When I first traveled to England, I found out for the first time what some of the stereotypes of Americans are around the rest of the world. We are known as arrogant, ignorant, and rude. We all own guns, have been on reality TV shows, have had a divorce or an affair and watch wrestling on TV. I also was asked interesting things like, “Oh, you are from Chicago? My grandma lives in Florida! Do you know her?!”
It always interests me that people from other countries try to categorize the United States, as if we were one big, cohesive culture like theirs. We aren’t, and we can’t be. My culture was never meant to be. Since the very beginning immigrants came to the United States to escape their home culture. Now, of course, immigrants such as yourselves come for very different reasons. Economics, opportunity, and pleasure. Some of my ancestors came because they could not stay it their country. If they had they would have faced persecution. When the Europeans came they threw away their culture to become “American,” to start over. As a result, many White Americans today don’t know their heritage. Obviously, Black Americans do not know their cultural heritage because of the unfortunate circumstances many were brought over for; the ugly truth of slavery. These are just two of the many people groups in the United States, so it’s silly to try and make a generalization about ALL Americans.
As to my interesting question, the boy who asked that had no idea that the United States is about 50 times the size of his country. The US is HUGE. We can get away with having big yards, wide roads and so on because there is still so much open land here. I guess that translates to our need for”personal space” (don’t get too close to some Americans because you will make them very uncomfortable) and to our large meal sizes.
Since the US is so big, most people are not concerned with the rest of the world. They have their own issues, adventures, family and friends to be found here. They know we are a pretty powerful nation and have much pride, but they don’t think about that on a daily basis. I would say a small percentage of Americans are the ones that travel. If they travel outside of the country, it’s because they want to, not because they have to. Many international students come here for a better future, Americans leave because they have a sense of adventure and they think it will be fun. Sometimes they do it because they think they can earn good money by being fluent in another language, but that would take a lot of dedication, and it’s not common.
I suppose I said all of that to say that, yes, of course, the United States has their issues. All cultures do, there is no such thing as a perfect culture. The United States is unique in the fact that it is a nation made of all the cultures. There is someone from every part of the world here, and if they are born here or have gone through the proper channels of immigration, they are all equally just as “American.” Our culture, as a result, doesn’t think much of tradition, or draw many detailed lines between people groups. The deepest we go is White, Black, Asian, etc…. So if we don’t know about your culture. Please forgive us, until we met you we had no reason to. It’s your job as the international who came to this nation, whatever the reason, to be an ambassador of your people group. When I travel, I know I will be and I intent to set the records straight!!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Posted by Anna at 6:06 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
My schedule has changed a bit because of the CESL terms switching over.
I get to be in the classroom with you students more, and I personally find that exciting!!
Mondays - CESL Office - 12-1:30
EAP1a- 3 - 4:30
Tuesdays- EAP1b - 10 - 12
CESL LAB 12 - 1
EAP2b - 1- 2
EAP1a - 2-3
Wednesday- CESL Office - 12-1:30
EAP1a- 3 - 4:30
Thursday- EAP1b - 10 - 12
CESL LAB 12 - 1
EAP2b - 1- 2
EAP1a - 2-3
Friday- CESL Office - 1-4
So this is where you will be able to find me!!
Also, you EAP2 students, please check out my assignments at
Posted by Anna at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Please Please send me some of your work! Remember to send it to me at email@example.com and in a word document file. That way I don't have to deal with any frustrating formatting issues.
If you guys don't send me anything soon I'm just going to have to pull stuff off of your bloggers.
Posted by Anna at 10:10 AM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
These are the Prompt Questions. You will notice that some of them are questions that go all of the way until September. Don't worry about them. They are posted here for my sake.
The date listed is that questions' due date.
9/8 – What is your favorite food and why? Does eating this meal remind you of a special time in your life? Is this food native to your country? How is it made?
9/15 – What is your favorite type of music? Why do you like it? Do you have a favorite artist and song? When you hear this music does it make you feel anything special? When and where did you first hear this music?
9/22 – In the United States movies are a very important piece of culture. In your country is there a huge movie industry? Do people in your country prefer to watch national films or foreign films? If they prefer foreign films what country do those films come from? Do you prefer your national movies or foreign films? What is your favorite movie?
9/29 – I (Anna) love coffee and tea. In your country is coffee and tea popular? Is there a traditional drink that people prefer, or that reminds you of coffee and tea? If you also love these drinks, tell me why. What is it about them that you like? If you do not like these drinks, I will cry for you, but after that tell me why. Please tell me how it is possible to not love them.
10/6 - How are school classes structured in your country? When does the school semester start? Do the students wear uniforms? Do you switch classrooms for each class or does the teacher come to you? Please compare your school experience in your country to your experiences here.
10/13 – This week I would like you to tell me about ‘past times.” What is your favorite pastime? Is this activity popular in your country? What sorts of pastimes are popular in your country?
10/20 – Courtship, dating, arranged marriages, online dating sites, random stranger; these are all possible options that one has in finding a husband or wife. Are you in a relationship? How did you meet that person? If you aren’t currently in a relationship were you before? If you don’t want to talk about your love life, then what can you tell me about common ways that people in your country meet the love of their life.
10/27 – You have been in the United States for a while now. What do you feel about this country? How do these feelings contrast or compare with the feelings that you had when you first came here? Do people in your country commonly view Americans in a certain way? Are these ways correct or not?
11/3 – This past week many Americans celebrated ‘Halloween,’ a day dealing with the dead. In your culture, do you have a holiday around this time of the year? Is this holiday similar to Halloween? If yes, how is it? If no, do you have a holiday that concerns the dead?
11/10 - When I (Anna) am stressed I like to read one of my ‘comfort books.’ My comfort books are stories that I have known and loved ever since I was a child; one such story is “The Westing Game’ or ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ Series. When I read these stories I feel at peace. Do you have a particular activity or ritual that you do whenever you get stressed? If you don’t brainstorm an activity that you enjoy doing that you think would be a good way to vent your stress.
11/17 – What is the weather like in your country? Is it similar to weather you have experienced here? Do you prefer the weather at home or here?
11/24 –(Thanksgiving) How was your Thanksgiving break? What did you do? Do you think that your week reflects the meanings of Thanksgiving?
11/1 – Reflections on the semester, how did you enjoy our writing class? What are your thoughts about CESL? What sorts of things would you tell your family, friends, or future students of CESL?
Posted by Anna at 10:16 AM
Monday, September 1, 2008
I said that I would post my office hours. It looks like the only time that I can officially claim during the day would be every Friday 1-4. I am involved in Chi Alpha every Friday night so I am not available after that time. If you need help earlier in the week, just stop by the CESL office. I work 20 hours a week so chances are that I will be somewhere around.
So Remember Friday 1-4.
Also, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
And becasue I don't like boring posts I'll host a picture or two that always makes me smile.
I'll post more later.
See ya kids!
Posted by Anna at 7:52 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
If you post then I can link you to the blogs you need to be on. Not to mention I get to feel popular by having a million posts. This way it works out for both of us.
And because you made it here I will show you a picture of my puppy...just because I can.
Her name is Grace. I wish she hasn't grown up...
Posted by Anna at 10:01 AM
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I have recently finished the CESL Today for this past term. In case you wanted to see the file because you were not able to get a hard copy I have hosted the file online.
I hope that you enjoy the file!
Also, please be sure to submit any files that you feel are especially good to me. I would love to see more writings, and photos added into this next semesters work.
Posted by Anna at 11:40 AM