THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
The Venerable Master’s Vision
By Juan Gracia, Technology Coordinator and Math Teacher, Boys Division
This has been my second year teaching at IGDV Boys’ School. If, when growing up in Spain, someone had told me I would end up as a teacher I would have laughed at him. I remember the hard time that my generation gave to our high school teachers and that was a private school! Public schools were a jungle. Later I saw the dispassion with which many college professors taught; I felt that teaching was not for me.
I came to the U.S. more than thirteen years ago. Soon I realized that the education system here was not better. I kept reading about drugs, gang fights, teen pregnancy, and schools with metal detectors. And the problem was not just the students; teachers walking out of schools demanding better salaries and the students left alone without an education.
While things looked hopeless, I came across the Venerable Master’s vision of the schools. He had seen the problems with the current education system and had laid out his set of solutions. There was no rocket science here, just pure intuitive wisdom. Why then, hasn’t his vision spread out wider? I believe it is not easy to adopt. It requires teachers to put ourselves in a low position in our list of priorities, and it also requires the students to stop focusing on themselves and to start looking at their fellow schoolmates, the school and the rest of the world
Many of the older students coming to the school have a hard time adapting to it. Their “bad” habits are too ingrained: movies, internet, computer games, boyfriend/girlfriend, tobacco, alcohol, etc. I personally went through some of these phases while in high school and can see the damage it has caused to my mind. Many years have passed and I am still “cleaning the house”. I hope that young parents reading this will find the time to study the Venerable Master Hua’s talks on education and reflect on them. Education starts always at home.