Author Topic: 16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here  (Read 48766 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1975
I can understand how frustrating it must get to have where you live constantly derided like that.

To present the opposite perspective though, I think non-US folks sometimes find the proclamations about everything in the US being bigger and better than it is everywhere else equally tiring. I'm by no means suggesting that everyone from the US thinks this, of course! But it does seem to be a very prevalent thing, especially on t'interwebs.  I honestly think that some of these statements are people from other countries just kicking back against that. There are of course much better and more polite ways of doing it than saying 'yeah, well, your food sucks!' though :)

I have to say when any tv show or movie starts becoming flag waving, I lose interest. It's honestly quite boring.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10534
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
My non-american relatives looking at what Sis and I took in HS, were generally of the oppinion that we didn't spend enough time on history outside the US. They felt it gave us less perspective. They were also amazed that we spent so much time on Texas history. Also that it was superfical and a survey type course every year.


K - 3rd the idea of  community/history/democracy
4th Texas History from the crossing of the land bridge to yesterday
5th US history from the crossing of the land Bridge to yesterday
6th World history beginning of time to yesterday
7th Texas History from crossing of land bridge to yesterday
8th US history from crossing of land bridge to civil war
9th US history from civil war to yesterday
10th or 1th World history beginning of time to yesterday
12 US Government/Economics


Eventhought the time frame is from land bridge to today - Native American history/culture is slid over. Many people still don't get that each nation had its own culture and that they are as diverse as any other group of cultures in the world. At least Kinder to stopped dressing kids up like sterotypical Plains Cultural groups for Thanksgiving.


Ok and in K - 5 it isn't  unusual to have principals that will punish a teacher if they walk in and see Social Studies or Science (except 5th grade that is supposed to magically teach K -5 science in 1 year and get kids to pass the STAAR)  actually being taught. You are supposed to be pounding reading (STAAR 3-5), Math (STAAR 3-5), Writing (STAAR 4th).


When we go back in January it will be the first time in 10 years that my schedule from the office actually includes both Science and Social studies every day. I've spent the holiday finding resources to teach Social Studies. Our current Principal (official start date was Dec 20, she was interim before that) had come up under the same system. It was our Diaog that pointed out we were violating the law after an ARD. Since science and social studies are the first academic subjects a sped student is usually mainstreamed into you have to actually spend time teaching them.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4632
    • My blog!
I'm surprised that you say that Native America isn't being taught as diverse, kherbert!  I was lucky enough to go to a school (East Coast) when I was a kid that spent a lot of time learning about some of the different NA cultures.  We built wigwams and teepees and pueblos and longhouses and totem poles, and learned about all the different ways that they lived.  It was one of our favorite things to study in school.  :)  It's too bad to hear that not all schools do that!

I do agree that a lot of schools spend many, many years studying U.S. History, and not so much studying the world.  A lot of schools spend about 8 years studying U.S. History and approximately 4 years studying world history.  Our homeschool curriculum reverses that and does 8 years of world history/geography/culture and 4 years of U.S. history.  They also have you start with world history first, so that you understand U.S. history in the context of the history of the world, and not as an isolated thing. 

A lot of kids basically know almost nothing about history prior to Columbus.  When I was in school, we learned about world cultures some, but I don't think it was until AP Modern European history (so 10th grade) that we really learned world history in detail, and then it was an awful lot of history crammed into one year!

I think there is value in studying history from the perspective of something specific, though.  Texas or other state history, something like that.  When I was in college, I took a semester of Jewish history, and it was really fascinating and valuable to see history from the perspective of a particular people.  It let you see how things fit together in a different way, without being overwhelmed by covering what was going on in so many diverse places.  At the same time, while I think a semester or year of state history is good, more than that might be a bit overkill!

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6949
In the sixth grade (age 12) we had New York State history but, for the rest of my schooling, it was about equally split between US and European history. 

It always bothers me that so many people think all Native Americans share a common culture.  I really don't think that a Tlingit person has much in common with a Seminole. 

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2673
Maybe it's because I live near a reservation, and there are several others within a day's drive of here, but we had a thorough cultural learning experience in 4th grade regarding different Native American tribes and cultures.

I have been tackling world history with my homeschooled 2nd grade DD this year, started out with prehistory, then Mesopotamia, Egypt, and are finishing up China today. On to Greece next. We haven't dug truly deeply into it, just general cultural stuff, an outline, things that were discovered or begun etc. rather than lists of names and dates. Age appropriate learning, I think. I just feel she'll have a better grasp of the "why" and "hows" of European medieval history, and without that then how much of American modern history makes sense? Her age mates are learning state history this year but I just didn't feel comfortable teaching that with no perspective or background.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18187
  • Release the gelfling!
A couple of years ago, an exchange student from Germany who was being hosted by some friends of ours was quite indignant that he had to study U.S. history at school here.  As far as he was concerned, our country was not old enough to have to study its history.  That's what he told me, at any rate.  I think it's that kind of attitude that can get wearing to a U.S. citizen. 

I love the U.S. and I would be among those who would say it's the best country in the world.  However, I have often expressed that I would hope everyone would think their own country was the best in the world!  I've loved visiting Europe, Canada and Mexico - but think home is the best.  I always wanted the exchange students we have hosted throughout the years to learn to love our country, but still think that their own is the best.  I hope that makes sense!

