Today we had a visit at our school, where two from the American embassy visited us. Mark, one of the two visiting, talked about his life and the American culture. His visit was interesting, and i learned a lot i didn’t know about before. He talked a lot about sports, and Red Sox. He later talked about the differences the countries he had visited had from the USA. He compared the fraternity and maturity in Norway, Latvia and the USA, which in Latvia lasted longer than the other countries. Overall the presentation was informative, and i learned a lot.
A. A. Milne was a soldier under WW1, the war to end all wars. Describe the role of the soldier under WW1 and the trauma they experienced.
A. A. Milne was fighting in the war to end all wars because he wanted to stop wars in the future. Despite the war to end all wars, Milne experienced that nothing had changed. The world was continuing as usual, and another war got more likely. The war was brutal, and Milne later got post-traumatic stress. He experienced flashbacks when anything made a big sound.
How many soldiers died during WW1?
There were from about 15 million to 19 million casualties during the WW1 and about 23 million wounded.
When he returned for war, how did he adjust?
A. A. Milne had problems after the war, and as i mentioned earlier, he got post-traumatic stress. He started writing books, and got a child. Nevertheless, Milne wasn’t happy after the war, he wanted to write about it and therefore decided to move away from the cities. It was here he wrote about Winnie The Pooh, and Christopher Robin.
Happiness, what makes you happy? What did Christopher Robin want from his parents?
There are a lot of things that make me happy, for example playing video games with my friends, or being with friends or family. I think this is what Christopher Robin really wanted, to be with his family, and that his parents would play with him. They were busy being on parties while he was home with the nanny.
Why did Christopher Robin have such trouble with the characters in his father’s books?
Christopher Robin had problems because everyone thought he was the boy in the book, and he didn’t recognize himself with that character. He also wanted the bear to be unique, and no one else than his family would now about him, but it ended up being the whole world knowing.
What was his relationship with his father?
Christopher Robin liked his father, and they went on a lot of adventures together in the woods. His father showed him how to build cages among other things, and to play cricket. Christopher Robin later got really mad at his father for writing the book about him, and earning a lot of money because of him. He made it hard to grow up, but Christopher Robin later understood the meaning of the book during the WW2, when soldiers started humming on a song from Winnie The Pooh.
What was his relationship with his nanny, how did it develop in the movie?
The nanny played a big role in Christopher Robins life, and was the one who raised him. He didn’t want her to go, and when he found her talking with Arthur, he wanted to go instantly. When Christopher Robin finds out that she was going to meet Arthur, he told his mother, and the nanny soon got fired. He wanted the nanny to marry him rather than Arthur. At the end of the movie, when he gets home, he gets to reunite with the nanny again.
Christopher Robin went to a private boarding school. Describe life at an all boys school before WW2.
Christopher Robin quickly got in trouble when people started recognizing that he was the boy from Winnie the Pooh. They kicked him off the stairs, and made fun of him. He had a terrible experience, and felt like his father had ruined his life.
Ellis island is an island with a long history regarding immigrants coming from Europe. It was an island where immigrants could get checked for deceases or if they were ready for the USA in general. Many people got into the USA, but the women and children had to have a provider, a person who could take care of them. Many men died during the travel, and their family were sent back to their own country. In the boats or the ships, they were separated in first, second and third class. The third class had to stay longer before getting on the shore.
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a statue on Ellis Island representing freedom, and welcomes people to the island. It’s possible to visit the Statue of Liberty exhibit and learn about the history and symbolism of the monument. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the french people to the american people as a symbol of friendship. The monument was unveiled 24. October 1886
One of the people immigrating through Ellis Island was Albert Einstein. He was a scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of relativity. He was welcome in the USA and decided on not going back to Germany. One of the reasons he decided to stay in the USA was that he saw what was going on in Germany, and wanted to stay away from the development.
Is America Still the Land of Opportunity?
Both yes and no. This is because it’s getting harder to get into america, and they have a lot of strict rules and laws that reject immigrants. America is now a country with a worse welfare state than Norway and has a low social mobility, which means that it’s much harder for a poor person with poor parents to get rich, than a rich person with rich parents to get rich. As a cause of this, if you already are on your way getting richer, moving to America with lower taxes and bills, will make you richer. Thus America is a land of opportunity for some, but not all people.
English is the lingua franca of today, all over the world, people speak English as their second or first language. This is varied in the world, and people living in India might have a different accent than people living in the UK. It isn’t just how people pronounce different words, but their vocabulary might be different, a few words will be different in different parts of the world.
An example of a variant of English is in Australia, where they say supermarket instead of the grocery store, or American biscuit meaning scone. Australian English is a lot different from American English, but they can still very easily understand the language.
Japanese English or Japlish is another variant of English, but this English is mostly spoken by EFL-learners, English Foreign Language-learners. This means that a lot of Japanese have to learn English, and based on the language they speak already they can pronounce words differently and have a different accent. They have problems with pronouncing L and V because they are used to speak more Japanese, and it doesn’t come naturally to their way of speaking.
