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Peculiar opinions about Poland


DtLebowski 1 | 26  
31 Jan 2009 /  #1
This would be mainly a thread for foreigners who live or take interest in Poland.

What kind of peculiar opinions you have met from your own countrymen or -women for your interest towards Poland?

I tell you some of mine (I'm from Finland):

"Did you just chose country from a map being blindfolded?" -opinion from my friends 30+ year old brother. And he continued that "What has ever happened in Poland?"

"Where are you from?" "-Poland." "You have your own language?" question in a bus by some average-Joe to one Polish girl who was studying in Finland.

"When did the Communism come to Poland?" question from my father-in-law. This has quite new aspects when one remembers this is asked in Finland, not in United States.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
31 Jan 2009 /  #2
this is asked in Finland, not in United States.

Yeah, I have had such silly things said to me.

When I came here 6/7 years ago, I was asked by a Londoner "Poland, isn't that beside Mongolia?"

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that it is only now that there are Polish people moving around, very good for diplomacy.

I hate communism, the iron curtain stopped us all from getting to know one another, well that is my theory on why people do not know anything about Poland but all that is changing.
recoil - | 26  
31 Jan 2009 /  #3
I was once asked by a German woman to translate some Russian text for her.
The reason as she explained, was that Poles use cyrillic alphabet. :)
McCoy 27 | 1,276  
31 Jan 2009 /  #4
during the prartition we used cyrlica but still, dumb gerries
Softsong 5 | 495  
31 Jan 2009 /  #5
I now live in a part of the USA that has very few Poles. I went to the post office to mail a package and the clerk had to look up the code for the shipping prices. She with a straight face asked, "Is that in Europe?" :-(

But I do guess it is because of the former communism keeping the exchange down between countries, and also because unlike the northeast part of America, there are not many Poles here. That has changed a bit because of the resort area employing Polish college students for the summer vacation.
marycha - | 7  
31 Jan 2009 /  #6
You are wrong. It is because USA has poor education system , and does not have world news at all or very selective consistent with propaganda to justify USA crimes comited abroad
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
31 Jan 2009 /  #7
"Is that in Europe?"

I believe though that there is a Poland in the USA too...in Maine i think....?
rejd 5 | 17  
31 Jan 2009 /  #8
Everytime someone finds out I'm learning Polish, they always ask why. I've had one person say "Aren't they communist over there?" I love trying to learn Polish history too, so I can tell people about it when they ask why I'm learning the language. :-)
Softsong 5 | 495  
31 Jan 2009 /  #9
Yes, Maine has towns with the names of countries. Poland, China, etc. It is funny at one crossroad you can see signs pointing to places in the whole world.

Also, to an extent I agree with Marycha that many Americans have a poor sense of geography. But, remember, I grew up with this system as well and I do know the world pretty well. It also depends upon how you apply yourself. And as you say, if the news sources fail to mention a place much or only that they are communists, the interest to be curious about a place is lacking.

And in the part of the south I am living in, there just have been very few Poles to attract interest, as well. When I do tell people about Poland, most are very interested. At work everyone was excited about my trip and could hardly wait to see the travel books and pictures I brought back.
Babinich 1 | 455  
31 Jan 2009 /  #10
You are wrong. It is because USA has poor education system

Sorry but the lack of educational excellence in American stems from parental indifference and laziness.
pudddddin 7 | 48  
31 Jan 2009 /  #11
When i first started seeing my polish boyfriend about 3 and a half years ago (I'm English) - i told my mum and her response was... "be careful... he might be after a greencard..!" - my reply was "DOH!!"
tygrys 2 | 294  
31 Jan 2009 /  #12
You are wrong. It is because USA has poor education system , and does not have world news at all or very selective consistent with propaganda to justify USA crimes comited abroad

This is a misconception that Poles have about America. They think they are better than us so why do they flock here for? Why are they all mad they can't get a visa to "stupid" America? Stay in poland if you think we are dumb here. How many Poles know where Kentucky is? Do they know where Macon is? there is Poland in the US, as Venice, Warsaw, Krakow and other towns. Just because one person wasn't sure where something is right away "Americans are stupid". Stay in Poland. We don't want "smart" Poles here who are dishonest, cheat and lie. they come to America and talk about how stupid we are. We don't want you here. Hope you never get visas. We don't need more dishonest Poles.
Elssha - | 123  
1 Feb 2009 /  #13
Just because one person wasn't sure where something is right away "Americans are stupid"...they come to America and talk about how stupid we are.

Kentucky = state. These are entire countries we're talking about, and we SHOULD know... at least the continent. No one's asking you to know provinces or tribe locations in the unstable parts of the world.

Americans have a poor sense of geography.

That's cuz geography is concentrated on the US and world geo is more or less shimmied in as part of world history (yay, a whole year devoted to elsewhere... the rest of your education devoted to your state and country -__-;). Mine was stuck into social studies first year of HS, and consisted entirely of a coloring book we had to complete by certain deadlines. Yes, that taught us a LOT... -___-;

Sorry but the lack of educational excellence in American stems from parental indifference and laziness.

