29 October 2009

Counterculture Excerpts

Some more essay excerpts from my students!

Student #1: "To tell the truth, I do not like counterculture at all. I think they are disgusting. Because we are Chinese, more or less we are traditional and we like the normal thing. These people wear strange clothes and so on. In China, we seldom see counterculture people, and these people are always looked down by others. Maybe this is the difference between Chinese and Western culture. Countercultures are quite normal in Western culture. People think they are cool, beautiful, and unique and not disgusting. But in Chinese, people who are counterculture will be isolated by others. Parents won't allow their children to play with counterculture people."

Student #2:"Of all the counterculture movements, I like Emo best. Emo is the most normal, and it is quite close to our life. I think other subcultures are a little bit strange and horrible."

Student #3:"Everything exists for some reason, so does counterculture. You can see a lot of young men dressed strangely. I think it's not bad enough to be serious. We can take that as relaxation. There are some things I can't bear like gays or suicidal behavior for attention. Those who dress or act too strange is unacceptable for many in China. Meanwhile, people's gender should be clear. If men don't behave as men and so do the women, what society will it be! That's a total trouble and failure. For me, who I love must be manly. To sum up, the natural phenomenon which is anti-orthodox culture is unacceptable to me. If one is intentional to be different, I won't like he or she at all."

Student #4: "I'm interested in the Goth subculture the most. Not only because their appearance but also their ideas. They have black hair, black lips, black clothes and black nails. It seems that almost every part of them is black except their skin. They all choose to live in their own way even though they don't fit in which how most people live. If you want to have a chat with someone at midnight, perhaps, you only can find a Goth during that time. They are also free thinkers and don't accept the moral rules of society. So they banded together to associate with other free thinkers. They won't obey the stereotype. I'm quite appreciate with their free thoughts and their black style. It looks so cool in my view just like these vampires who only appeared in TV series."

Student # 5 "Punks always like bright colors. They have exaggerated hairstyles, especially boys. Girls wear black eye makeup to be cooler. Why do I think they are interesting? I choose to think that they're cool and free. Punk is crazy. They sing songs about their own feelings, no cheating. They sing songs on high voice, no hiding. I like Avril Lavigne's style. She is famous in China. She uses direct words when she says "Hey hey you you, I don't like your girlfriend.....I think you need a new one."

Student #6: "Hip-hop" is becoming a sort of attitude, fashion, music and sport so on. It is becoming more mainstream culture. Hip hop was came from the street. Black people have not enough money to pay for the ticket for clubs, so they are dancing on the street. I like hip hop very much. It makes me feel high. And it suitable for dancing. everybody can enjoy themselves."


  1. love it :) Grading can't be too bad went you get to read fascinating thoughts like these!

  2. Mmm, next time I can't sleep at midnight, perhaps I can find a goth to talk to?

  3. These are entertaining, but I definitely get what you were saying about your students' ideas not seeming college-level. The grammar makes the sentiments seem cute and all, but they feel (with a few exceptions) more like the thoughts of middle school students. Wonder why that is.