The entry was from a descriptive essay from my English learning class years ago.....
My father was an immigrant who had limited English skills. Wanting to improve his English, he attended an ESL class in a community college in San Francisco once. That was his first encounter with the U.S. educational system. "The school and the classrooms are wonderful", he exclaimed in delight.
"The classrooms are roomy and bright and the lightings, the chairs, the glassy blackboards and the video are so great", he said on the first day he attended the school. I knew what he was doing - he was comparing the school here with a school in a remote Mongolian town where he taught before. I knew that because I had experiences with that school, too. I spent two semesters in there. I still remembered even though that was about seven years ago.
Every morning, I could feel the chilly wind on my face and the freezing coldness beneath my feet when I walked on the unevenly paved and graveled path to my classroom. The dry and brown fallen leaves cluttered on the path as well as the roof of the classroom. When the wind blew, those leaves would scatter, and I would hurry to that wood-framed door, which was about the height of a tall grown-up. When I entered the classroom, my face could feel the warmth. I didn't know why the skin on my face was so sensitive. I thought the warmth had something to do with the room, a small narrow room with a extremely low ceiling with those several inches of fallen dry leaves on the roof. Maybe those fallen leaves served as a layer of insulation to the small room keeping the coldness out and keeping the room warmer.
There could be another explanation why the room was warm, too. There were too many classmates in the small room where there were only two windows on each side. There were several rows of desks with the same color but different conditions, broken or half-broken dark brown desks arranged row by row. We would puff and breath in the room with the windows closed. Very soon the glass in the windows became vague. Thousands of dewdrops would stick on the window glass.
When the sunlight penetrated the windows, the room would become warmer and warmer. I wondered if this had something to do with the giant blackboard sitting in front of the room. It was entirely black. Though the ceiling and the walls were not black but dark brown, the whole room seemed dark and gloomy. I thought that would capture more heat from the sunlight. The blackboard was made of wood, with a very smooth black-ink-printed surface. It looked like a mirror in someway. It could reflect sunlight penetrating the windows, making us unable to see what was written on it. We would feel extremely warm, even uncomfortable, because of the kerosine lamp hung above the teacher's table in front of the blackboard. The lamp was lit when the room was dim. It was about ten inches tall and it was hung two feet above our heads. Air had to be pumped in and fuel had to be filled in before it could be lit. It emanated not only light but also heat, noise and smell. The light it emanated was like sunlight: it filled the whole room, soft and bright. However, the heat that the lamp gave up made us sweaty and wet. We could ignore the 'zzz' noise made by the lamp, but we could not withstand the awful smell and the white smoke of the burning fuel, and the burning insects trapped within the lamp. The disgusting smell, the flying chalk dust and the foul-smelling sweat melted together in the classroom.
The schools here are so great", my father was still murmuring. "Do you still remember that Mongolian school that we left before we came to the U.S.?" my father asked. "Sure, I do. Thank God I need not to stay there any longer", I replied, implying that if I had studied there, I would have had a terrible education. "It is not necessarily true. Having good facilities doesn't mean everything", said my father. "Ceceg, one of my Mongolian students, your sister's friend, who is a famous writer now in the country, graduated from that school", he said proudly. "But now, see what you have gotten here: you have nerve gotten a single A paper in composition", he added. I was embarrassed.