Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My little town

The Spartanette just posted a wonderful piece about culture shock. She's a Michigan State University student and a fabulous blogger. I could certainly relate to her reaction to her hometown residents' reaction to a newly expanded chain Mexican restaurant.
I just found it amusing, but then again, I chose to live in a little village where the house is almost in the woods.

This could say something about 'Merica. Down in Holland, Mich., on our way to Chicago, Kissy Missy and I stopped for lunch. Next to each other, sharing a parking lot and road access from U.S. 31, were a Panera Bread and a Culver's restaurant.
Think about this: The prices are roughly equivalent. The access is equal. The calorie count probably is equivalent.
But in the Culver's lot -- a restaurant that features burgers and deep-fried everything -- all but one of the cars was American: Fords, Merkeries, Chivvies, and we count Dodges as 'Merican, even though they ain't. In the Panera lot, about two-thirds of the cars were Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans.
A wise school superintendent once told me that to stay in touch with reality, educators need to sit outside Wal-Mart and watch the people for a while. Those are the people whose children we educate, the real 'Mericans.

1 comment:

The Spartanette said...

HA, Wal-Mart is a whole topic I just haven't even had the energy to cover. They just built a new one of those in Grand Blanc too. I try to shop there as little as possible, but sometimes I go with my mom. Every time I do, I think, wow, I could write about these people for hours. I think that's going to be my advice for study abroad students next year. Whatever you do when you come home, don't go to Wal-Mart.
It's really interesting what you said about the makes of cars in the parking lots. I'm definitely going to be aware of that from now on.
P.S. I love that Kathy just went to Europe, I got so excited reading that! Whenever I have a boy problem these days, one thought of, "I went to Europe, who does he think he is?!" helps a lot. Hopefully that will help her get over this Ryan character, who is clearly a loser, judging from his breakup methods. (It's OK--my best friend got dumped through a text message three weeks ago. Her boyfriend is 23. Who ARE these guys!?)