24 March 2009

Your questions - Sus preguntas

Hola Mary Coffman. Me llamo Miguel. Éste es mi cuarto semestre de español. Me gustan animales exóticos de otros paises. ¿Qué es un animal raro que vive en Argentina que usted ha visto?

Hola Miguel, mucho gusto conocerte! A mi tambien me gustan los animales exoticos y vi montones cuando vivi en Costa Rica. (!Justo hoy me estaba acordando de los osos perezosos porque tengo un amigo que siempre come tan lento que bromeo que es un oso perezoso!) Me imagino que Argentina debe de tener muchas especies distintas de los de los EEUU pero hasta ahora solo he visto las ardillas y palomas (pigeons). Pues, estoy en una ciudad! Pero despues cuando mis viajes me llevan afuera de la ciudad, te contare de lo que encuentro. Dale? Tu castellano es muy bueno, escribame de nuevo cuando tengas la oportunidad!
Abrazos, ~Mary~


I hope that your the transition is going well. How have you been accepted from fellow students? What misperception do they have of the US? What misperceptions do the Argentineans feel that Americans have of them? Other than web resources, how easily accessible is news is from the US other than web resources?

Chad Herron, 7th Grade Social Studies
Lake Norman Charter School, Huntersville, NC

Hi Chad and Lake Norman Charter School,

Thanks for the well wishes. I have to admit, everyone has been very welcoming and positive about the USA - even though sometimes the graffiti sends another message. Still, I would say that most people I've met have had an open-minded and educated opinion about the USA. If anything, people here have the misperception that all "yankees" have lots of money. While that's certainly not true, our country is much more wealthy than any country I have ever visited. And many of us benefit from that wealth, which sometimes keeps us from identifying with the people from other countries. It is hard for me to imagine studying without use of the internet or a personal computer, but many people here do. As for resources, the web is your best friend down here! However, that being said, every street corner has a kiosko where they sell all kinds of newspapers and magazines.

I'm not sure yet what our misconceptions might be about Argentina. I think the first one is that we don't know where it is! How can you understand anything about a country, if you aren't even sure where it is on the globe! Argentina, although it may sound like a tropical Latin American country, is actually the closest country to Antartica! Moral of the story: If you want to know about the world, pay attention in Social Studies and Geography class!!!

Abrazos, ~Mary~

My 6th grade geography students at Gray's Creek Middle School in Hope Mills and I would like to ask the scholar-at-large in Argentina a question. We would like to know what aspects of American culture she would like to share in Argentina, and what parts of the culture there she would like to bring back to the States. Thank you for this opportunity.

Brian Ziegler,6th Grade Social Studies
Gray's Creek Middle School
Cumberland County Schools

Hi Mr. Ziegler and students! I'm so glad you asked this question because whenever you go into another culture (whether it's Argentina, Africa, or Myrtle Beach!) you realize certain things about your culture that you may not have known before. Since I am a student here, I am realizing lots of things about the culture of schools in the USA. First of all, it is unfortunately very common to see children on the streets here in the middle of the school day. Often times they are with their parents trying to earn some money. Also, the schools here don't have as many resources as they do in the USA. In my schools in Durham, we had computers in every classroom, big media centers (libraries) full of books, art classes, music rooms with all kinds of instruments - you will not find those same opportunities here. Therefore, if it were possible, the American culture I'd like to share with Argentina would be a culture of resources and opportunities for EVERYONE.

As for Argentina culture? I really admire how passionate the people are. They're passionate about politics, about soccer, about each other, about life. And sometimes even about something simple like buying tomatoes. There is an energy here that comes out in their music, their dancing, their laughter, and their revolutions.

Gracias por las preguntas Gray's Creek 6th Grade... send me more when you get a chance!

Abrazos, ~Mary~

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