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Autor:  Tom
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  25/NOV/2003 2:03 AM
Assunto:  Re: What it must be to return home after so long
 
Mensagem:  Miguel, It is not too hard to leave one culture and go to another. Each culture has it's good things. That's what you look for and capitalize on. Languages, body language, what constitutes a funny joke, how people treat others when their religion or skin color is different, social rules, cuisine and many other things come to mind. I don't think that I had cultural shock as much as my children. They grew up in a variety of countries and became what we call TCK's (Third Country Kids)because they have accepted customs and mannerisms from other lands. In the USA there is a board game called "Trivial Pursuit" and there are similar tv shows that give prizes based on answers to questions about movie stars, politicians, tv advertisements, sports events, etc. Well.......we just can't play those games because we can't relate to what happened when we were living overseas. There are idiomatic expressions that just don't make sense to us at times. Here's an example: "Where's the beef?" That's what people say when they want to know why they didn't get what they expected in a commercial deal. It comes from a tv commercial that was very famous in the USA when we lived in Europe. I think it was from Burger King or another fast food restaurant. A little old lady has just purchased a hamburger and then becomes indignant (chateada) when she looks inside it and sees how small the piece of meat really is. The announcer says she should have gone to the XYZ restaurant instead. That expression caught on and became part of our language. When you realize you are not getting what you thought based on the advertising you ask "Where's the beef?" Imagine moving here and then hearing it for the first time. There were changes in the way people in the USA think and live while I was overseas. Every three years or so we would be back in the states for vacation. Once in a while I was back for up to six months for school. That gave us a chance to go to good dentists, travel, shop for a new car, see relatives, etc. Then we would go out on another assignment. I don't like many of the ways things have changed. I don't see people having the honesty and ethics that existed in the fifties and sixties. Let me give you an example. Today lots of young students (ages 12 to 24) are given an assignment to write something for a class at school (i.e., write the history of the Dutch invasion of northeast Brazil). No longer do they go to the library and do research, do a bibliography, take notes, do an outline and then write a document using their own thoughts to piece together data which they reference with footnotes and credit lines. No, they go to the internet and do a Google search, cut and paste page after page of data, put it into some sort of order and then print it and deliver it to the teacher. Or worse, they just use the credit card and buy a document already written by someone else. Well, the teacher knows that Johnny isn't smart enough to have prepared such a document. So, the teacher scans the homework and then puts it into a program that schools have been forced to buy from commercial sources in order to compare the "student's work" with a huge database. In minutes the teacher has back a report showing exactly from where the words were copied. Plagerism!! Give the student a bad grade? Give the student a chance to do it over? Schools now need too many new rules and regulations. The students think it's okay. After all, what was the internet invented for? Download some MP3 files without paying for the music? Steal someone's work and say it's your own? If they did the work in the first place maybe they would place value on an honest day's work. Get the idea? There have always been people who cheat, steal and lie to get what they want. The problem is that now it's so pervasive in society. No one wants to be responsible for their own actions and very few people want to do what's right. I learn more about people every day. I now have the time to travel. Going to visit New Orleans next week. Get to speak Creole or French for a few days. Old culture mixed with modern day USA! I'd like nothing better than to go to La Mole's on Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblom, Rio and have a filet francesa, a cold beer and talk with young Brazilians about what really makes "Americans" tick. It's fun to talk about one's experiences and to relate them to the younger generations. If you don't let people know their history then they are bound to repeat it. Make sense? Lemme know, Tom


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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
What it must be to return home after so long  –  Miguel Vieria  25/NOV/2003, 12:29 AM
 Re: What it must be to return home after so long  –  Tom  25/NOV/2003, 2:03 AM
Re: What it must be to return home after so long  –  Miguel Vieira  25/NOV/2003, 7:21 PM

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