03 October 2015

Studying home culture

The apples are falling from the trees in our garden. I'm sitting in a sweater with a cup of tea. Our local hedgehog was out last evening meticulously snuffling his way around looking for just a few more calories before hibernation.

Fall, glorious fall, is here again.

The boys are off to press apple cider in L's uncle's mini orchard, leaving me at home in a contemplative mood.

It's been 10 years since I left the US, and in some ways, I'm beginning to feel it.

Occasionally, students ask me about the nuances of adult-type things in the US (credit cards, job interviews) and I have to confess my ignorance, since I was a young student when I left.

Similarly, there have been a lot of social changes in the US in the past decade since I left, some of which make me feel twinges of patriotism and others that make me mutter: '...And that's why we'll never move back.'

And then there was the embarrassing incident when I informed a student that 'pic' is not generally used in spoken conversations. Still feeling a little red about that.

A few years ago, L and I were in a hotel in the US and decided to see if there was something interesting on the TV. I sat there blinking at the flashing screen, completely lost in the strange ad campaigns and bellowing TV personalities.

...And we're back! Will Jen and Rocky be ECSTATIC about the complete and total renovations that we did IN A MERE TWO HOURS or will their minds BE COMPLETELY BLOWN and not in a good way. FIND OUT AFTER THE BREAK!!!

So, to augment my receding cultural knowledge, I watch a few American TV shows, read online forums with mostly American members, and keep an eye on what my high school friends and acquaintances post on Facebook (not creepy! I swear!).

In many ways, I think it's helping me stay mostly up to date, though I suspect my knowledge of memes and slang is lagging behind.

Fortunately, since I grew up in a remote area with pretty much only a Walmart and a JC Penny's, I'm used to being a little behind on the fashionable things.

I do suspect that my Home Culture Studies are lacking in diversity of views though, since I want to read and watch things that don't make me too angry.

I was reading an interesting book a few days ago about this phenomenon - that the internet gives us much more information of a vast diversity and depth, but that we naturally self-select things that reinforce our own views and prejudices.

Give me another decade, and I'll be convinced that the US is filled with educated liberals with strong social consciousnesses and a love of quality books and ethically-produced food.

And that's why I never block people on Facebook. 

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