Private vs Public Schooling

I grew up attending several church run schools from k-12 and 4 yours of college, all administered by one denomination (unnamed to protect the innocent), but in two countries, taught in two languages: Japanese and English. In between, I attended my first 3 months in the US at a public school in 1st grade and several community college courses (during high school) and few public university courses during college (I wanted to learn Latin for a year and didn't have a choice).

I recall that the public school children (in 1st grade in California) were mean and used racial slurs against me (a great introduction to America). The private school classmates on the other hand were never overtly discriminatory but there were subtle discrimination which I felt but couldn't put my finger on (nor had any proof). Around me, I saw problems like clique (the "in" group and all others) and, during high school, heard about teenage sex and even abortions. Back then I was too shy (and too geeky) to go on dates, let alone have a girlfriend, so most problems I knew about were hearsay.

I became a Christian during junior high and started to grow in Jesus Christ. The denomination I was part of, had rather conservative standings on several technicalities like sex before marriage was wrong, homosexuality was wrong, baptism (must be performed by the denomination's minister) were very critical part of salvation and tithing strongly encouraged. Despite it all, during high school and college and partly into my graduate studies, I had pretty much a "progressive" beliefs, mainly absorbed from classmates and media: Christianity is exclusively in the spiritual and religious arena, the Bible may have errors (thought inspired), money was the root of all evil, getting married without any children was a good thing (or not a bad thing), and had no clear stand on abortion. So I was pretty much a moderate, in spite of my church attendance and active participation in church related activities.

I suppose if my parents held more conservative values and had direct involved with my spiritual growth, things might have been different but by the time I hit college, our language gap had grown (during grad school, I lived in Boston and I had lost my Japanese ability so much that I was only able to talk about superficial matters, like the weather).