Balanced Melting Pot

Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Get out your measuring sticks!

In Cultural Expectations, Education, Immigrant Families, Immigrant Students, Parenting, Questions, Self Image, Traditions on November 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm

image Maybe I’m getting old, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am in my life – if that even makes sense.

So, here I am about to move for  the 4th time since becoming an adult and I’m trying to figure out if I consider myself to be successful. I know that this judgment is relative to a person’s culture and experiences and only I can really know the answer, but I can’t help but to think of what my family (and friends) may have expected from me. I wrote a while ago about cultural expectations for career choices and I think that’s where this all starts.

My mom always pushed us to go far in school. Very early on she made it clear that she expected my sister and I to at least finish college. Check, so +1

Then, I made the choice to get married and start a family soon after graduating college. –1

But, then I went back to school and obtained my masters’. +1

However, I am still trying to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life. –1

Even without my very expensive education 😉 , I would know that this complex equation adds up to 0. Let me also add that I know that my friends and family are extremely proud of me – it’s the successful part that make me wonder…

One thing I know for sure is that I am happy and I wouldn’t have things any other way. I just don’t want my type A personality to look back one day and wonder if I really made use of all my talents… 😥

How do you (or your culture) measure success?

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In this episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things…”

In Culture, Parenting, Questions, Race Relations on November 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

On our way to school, my daughter was telling me about a teacher at her school and when she mentioned her name (we’ll call her Mrs. C.), I realized that there was a man at her school with the same last name. This following conversation proceeded:

Me: Are Mrs. C. and Mr. C. were related?

Her: I don’t think so.

Me: Why not? They have the same last name.

Her: Well, Mrs. C. is brown and Mr. C. is pink.

Me: Oh, okay.

Now, I have gone out of my way to keep her from using the societal labels of black or white, so everyone is either pink or some shade of brown. I was glad to see that her impressionable mind still hadn’t been tainted, but I also wanted her to know that people within the same family can be different shades; heck, even different colors.

So, the conversation ended like this:

Me: It doesn’t matter if they are different colors. They can still be family.

Her: WHAT!

Me: Yup. They can be brother and sister, cousins, or husband and wife.

Her: I don’t think they’re married.

Me: thinking *I’m not going to go there right now* Okay, well maybe they’re related in some other way.

Her: Maybe you’re right. I’m going to ask them today.

*sigh* I guess at some point I’m going to have a more in depth conversation with her about race. But until then, brown Mrs. C and pink Mr. C will have to do 😉

At what age do you think it is appropriate to explain American race relations to children?

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Schools of Thought

In Caracas, Cultural Expectations, Education, Expat, Parenting, Questions on November 2, 2009 at 11:56 am

One of my first concerns with moving to Caracas was the school choices for the kids. I wasn’t sure in which language I wanted them to be taught, but I definitely wanted the school to be accredited by an internationally recognized entity. This isn’t too much of an issue in the primary years, but I have seen too many children have to play serious catch up because certain courses did not translate correctly.

So, my choices for Caracas were two American schools and one French school. I knew the children would be exposed to Spanish regardless and since they are both in English only schools now, I considered not disrupting this in the transition. However, the American schools were insanely expensive 😯 and the French school’s program is very similar to my daughter’s previous school and I think my son would easily adapt at his age.

So, after examining our choices, I am opting to place them in the French program. I had the opportunity to visit the campus while I was in Caracas a few weeks ago and it looks promising. My only concern now is that they might not get as much exposure to Spanish since we will mainly speak English and Haitian Creole with them at home. Hopefully, they will make friends outside of school, as well which will give them an opportunity to speak Spanish uniquely.

Would you have made the same decision if you were in my shoes? If you had to pick 3 languages for you or your child(ren) to know, which would they be?

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