Dave Garrison’s experience in many ways was very similar to mine. Being an international student, I can relate to coping up and trying to fit into new surroundings.
I’d Like to speak about how my experience relates to Dave’s both academically and socially/non-academically.
“First you’ve got to figure out what your teachers want. And then you’ve got to give it to them if you’re gonna’ get the grade.”
This ironically relates to me in the social context. Throughout my life I’ve constantly been changing schools every two to three years. Most of the time this meant being surrounded by totally different kinds of people, from different parts of the world, with different ideologies, ways of thinking, communicating, and above all different expectations (out of people).
Just like Dave had to figure out what his teachers required out of him, I had to figure out what my peers were interested in. And similar to getting “the grade”, I had to talk a certain way, about certain topics to “fit in”.
“…his stranger is in a single strange land. Dave perceived himself to be in one strange land after another.”
Academically, I had to learn different subjects in different ways. Teachers expected different things out of you, and you had to figure out what they want and give it to them. However this process doesn’t stop. Each year you get a new teacher, and studying in different countries only adds fuel to fire.
This continuous process of constantly discovering what is expected out of you is like being in one strange land after the other.