American Pi–Cookies

The girls’ school has asked me to come in tomorrow morning and talk about where I’m from. Any details beyond this were vague, and I suspect it’s just a ploy by the teachers to get some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Fortunately for them, it’s working. Unfortunately for me, I have no idea what I’m going to say.

The United States really aren’t all that different from Italy. Americans drive on the same side of the road, eat with the same utensils, and wear the same clothing styles as Italians (with the possible exception of the tubithongotard which needs to die a swift death anyway). We speak a different language, but mandatory English classes start in preschool here, and the girls’ classmates sang a forty-two chorus version of “We Are the World” for their Christmas play; neither the English language nor Michael Jackson is new territory for them.

I’m oversimplifying, of course. There are plenty of cultural nuances to take into account—the ways people relate to each other, to food, to sports—the ways politics are run or rigged—the ways humor is understood—but I doubt a roomful of three-to-five-year-olds would appreciate a lecture on sarcasm vs. slapstick.

My leading idea at the moment is to walk in wearing a cowboy hat, say “Poop!”, wait for the riotous laughter to subside, and lead everyone in forty-three choruses of “We Are the World” while passing out cookies. I’d be an instant hit with the kids, but I’m not sure the teachers would be amused (different understanding of humor and all). Anyone have a suggestion not involving fashion lamentations, scatological humor, or bribery by cookies? Because I’ve totally got those covered.

Cookies cookies cookies

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  1. i respectfully ask that whatever you do, do not perpetuate the myths that weddings are hoedowns, we only watch football, or we like hollywood’s forthcoming version of the girl with the dragon tattoo. otherwise, you’re good. 😉

  2. *laughing*
    oookay. wow. hope it goes good, dear, because i have no ideas for you! sounds like fun, though;)

  3. I love the cowboy hat idea. And what is wrong with a conversation about slapstick vs. sarcasm? Perfect!

    You could always talk about the weather, I guess.

    Can’t wait to see how it goes! Have fun!

  4. VIDEO!! Man, wish I could be there. I had to do this for a Swedish high school class back the first year I moved here…I would MUCH rather have done it for elementary age kids!

  5. Rain – Of course, because a bunch of four-year-olds are obviously going to be worried about the effect Hollywood will have on a story steeped in Swedish culture… 😉

    Beka – It did… and was. Thanks!

    Megsie – Well, I didn’t bring my cowboy hat, but the kids still remembered it from when Natalie wore it at Christmas. Giant pink sequined hats tend to leave an impression, I guess!

    Liz – I think they were expecting a video! When I showed up, they had a TV set up in front of all the kids, and while I did not bring anything watchable, I did sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” out loud for everyone. Hopefully, the cookies made up for both travesties.

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