A few years back, I had the opportunity to teach a multiculturalism class in college. This was at the time when I had been laid off work, and when (out of desperation) I took up a part-time teaching position, in the local community college. Because I have a background in sociology, the heads of the college felt that I would be in a position to teach multiculturalism well. That is how I ended up handling the class.
In the course of teaching multiculturalism in college, I came to realize (with sadness) that most of the people you see around have very little appreciation of other cultures. I found this to be surprising, especially given the fact that we are living in a globalized world, and we have always been told that globalization advances multiculturalism. The truth, as I discovered, is that most students have no appreciation of other cultures. Some don’t even have a proper appreciation of their own cultures.
As I continued teaching a multiculturalism class in college, I came to realize that most of the people who go to college are actually not well prepared. I kept encountering students who were only studying in order to get diplomas — which they would then (hopefully) use to search for jobs. I found this unacceptable, especially given the fact that I come from a school of thought that believes in education for its own sake – education as an end, not education as a means to an end. More disturbingly, I kept on encountering students who lacked basic comprehension skills, students who lacked proper writing skills… generally students who were not well prepared for college.
Further, as I went on teaching multiculturalism in college, it occurred to me that working in the academia is not easy. I had always harbored this illusion, where I imagined that working in the academia, in the company of enlightened people, would be fun. But I was in for a rude shock. I came to realize that there is a lot of backstabbing, senseless competition and bootlicking in the academia. Eventually I found the work unbearable. I found myself ready to take any other type of work. And that is how I ended up in my current position: where I get a modest paycheck every fortnight through the Securitasepay payroll system. The money is little, but at least I get it in a less-stressful manner.