Why? And other questions from my students

This is a tough time to be an American, at home and abroad. I won’t dive into my feelings about it, reserving those conversations for long phone calls/ Skype sessions and meals with Shreya. But I will say the whole world is reeling from the results of this election.

We voted! So proud and grateful for my cohort who joined me in casting our absentee ballots

The questions my students have asked me over the past few days were so poignant, I wanted to share them. The following list is compiled of some of the questions I received from my 10th grade students (i.e. 15 and 16 year olds).

For fun or for a brain exercise or whatever you want to call it, I’d encourage you to consider how you would answer these questions (regardless of your political persuasion). If are willing to imagine it, think about how you would answer these questions to a class of Indonesian high schoolers and then to a class of American high schoolers.

One of my co-teachers put this on the board as I stood up to talk to the class (sorry about the low quality/dark photo!)

The first three questions I received (in order):

  1. How?
  2. Why are some people striking (protesting) against Donald Trump being president?
  3. How did Donald Trump campaign?


Because so many people are disappointed with the election, will there be a revote?

Is Donald Trump a politician?

How did he make so much money?

What is Hillary Clinton’s previous experience as a politician?

What do you hope will happen?


One student fired away with these incredibly insightful questions:

What will happen to relations with the US and Indonesia because Indonesia is mostly Muslim?

Do people in America think they are ready for a female president? If not, why?

Are there other people who are like Donald Trump in the United States?

Will this election have a negative impact on black people in the United States?

The student who asked me this last question asked so earnestly:

Miss Caroline are you sad?

Finally, I wanted to share a link to the article my friend and fellow ETA Kayla wrote. She’s a beautiful person and writer, and in this article she captures how she is processing the election results with her school community: https://indonesiaful.com/2016/11/11/what-it-felt-like-to-tell-a-muslim-majority-classroom-that-trump-won/

I’ve thought about this quote everyday for the past few months. Maya Angelou and her infinite wisdom…

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