Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Welcome to America, Here's Your Gun"

In one of my adult classes this week, half the students did not attend. Thus, the ones who did were able to cajole me into having, instead of a grammar lesson, a two hour chat session about whatever struck their fancy.

One of the things we talked about was my trip home for the holidays. In talking about the US, some of their ideas and preconceived notions about America and Americans came out that surprised me. According to what they know from movies and TV:

- Most Americans live in New York City
- Pretty much everyone has a gun
- The majority of men drive pickup trucks
- There is a hot dog cart on every corner of every street in the country
- There are many, many farms with many, many cows

This led to me telling them what people in America thought of Spain and Spanish people. I told them that many Americans probably didn't know a whole lot about Spain at all but the ones who do think that:

- They drink a lot of wine
- They eat dinner late and stay up late
- They take a long break in the middle of the day
- They don't work too much

They conceded that this was a fair assessment and we moved on to a discussion of favorite vacation spots.

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