Our education system sucks... sorry... and I've suffered as a product of it. The parents have decided that educators are supposed to educate their children in everything from manners to academics. That has lead to kids having piss poor manners and an acutely weakened sense of family, but not a poor education.

The whole system is based on the idea that the pace should be set at such a level that everyone will learn... like the whole 'no child left behind' bull. Kids that should repeat a grade are passed along as not to congest the classes and lower a school's success rate. All this does is lower the educational standards till anyone who's half-conscious in class will be sure to pass with flying colors... anyone who actually pays attention is given an A 9/10 times. Even the whole 'honors class' thing doesn't make up for that, as by the time kids are separated they've already missed years of information other systems (like Poland) cram into their students and/or have learned that you don't need to study all that hard to get ahead and thus keep the pace only slightly faster.

Have you ever taken the SAT? My god... this is supposed to be the test colleges look at to determine your readiness and is supposed to reflect completion of most of your high school curriculum. This is a test that stresses subjects covered and forgotten by the time most entered junior high (6th grade). It's a total and utter joke.

Here kids practically don't know chemistry exists till junior or senior year of HS. How well can we possibly understand this stuff after one academic year of study, where they introduce a new symbolic language, new rules and concepts that have never even been hinted at before? At least physics is somewhat intuitive (to the point where i never more than half-listened to my teacher that year, after he spent over two hours explaining the amazing concept that magnets attract... honors physics, mind you).

From what my Polish friends tell me, a good deal of my first year of undergrad was all stuff they had long since covered (sometimes in more detail) in Liceum.
Softsong 5 | 495  
1 Feb 2009 /  #14
Being an older person, I must have received my education at a time when things were not as described above. I did decide a few years ago to go back to college to turn my liberal education into a masters of education.

I found it distressing that a lot of effort went into entertaining kids with subjects. At least that is how it felt to me. But the rational is that not everybody learns in the typical teacher speaks, kids take notes, answer questions and read at home way.

People were more likely to be assigned to a group to do things together. Which seems good, but I found that one student always did more of the work and the others tagged along.

Not sure what the answer is. But even so, any adult who has half a brain can take an interest in the world and learn. I thought everyone knew that Poland was in Europe. I was surprised that a postal clerk of all people would not be sure.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
1 Feb 2009 /  #15
People were more likely to be assigned to a group to do things together. Which seems good, but I found that one student always did more of the work and the others tagged along.

Well, this is the way of the world these days. There's no point acquiring 'knowledge' if you can't apply it.

a lot of effort went into entertaining kids with subjects

What's wrong with that? Poeple don't learn if they're bored and demotivated
tygrys 2 | 294  
1 Feb 2009 /  #16
Most Poles after 8th grade get a job and are not required to continue studying in a liceum or technicum, or whatever. While in the US you are required to 4 more years of high school. We study longer but not under pressure which makes Poles crabby and unpleasant. The Polish teachers never smile, you are not allowed to smile, everything is under pressure, they cheat in schools, they have "ściągi" and that's how the Poles grow up, to cheat one another and that's why they grow up so nervous. In America the schooling system is different. They learn in a different way than the Poles. Studying is a pleasure, kids like going to school and since they are required to study for 4 years longer, they get punished for cheating in anyway, honesty is being taught in American school, which in Poland is not, in fact they have more knowledge than a Pole who thinks he knows everything yet knows nothing.

Just because one clerk asked if Poland was in Europe does not mean all Americans are the same. At least she was right. lol. What do Poles know about the civil war, pony express, Cody, Custer's last stand? They know nothing about American history. Ask an average Pole where Niue is? Nauru? Tuvalu? Palau? I'm sure they know where ALL the countries in the world are. yeah right. Lol. They know nothing about the US states, (they only know Chicago, coz that's where all illegals sit) yet each American state is about the size of a country, each state has their own rules, capital and regulation. Poles don't know anything about american geography, and yet assuming Americans of the fact that one person asked if Poland was in Europe is generelazing. Stay in Poland there, we don't want you here. Why does everybody come to Stupid America for top-of-the-world medical treatments? Why, when there is a global disaster, Americans are the first ones to help out? When America has an Earthquake, who helps us out? I don't see any Poles or Russians helping us.
McCoy 27 | 1,276  
1 Feb 2009 /  #17
Most Poles after 8th grade get a job and are not required to continue studying in a liceum or technicum, or whatever.

What a utter bulshit. And than you are suprised that someone calls americans stupid. Where did you hear something like that? 99% of Poles after 8th grade go to the liceum, technicum or to the trade school (szkoła zawodowa).
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387  
1 Feb 2009 /  #18
Most Poles after 8th grade get a job and are not required to continue studying in a liceum or technicum, or whatever

Most Poles consider university. Most of those who consider university, apply for a place.
It is very difficult to get on in life, in Poland, without a university education.

We study longer but not under pressure which makes Poles crabby and unpleasant.

