I was doing a lesson with my junior high kids (ages 12-13) about superheroes. The lesson was Stan Lee and how he created Spiderman. So I asked them about what other superheroes they knew, and they gave me Superman, Ironman, and Batman (which all happen to recent blockbuster hits).

And that’s it. No more. I barely squeaked out X-men from them, and they couldn’t even specify characters beyond that. They just sat there with blank looks on their faces.

I guess their superheroes are a bit different than the ones I grew up with.

Instead of Captain America and whatnot, they grew up watching this kid, Crayon Shin Chan, and a blue thing called Doraemon.

After the discussion, I had them make up their own superhero and draw comics about an adventure that their superhero would have. I was watching a girl draw a globe, and I was wondering why did hers look so funny. Did she draw it wrong? Then I realized that all the globes and maps that I’ve ever seen were centered around North America and hers had a giant land mass off to the side that was China and then smack dab in the middle was Taiwan. Things like that, even the littlest things, are still like a splash of cold water. Even though I may proclaim myself as Taiwanese, but the way the wheels turn in our heads are still not the same.

The world is round after all, but Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

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