Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Exchange Student Notes


  • Our Exchange student starts school today and I'm hoping for the best. I've gotten the impression that she's sick and tired of sitting around the house and would rather be anywhere else; if nothing else than to take her mind off of her home sickness.

  • I can now feel my brother-in-laws pain with his new daughter. How does a dad treat his daughter? If you're like me, you treat your daughter like a different kind of son. For instance, a good boy gift might be some fancy bacon, and a good girl gift would be....maple flavored fancy bacon. I came to this realization when I was sitting through 'Twilight'* with Mrs. Sandmich and 'Sally'. They were both glued to the screen while I played 'God of War' in my head to try and escape the pain of the two hour long teen-angst-athon. I'd never think to get that movie for anyone I know, ever.

  • Mrs. Sandmich went clothes shopping with Sally a couple of times and after she related the experiences I've come to the conclusion (again) that American girls dress like whores. JCPenny, Macy's, Walmart, it matters not. For instance, when I was in Walmart last night they sold girl skirts that looked like they were part of a Japanese stripper school girl Halloween costume.

  • Speaking of Walmart, they were packed last night with parents and kids buying school supplies for the school year that was to start in less than twelve hours.

  • Chinese exchange student food hits: Chicken, rice, Japanese BBQ sauce. Misses: Mexican, drinks other than water.

  • It's been tough to reign in my normally un-PC self. We have a cat that meows pretty loud when he wants someone to check his food bowl, I affectionately would refer to him as our 'Chinese opera puss cat'. As well, it's now an American past time to refer to substandard household goods as 'Chinese made crap', I've had to catch myself a few times on that. I've also had to take it easier on the pet eating 'jokes'.

It's rough dropping her off for her first day of school, at a school that our own son doesn't go to out of quality concerns. I've never cared so much about the quality of the local schools but in some ways it's worse to be completely entrusted with the care of someone else's child. Parents know the acceptable shortcuts with their own kids, but there's some pressure to not let down her very trusting parents who I will never meet. If it makes them feel any better I share their concerns.

I should point out that when we were awaiting our student I was expecting some type A ass. This would be someone who got too big for their own country and had to go to a completely different country to find room for their ego, someone who we couldn't stand to be around and vice versa. I couldn't figure out how else a teenager could undergo such a trial. I went to a boarding school, but I could at least assuage myself with the fact that I'd see my family every six to eight weeks. However, in what I've found to be the best hypothesis, I couldn't foresee a student from a well-to-do family who's only 'in' for higher education for their child was a forced (in a career sense) sojourn to the U.S.**

In a magazine put out by a missionary organization that I occasionally keep track of, a priest said that teenagers are teenagers the world round. So it is with Sally. She's just a normal,reserved, modest, and respectful teen stuck in extraordinary circumstances.


*Kid Sandmich ran out when the movie was being turned on saying that he "wasn't going to watch any chick flick". "Silly boy", I thought "it has vampires in it, how can it be a chick flick?". Needless to say, the joke was on me.

**Sally's sister has undergone the same trial I take it (?), and her sister now attends the university of Arkansas.

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