Oct. 1, 2013By: Katie Elliott
Have you ever tried explaining something that is native and normal to your country, only to realize how strange it really is? If you are an American, stop and think about, say, the way April Fool’s Day is celebrated. You get to pull tricks on people and get away with it all day! When you explain that to a foreigner, you would get a pretty confused reaction. In American Studies class, I have the privilege of doing just that: introducing children who are about to be adopted by U.S. families to American culture!
Before we get too far, I need to introduce myself. My name is Katie Elliott, and I began teaching American Studies at Cebu Children of Hope School when Teacher Tammy returned to the states. My husband and I moved to Cebu in January 2013 for his job at the business outsourcing office for his company and I have been volunteering at CSC since February of this year. American Studies is a course designed for the school-aged children of CSC who have been matched for adoption to U.S. families. In American Studies, we learn things like the pledge of allegiance, information about the state they’re moving to, national monuments, U.S. history, and American customs and norms. My favorite unit was holidays and seasons. It has been so funny to hear their reactions when I explain things like being pinched if they didn’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day! Or a leprechaun trying to steal a pot of gold from the end of a rainbow...especially when the holiday is celebrating Irish heritage, yet you're moving to America! When we learned about winter, they were disappointed to hear that it might not snow every single day of winter, as they can't wait to build snowmen and go sledding. Check out our adventures in making pumpkin pie when we studied Thanksgiving!