I get what you’re saying and I agree. It would be so weird for someone from the US to say, “Australia is the best country on Earth!” or for a Spanish person to say the US is. Your German student was just showing his own ignorance, just like the people who go around saying Americans are lazy and all that noise. I can’t help but wonder if it is ignorance or jealousy, or a bit of both.
I read some of the things people say about the US and Americans in general (even here!) and if you substitute Chinese, or Pilipino, or some other nationality it would be racist, but because it’s said about Americans it’s no big deal. I find that both interesting and frustrating – and more telling about the person saying it than what is being said.

How long did your German student stay? Were his feelings any different from when he came to the US and when he left? My friend does an exchange program for adults, but he has never encountered anything like that; most are people who have been here before and wanted to return.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Scuslidge

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
It wasn't our student - it was a student some friends were hosting.  Our own student that year (also from Germany) thought what he'd said was ridiculous.  They were both in the U.S. for the school year.  I don't know if his opinion changed while he was here or not because I didn't see him often.  He developed a very close relationship with his hosting family and they have visited his family a couple of times since he went back home.  He and his family have also visited the U.S. since he left as well.

We have hosted 8 exchange students and none of them have had that attitude.  All of them have enjoyed their stay (although one enjoyed hers more once she moved in with another family - we have no idea why she didn't like us!) and all want to come back to visit again (and a couple of them have already done so). 

Our first student was from Germany (we've hosted 5 from Germany, 1 from China and 1 from Italy) and her boyfriend also went on an exchange year.  When filling out his application for the exchange, he had to list not only the countries he was interested in going to, but any that he would NOT go to.  The U.S. was on the top of his NOT list.  He thought we were all materialistic, rich jerks who owned guns and participated in car chases.  Ah, the power of Hollywood!  He went to Australia, lived with a very wealthy family (with servants) and Anne lived with us - a middle-class, non-gun-owning family who had nary a car chase during her year with us.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18187
  • Release the gelfling!

Thanks for the insight, Scuslidge, and welcome to the board! That's so fascinating. I'd like to host someone doing that sort of thing one day. They probably wouldn't be a student (no kids, and i'm pretty sure they don't just drop teens with a couple of unmarried 30 & 40 somethings  :P) but for part of a similar adult program.

Sorry for threadjack! That is just so cool...
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4632
    • My blog!
We had exchange students from France twice when I was a kid.  The first, Ingrid (one parent was Swedish) was awesome.  We really loved having her.  The second (Alexandra?  Something like that) seemed nice to me, but my parents seemed to think she was a little distant and didn't really like us.  I don't know.  Mostly I remember they both wanted to buy jeans.  Lots and lots and lots of jeans.  I'm not really sure what they were expecting and what they thought.  Our school was pretty straightforward middle class, with a fairly typical mix of race, class, and lifestyle compared to the country as a whole.  Some violence, nothing extreme.  I guess at the time I didn't give it much thought, but now I'm curious what their impressions were and whether they changed at all.

Scuslidge

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6

Thanks for the insight, Scuslidge, and welcome to the board! That's so fascinating. I'd like to host someone doing that sort of thing one day. They probably wouldn't be a student (no kids, and i'm pretty sure they don't just drop teens with a couple of unmarried 30 & 40 somethings  :P) but for part of a similar adult program.

Sorry for threadjack! That is just so cool...

Ah, but they will drop teens with pretty much anyone who can pass a background check.  Single folks with no kids, married folks with no kids, single parents with kids, married parents with kids, same sex couples - as long as you can provide them their own bed (they can share a room, but not a bed) and agree to feed them (and can pass the background check), you can host. 

Some kids are spectacular, fit in with your family like they were meant to be with you and you'd love to keep them forever.  Some not so much, but you make things work.  Occasionally, one will need to be placed with another family.  I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding hosting that you have as we loved the experience (well, almost all of the experiences!).  It's a great way to share our culture and learn about another's culture.  It's surprising what you and they learn.  For instance, our German students were surprised that the mailman picked up mail as well as delivered it as in Germany, it was only delivered and to send something one had to travel to another location.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1696
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Maybe it's because I live near a reservation, and there are several others within a day's drive of here, but we had a thorough cultural learning experience in 4th grade regarding different Native American tribes and cultures.


We are not very near a reservation, but are a historic origin point for 5 different Native American tribes.  We learned a lot about them in Elementary school state history - I think the idea that NA culture was homogenous might be due more to the blurring effect of childhood memories, rather than because it is not taught at all. 
It was not until university that I got a survey course on NA history/culture across the whole continent - and even that was an elective.
......................................................................
                www.ellenseltz.com
......................................................................


Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1975
Postman doesn't pick up mail here, just drops it off.

Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4863
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Postman doesn't pick up mail here, just drops it off.

Mine will if you leave it in the door.  ;D
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1975
Ours rarely comes to the door, only if there's a parcel. And as our mailbox is lockable (something Aus Post insists on) how are they supposed to get mail out?

Onyx_TKD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1430
Ours rarely comes to the door, only if there's a parcel. And as our mailbox is lockable (something Aus Post insists on) how are they supposed to get mail out?

Did I miss something here?  ??? I didn't see anyone say that mailmen should pick up mail at the house in Australia, only that they do in the USA.

IME in the USA, either the mailboxes are non-locking and equipped with a "flag" is indicate outgoing mail (e.g., in the neighborhood where I grew up), there is a box for outgoing mail next to a collection of locked mailboxes (e.g., apartment complexes I've lived in), or there is a place near, but not in, the locked mailboxes where people place outgoing mail (e.g., in my current condo, outgoing mail goes on top of the row of mailboxes inside the lobby).