I often have to pull myself up sharply and remember that I am a guest in this country. I have that somewhat "American" attitude sometimes that there are so many things the Poles need to change ... as if I know better. It is hard to write this because I feel as if I will be judged just as I judge others.
I seethings that are wrong. This is not with regards to just Poland. My tendency in general is to observe and evaluate what I believe to be a problem and then think about what that solution would be. This was part of my academic training as well as part of my personality. I do not really know which came first or if one influences the other. I just know it is definitely a part of me. It has been my experience that people do not generally like to be told what is wrong ... unless he/she asks for it.
All this said, I now come to the point of my writing. I seem to have this attitude of superiority sometimes because I speak English. Before you judge me, hear me out!
I teach English here in Warsaw and I spend a large part of the day helping others learn the language. Naturally, I do a lot of correcting of grammar and pronunciation. This gives me a false sense of superiority to the intellectual abilities of my students. I literally have to tell myself that the person is not "slow" ... he or she simply cannot communicate in English ... yet. It repulses me when I catch myself with this feeling. Perhaps writing about it will diminish these thoughts. I also must remember that the student is actually learning a new language ... something I aspire to do.
Whenever I go to the grocery or some other place where knowing Polish would be beneficial, I am reminded that being unable to communicate is not a sign of weakness or less intelligence. I have had clerks get so angry with me that I cannot understand his/her question. This also brings me back to reality. I keep this feeling close as I can only be a good teacher if I understand the needs of my students and lose the arrogance.