ones. Who laughed at them this time this ladies and gentlemen. It s the definition of a competitive cycle.

Perhaps both vicious and virtuous. But recall that i started my speech talking about about both grades and extracurricular activities. But notice as for the past few minutes that i ve been talking about my past experience in shanghai. I did not talk about extracurricular activities.

No i did not forget thank you you re correct in my former understanding before i came to tas extra critical activities is nothing compared to great. It is even considered by some extreme ones. Just as a pathetic way for the ones who couldn t get a good grade to feel good about themselves. Elsewhere.

So under that environment to me and to my peers in shanghai. Being a good student equals to being someone that is good grades or someone that has better grades than others. But here i have to pause and point out that this definition is nothing inherently wrong. Although i might have created a competitive environment well that competition ultimately is aimed to drive people s understanding of the subject materials.

So now let s move on to my experience here i type american school so three years ago. I transferred to type american school and there were many many hilarious moments when i experienced a clash well..


If you know me in eighth grade. You would know that i complain about getting in 94 well there should be laughter now because that s stupid anyways. I do complain about 94 because i that time i do reckon the 94 to be a pretty bad grade. Not because my standards are just sky high thought because that a 94 usually ends up in lower parts of the comparison chain was my peers back in shanghai.

So i was also shocked here at how the specific how the specific programs and academic programs here look like for example math programs. We i was shocked by how we actually started learning by understanding the concepts instead of learning. How to solve a problem and for humanities subjects. Well.

I was shocked at how much critical thinking. We re allowed to do or we were required to do we re not just being taught history facts or english terms. The curriculum alleys is trying to get us to think about what we learned so in a comparative scale tas opens. A pretty different perspective for me on grades and academics.

Although it still might have a certain focus on grades on a comparative scale with my former school. It is much less than. My former school instead our school has more for focus on extra critical activities. Even i started typing to some of the extra terkel activities in eighth grade.

So here s a picture of me doing. Mu n. For the first time i mean. It s great in malaysia.

I still clearly remember one thing that my immune director at that time told me and that actually convinced me to join mu in. She said. Your passion is a part of you a very important part of you and pursuing your passion is as important as maintaining your grades. I still remember that so clearly because it gave me a revelation of what i needed to be doing and in part led me on to the on to the direction that i m hiding right now in life both passion and grades.

However later i am more and more involved into academic in into extra activities and here s a picture of me doing another immune conference in bangkok. This is the freshman class night last year and duke mu corps in durham. Another mu and conference here and a concert last year. And also of course last month.

Stanford berkeley debate tournament again just as i mentioned. Although. There still might be a certain focus on grazing tas. Our school is really trying to carry on the notion.

A school is designed to prepare us for life not for colleges now for tests. But for us to become better and more constructive members of the society in the future..


I learned gradually that perhaps a language ship to spain a music trip to salzburg. A debate trip to national tournaments in aus can give us a kind of learning experience that is as important as if not more important than a lecture at school therefore ask my understanding of grades and academics and extra toriel activities. Starts to change my definition of a good student changes as well now. I think that a good student is someone that has a good balance between academic life and his or her passion beyond academics.

But really is that the perfect answer is that what a good student will really look like in a perfect world going back to my very first metaphor. I had to start with my speech. If i am that our student that is extremely good at arts. But has a low gpa by the definition that it just gave you i am still not a good student.

Just because i don t have that kind of good balance between academic and my passions. And what if your name is not a mean shoe and your definition of a good student could just be someone that pursues their passion well well then what about someone that doesn t pursue their passion. Well i ll take good students well. Then your definition could just change to someone that tries their best.

What i m getting at is that we can go on and on like this forever and keep changing the definition of what a good student is because i think the environment that he is actually does a pretty good job giving us the freedom to choose what our definition of a good student is well i think we should sit back and think about this. My former school defines a good student as someone who is good great or someone with better grades than others. It gives one definition and everybody follows my experience here at t. Is we have multiple definitions of what a good student is lime being someone with a good balance between academics and passion.

But there could be multiple definitions a weight for the whole time. I ve been talking about a definition of a good student. The question that i ask what is a good student is for a definition of a good student. But in a perfect world do we need a definition should there be a definition answer s no perhaps in a perfect world.

We should stop giving good students such judgments. There is no judgment. Giving a good student. No parameters or definition exerted upon us by anyone or anything in a perfect world.

We don t define students with adjectives maybe a good student could just be someone it as well in a perfect world. Instead of categorizing students into different adjectives. Maybe we should just look at what they do in a perfect world. There is no definition of a good student.

There are students there could be students that do well in some areas and there could be students that do well and in other areas. But hey we students should never be defined categorized judged limited by anyone or anything our peers parents. The society or even ourselves in a perfect world all we need to do is to believe in ourselves. And if we sink with those students.

We are thank you ” ..

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