Read the part 1 here… I became more interested with the stages and begun digging deep to further understand what happens at sensorimotor stage. The research revealed to me that it is the stage I was not even two years old. I would grab on everything that was shiny or was a bright color. I was attracted to this one object at home, our red phone. I was beginning to get to the world around me. During the preoperational stage, I had started to speak so I would imitate my mother on the phone. How I was while at sensorimotor stage sounded beautiful. For once I imagined if I could go back to those sweet old days. I proceeded to know more, so the next stage after preoperational stage is concrete operational stage. I already had an idea of what preoperational stage is. Piaget taught me that during this stage, children are able to predict outcomes of stories but they still lacked high cognitive thought process.
As I was growing up physically and mentally, my logical thinking was growing as well. I passed through the grade level though not with much ease due to language barrier. My friend Aida had helped ease many of my hard times as I started connecting with the outside world. Even though I was growing, I didn’t care much about myself. I remember the day my mother had forced me to cut my hair which I last did a long time ago. When I went to school the following day, my fellow peers were looking at me as if something was wrong. I too started seeing myself differently, a demonstration of recognition of the generalized other. Although I felt self-conscious and dreading going to school, it still did not mean as much as making my parents happy.
I also identify myself with formal operational stage. I felt I needed less research into the fourth stage of Piagets’ theory due to the name. But still I went ahead with my research and found out the fourth stage of Cognitive Development contains a high order of thinking. This was the time I joined middle school. I remember starting from my middle school years. I was exceptional in math so I tested up into advanced math courses. I could not fathom how I was that great in math while being in ESL due to my lack of English skills. I was doing poorly in science course but later my appetite for the science subject grew out of the blue, perhaps because of my sheer interest in knowing how the human body worked. Though science was hard, being a student and juggling between math and other subjects brought serious role strain. I had to learn how to manage and divide my time accordingly among all my courses so I may excel and maintain my GPA.
Back home, societies and families where I come from have certain norms that govern them. When I was growing up as a child, my parents required me to wear specific types of clothes that were conservative. I couldn’t understand why they imposed such strict rules on me while my peers were dressing the way they wanted to. I felt that my attires were outdated. Whenever I would meet some of my friends, they would laugh and brag as they were showing off their trendy new attire. I felt a bit odd amongst peers which made me feel like an outcast, but I consoled myself by accepting who I was and how far my family and I had come.
But one thing I admit is that my societal norms covered a number of folkways such as not cursing, getting tattoos, burping, laughing loudly, and washing hand before sitting at the table and the list goes on. The strong mores my parents instilled in me enabled me to go passed what I believed is appropriate way to behave. I never hit anyone in life; a mores would be not lying, stealing, or killing. My neighbor was stealing and I knew it was wrong due to the mores that were instilled in me as a child. I lied to protect my friend from her parents finding out what she was doing but I realized I should not have lied to protect her since it lead her to become more extreme in her actions. At the most important stage in my life, my peers wanted to influence and guide the decision that I made. Even though social control had consistently encouraged me to conform to my peer’s social norms through negative sanctions, I rejected the notions which lead my peers to punish me by ignoring me. The bullying had caused me to lose all my friends and yet I did not conform. As I was going through one of the most difficult years of my life, I was blessed to have my family by my side. Through my families informal social control prevented me from joining my friends who started engaging in sex, drugs, and alcohol.
A majority of my friends are now so much enchained by the habits that some had to drop out of school prematurely. Even though we grew up in rich suburb, my parents didn’t have material possession but what they gave me was much more valuable. They provided me with the guidelines through our values and norms which excelled me to where I am today. I also could not err and walk away with it.
The beginning of my high school life was no different from most kids in the society. I would wake up in the morning and take the bus to and from school. Most of my friends would come to school in their parent’s luxury brand vehicles. At times they would leave campus to buy food claiming that the school cafeteria food was the worst. I was not fortunate as them so my meals consisted of free cafeteria food.
They lived flashy style that as a youth was quite tempting but I could not afford what these rich kids had. There was a big gap of ethnocentrism between them and me. Of course some of my friends would sarcastically ask if my dad was a janitor since their parents were CEOs, CFOs or hold high positions in the prestigious companies. The only thing we shared in common were sports and subcultures such as hip hop and cheerleading. I begun to reflect on the sharp differences we had in our lifestyles.