"We study longer" About the same I would think. I don't agree that Poles (at university) are crabby and unpleasant, but I would agree that the teaching method needs changing somewhat.

they cheat in schools

This is true. And there seems to be too much of it.

in fact they have more knowledge than a Pole who thinks he knows everything yet knows nothing.

I would argue that the Pole learns more. But much of it is pointless. A lot of this has to do with which school thinks it's the best. After all, each school sits the same exam at the end of the day.

I would also argue that Poles know more about the location of countries. But whereas Americans can't, for the most part, place European countries, Poles probably couldn't place all American States correctly.
WooPee 1 | 124  
1 Feb 2009 /  #19
What a utter bulshit. And than you are suprised that someone calls americans stupid. Where did you hear something like that? 99% of Poles after 8th grade go to the liceum, technicum or to the trade school (szkoła zawodowa).

And over 60% who passed high school go to Colleges or Universities, which is one of the highest rates in EU.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
1 Feb 2009 /  #20
Most Poles after 8th grade get a job and are not required to continue studying in a liceum or technicum, or whatever.

do they not teach how to write in clearly defined paragraphs in america...?
ladykangaroo - | 165  
1 Feb 2009 /  #21
What do Poles know about the civil war, pony express, Cody, Custer's last stand?

Do not underestimate the power of all these shitty American movies; you have exported all these names and popularised them all over the world. Oh, yes, and I do not forget about the massive impact of Cody's circus tricks on the world history :D

They know nothing about the US states

Have you ever watched Friends? I really recommend the episode when 6 proud, well educated, mostly WASP, American citizens cannot name all the states forming their own country. Yes, knowing all states surely determines the value of one's education... I would say the probability of finding a person knowing all this bullshit like "all capital cities of the world" / "all US states" / "all active volcanoes over the world" / "steel / potato / oil production per capita in Asian countries" is much higher in Polish schools. The teachers quite often tend to act as if there were no encyclopedias / guides / internet.
Prince 15 | 590  
1 Feb 2009 /  #22
I would say the probability of finding a person knowing all this bullshit like "all capital cities of the world" / "all US states" / "all active volcanoes over the world" / "steel / potato / oil production per capita in Asian countries" is much higher in Polish schools. The teachers quite often tend to act as if there were no encyclopedias / guides / internet.

It shapes brain. Brain throught exercises work more efficient, memory is better, when kids answer hard mathematic questions their brain becomes more efficient. Later there are effects. Later they don't have the problem to be the best computer programers on the wrold.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
1 Feb 2009 /  #23
when kids answer hard mathematic questions

Don't you think that maths is slightly different than some crossword puzzle geography knowledge? Math can shape the neuron connections, I agree on that. Memorising random stuff in excessive amounts rather distorts and misleads them.
Prince 15 | 590  
1 Feb 2009 /  #24
I'd say that geography lessons are important as well it shapes memory and logical thinking. I'd say it is much more usefull than some lessons about two boys loving eachother.

Or intelectual communism prizing work not effects.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
1 Feb 2009 /  #25
intelectual communism prizing work not effects

I must be really old.
Never heard of subject like this taught in schools. Never heard of logical functions on geography lessons either.
Prince 15 | 590  
1 Feb 2009 /  #26
As to intelectual communism I have been talking .... it is about system in some other countries.

As to geography I have learned many useful things there and I use this skills, not only memory :)

I prefere geography than ingeration of the state in to families life.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
1 Feb 2009 /  #27
Well, I prefer tomato soup to minestrone.
Still, I think that Polish schools tend to feed students with useless dates, facts and names, geography lessons as I remember them being the best example. Biology was not very far away from this syndrome (I can still entertain people by naming 12 nervi craniales and meiosis phases, usually they seem to think it's really funny that someone can do it - and it actually is an utterly funny nonsense, comparable to being able to move your ears or one eyebrow only). It does not teach you any kind of logical thinking and does not allow you to see things in wider perspective either.

As far as "intelectual communism" and "two boys loving each other" arguments are considered - putting this into this discussion assures me that your logic has been shaped by geography lessons.
Prince 15 | 590  
1 Feb 2009 /  #28
Well I was top student form Geography so that is why I defend it so strong. I remeber some taks were like "You are president of the city, you have such and such resources and such and such problems ... what will you do" . And of course I had to learn "who has oli, who has coal, where Kongo is"

As to biology I hated it as well but I've survived.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
1 Feb 2009 /  #29
That sounds more like Modern Studies, Prince. However, the two are closely linked.
bolek 6 | 330  
3 Feb 2009 /  #30
Stay in Poland. We don't want "smart" Poles here who are dishonest, cheat and lie. they come to America and talk about how stupid we are. We don't want you here. Hope you never get visas. We don't need more dishonest Poles.

This highlights the fact that americans are stupid people...this is a typical american response to any comments which are critical of america. The frightening part is that if I was a threat to america I would probally be killed or my country invaded. hmmm makes me think that Stalin and Hitler would have done the same!!

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