India has been independent of Britain in over 70 years now, but the English language still remains. It’s a very small percentage of the Indian population who are speaking English as their first language, only around 0.1, while based on the data from 2001 Census there were around 12.6% of the Indian population who knew English. A lot of people know it, and the numbers have most likely increased during the last couple of years.
English as a world language
The majority of the world is not originally speaking English, so a common question to ask is why English became the lingua franca of today. There are many reasons for this, and one of them being the UK taking over big parts of the world, and when they are speaking English, the natives who live there have to adapt to it. Another reason is how as a superpower the USA was represented after the WW2, it was a big country, and if other countries wanted to trade as well, they had to learn English. Last I want to mention that the USA is a technological superpower, they are using social media frequently, and writing news and reports on the Internet. The colonization also leads to creoles, where two languages combine, and you speak a mix of it.
In class today we played a game called SPENT. This was a game about the life of an american, and the problems that can occur when you don’t have more than 1000$. It was really hard to survive, and i had to make choices i didn’t want to make. As an example, i had to pay a lot of money for my pet to let it survive or not pay anything to let it suffer. Many problems i faced were unfair, such as my landlord raising the rent of the house without any good reason.
The problems i faced in the game, were the same as it is in the real life, and many Americans have these problems every day. The game informed you for example that there are many Americans that go to work rather than call in sick, when they are sick, because of fear of not getting payed. When I didn’t have any money I had to make decisions i didn’t want to make, for example not paying for crucial medication for my mother, or putting my pet to sleep rather than paying for it to live.
This doesn’t happen in Norway because we have a good welfare state. We get a good welfare state by paying taxes and fees, and in return we get free education and free healthcare. People who don’t have a job, or to sick to work gets money from NAV. The problem if people get more money from the welfare state, is that more people will stay home because it pays off for them. In the USA you can end up spending a million to cure a disease, simultaneously in Norway you get the medicine for free.
An example of the USA having a worse welfare state than Norway is when the game offer you to pay 200$ to get a course in computer technology. Studying in Norway does not cost this much, and you even get a student loan with a low rent decreasing the problems students have. The welfare state also gives better social mobility, because a very poor child in Norway will more likely end up like other richer kids in the same country. In the USA the social mobility is low.
I learned that living in the USA is hard, so the game was a good learning experience and i recommend to play it to learn more. You can find the game here.
Today we used Skype to talk with a class from India and a class from Israel. We got started pretty late because of technological failures, but got a lot of interesting information. We also got answers from Australia on our questions about climate change, and watched a ted-talk about banning plastic bags.
First we Skyped with India who told us about the problems they have had with global warming. For them, the biggest problems were flooding, high temperatures and also air pollution. They had a tragic incident where there was a flood and many people died, but those inside a temple of Shiva survived. Therefore many who live there worship Shiva as their God. Another problem in India is air pollution. The smoke comes from different sources, both fog and smoke from the factories and also pollution from the cars. They are doing things to prevent global warming like recycling newspaper to pens. In India they work on getting electric buses and a more sustainable development.
We talked with the Israelis later. They had the same problem with high temperatures, which is a big problem. As a consequence of global warming, they have a shortage of water, and therefore collected water as a school project. They live in Tel Aviv, not far from Jerusalem, and they took the bus to school.
In Australia there were problems with heat waves, and they had experienced up to 50 degrees Celsius. Because of the high temperatures, native animals come looking for water, and they are the most affected group by the climate change. They can’t handle the extreme drought and heat waves. There are a lot of things the Australians are doing to stop climate change, among other things they ban plastic bags in shopping malls and do not using plastic straws.
A couple years ago, two girls had a Ted-talk about how they changed and banned plastic bags from their island. They wanted to make a change, and despite them being kids, they managed to make a deal with the governor about banning plastic bags. They are encouraging other kids in the world to make a difference and says:
Global warming is a serious issue, but when everyone contributes, even kids, we can stop climate change.
In all of the countries above they do something about climate change, and teaches that it is an important issue of many reasons. They are fighting it by recycling and making a more sustainable development. Also in Europe we are making change, thousands of pupils are going to be absent the 15 February because they want to draw focus to climate change. This shows how important the climate change can be to people, and why it is a serious threat.
In the UK, many people are fearing immigrants coming to stay. They fear more crime when the immigrants get there, although immigrants might be positive for their country. People in the UK who fear the immigrants are the people who lives in cities where there are fewer immigrants. They are fearing immigrants when they don’t know very much about them themselves, and unlike these places in UK, the people living in cities with many immigrants want to stay in the EU. The fact vs fear is the battle between staying in the EU and leaving.
Brexit means Britain exiting the EU. Britain doesn’t want to stay in the EU because of immigration coming their way. The party UKIP wanted to leave the EU because of it, and made people fear not supporting Brexit. Now people have voted for leaving the EU, but the majority no longer stand for Brexit.