Day 3 of my American adventure

Happy first birthday blog!! I have now been writing for a full year and no sign of running out of things to say!

My friend’s little girl sings in a school choir and so we took her to High School graduation where the choir were performing for the ‘graduates’ who were leaving school to go off to college. It was such an eye opener and really brought home the cultural differences between our two nations: as we sat waiting for proceedings to start, there was a slide show showing the 22 ‘graduates’ family photographs through the years. The audience was bursting with proud parents and they had all written how proud they were of their clever, talented children in the programme. It’s sentiments that we might share with close family but would struggle to write down, let alone broadcast to the world.

The British way is to be more modest and even to the extreme of undermining our own, so I’m not sure we have got it right either. Perhaps the ideal would be between the two approaches as I’m not comfortable with the American way which sounds too much like showing off to my way of thinking. I find that pride often does come before a fall . I boast about Joshua’s achievements as much as the next mother but in context I think. But I do like to think that the US way might nurture more self confidence and a feeling that the children can do whatever they set their minds to, which cannot be a bad thing, other than leading to some disappointment was not just the parents who were boasting but the teachers were equally gushing about their talented graduates. It must be one of the rewards of teaching to play a part of shaping their future and to develop students’ self confidence, like tending a new seedling and watching it eventually bear fruit. So as well as praising the talented students, I would also want to thank the teachers who helped them along their path.

I joked with my friend, of Scottish origin, that she needed to start preparing now for her ten year olds graduation as it might take that long to prepare the full page spread on their talented daughter and to select a range of photographs for the slide show. As she will be ‘ class of 2024’ there does not seem to be any immediate rush. So we headed out from graduation to a much more down to earth farmers market  where I sampled all kinds of local food, including a sweet potato and cinammon empanada.  They had cats and dogs in cages looking to be adopted so I’m sure if I lived here, I would bring home a new pet every week from the market!! So my adventure continues……

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